15:52.043N 61:35.105W Les Saintes
Tuesday – 4 December 2007
So the last couple of days probably sounded a bit depressing, probably because it was. This morning I was to find that I had anchored between two mooring buoys, with pot markers in front and behind. Next to me on the anchorage was Alhambra.
I took the rudder off the hydrovane, it was really only worth putting on for long trips, but is no good with no wind and is not advantageous for motoring, especially at high speeds - how wrong can you get, but I had to try. DG had lost a beta clip when I had to get him out of the water in the dark; which is not a big deal, but it is annoying.
I heard Eric, with the weather on the SSB at 0630. Tom on Jean Marie checked in, they were 11 miles south of Grenada. It was going to get windy later in the week, so it would not be a good time to go to Montserrat as the only remaining anchorage is not that sheltered.
I hailed Alhambra on the radio and they are planning to go up the river that goes through the middle of Guadeloupe. This was what I wanted to do last time, but had to abandon; now I could have another go. I now have a chart of the river and the mudflats on the other side; not quite the Orinoco, but it is something.
We sailed over to Les Saintes, which are the islands off the bottom of Guadeloupe mainland. It was only 20 miles and I hoped to sail, but after an hour and a half of full sails I had to turn the motor on and motor sail the rest of the way. As the motor was on anyway, I took the sails down and motored through the Passe des Dames, which was a mixture of shallows, rocks and lobster pot markers. We anchored in the main bay and went to check in at the Police office in the Town Hall. You fill in the form and then have to wait while they fax it to Customs, who fax it back approved. You have to do the same thing in Pointe a Pitre, this is a French island, very easy and relaxed to deal with the authorities.
Dave and Michelle went ashore in the evening, but I stayed in and read a book. They were back in an hour and in the morning I found out the reason - the town was closed. If you cannot get to the Caribbean this early in the season, try going to the Isle of Wight on 1 October, that is the same effect.