Iles de Saintes

Luna Quest
W. Eric Faber
Fri 28 Feb 2014 18:18
Position: 15.52N 16.35W

Distance: 34 miles

Deshaihes was not sufficiently captivating for me to outweigh the risk of dragging my anchor again, so I set my alarm for 5.30am to prepare for the next anchorage. At that time in the morning it is pitch dark, but an hour later, day light arrives and justifies the early morning alarm call. I hoisted my dinghy on board, semi-deflated it and turned it upside down on the foredeck. Having lashed it to secure fixing points, I weighed anchor and motored out of the anchorage. It was 7.30am. There was not much wind in the lee of the island and I kept the engine on till there was enough wind to let the sails do the work, but the wind appeared to come from the south, straight along the coast and in the opposite direction of my course. I sought as much shelter as I could from the Guadeloupe coast and motored virtually all the way along the coast to within a mile of the southern tip of the island. By that time the wind was up to 18 knots and there was no way that I would be able to motor into it once past Guadeloupe to reach the Saintes Islands. I double reefed the mainsail and let out half the genoa; as soon as I was past the southern tip of the island, the full fresh breeze powered Luna Quest under sail at 6.5kn, but, of course, way off the desired course for the Saintes. It would mean several tacks in the waters between the islands, but by 3pm I had reached the anchorage. Here I am surrounded by British-flagged boats, several of whom are members of the Ocean Cruising Club and most of whom I have already met in Antigua. It will be a busy time.