16:13.80N 61:31.8W Guadeloupe

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Sun 9 Dec 2007 15:28

Wednesday 5 December

I redid the join on the stopcock for the watermaker, thought I would start at the very end and work through the connections; it made no difference.


Left Les Saintes for Guadeloupe.  I was able to turn the motor off after half an hour and sail for an hour and a half.  Then the wind dropped again and I was down to 1 knot, I would not get there before dark at this rate, so it was motor sailing again.  There are hundreds of lobster pots here, easy to count over 20 markers (most of them no more than plastic bottles or chunks of polystyrene) round the boat frequently, not the greatest of passages to motor through.  


I took the sails down when I got to the pilotage buoys and then the wind picked up.  Anchored opposite the marina, with the port entry channel between us. 


Thursday 6 December

Went up the port channel to the bridge in the dinghy with Alhambra to check the depths and the moorings. 


Then we went in and checked the weather.  I had got the forecast at 0630 this morning and it was the same.  The weather is not looking good for the trip North.  We are going to check tomorrow and see if Saturday is ok, otherwise I could be here until well into next week.  We were going to ask Customs whether we had to check out, the French do an In and Out at the same time, that lasts for 72 hours, but they generally do not want to do more paperwork if you overstay a bit.  The Customs man had just given an Australian a hard time over his boat papers, so we thought we would leave that until tomorrow.


I took my gas bottle in to exchange, it was not quite empty, but then I would have three full ones and not have to worry about it any more for months.  I am trying to trade up and there was a newly painted bottle in the supermarket, but they would not accept my bottle.  I tried the chandlers and got a really good condition bottle and they took mine.  When you are in the system of exchanging bottles it is unfair to not accept one back that I was given no choice over.  They build into the system that any defective, rusty bottles will not be refilled.  I shall continue to exchange to get better bottles and have the good ones refilled.

The price in Cape Verdes was £3, Canaries £6, Bequia was £8 and here £10, all for the same bottle of gas, I suspect that in the UK it is about £15, possibly even more.


I moved over to the anchorage near the town, it is mud.  I kept busy for 25 minutes to allow the anchor to sink into the mud and it seems to have set.  If it is dodgy tomorrow I will take a buoy.


Just before it got dark, the pilot went to two boats near me, the French boat could speak the language and things got a little heated.  I did not need a translator to know that the pilot thought they were a little in the way of the big boats he was bringing in and out and they had to move. 


Friday 7th December

Happy Birthday Jane - (Cheetah 2), not quite sure of the exact day, but it is hereabouts


I got the dinghy down, I really don’t like it on the coachroof.  It covers the solar panel and I cannot see over the top of it when steering. 

I put the long ranging plank across the cockpit and secured it to the winches.  I now had something to put the outboard on so that I could work on it in the cockpit.  I took the fuel tank off and cleaned it out, there was a lot of rust in there, but it is plastic.  I took the filler cap apart, there were 12 pieces to it.  The main culprit was a metal dome inside which was harbouring rust, so I wire brushed and cleaned it all up.  I took the carburettor off and again the metal dome on the bottom was rusty.  Why do they build these engines with cheap metal bits just where really do not want rust.  I put it all back together.  I added some oil, the strange thing is that you have to lie it down to get the oil in or it just pours out, I must find an instruction book somewhere on this engine.  I put the prop in a bucket of water and pulled the cord - it did not work.  I am not sure that I really expected it to work, I was just very satisfied with the process of what I had done. 


I started to clear up and had a few more goes and it roared and frightened the life out of me.  I finished clearing up and then put it back on its bracket.  I am not sure I am ready to put it on the dinghy yet.  It had probably taken 4 hours.



We were going to hire a car and go round the island.  The hire company is not open tomorrow, they wanted us to bring it back on Monday.  We said it would be back before they closed today, but their reason for not letting us have one was that the marina gets very busy over the weekend and we would not find anywhere to park.  No comment.


Did a few silly little jobs and the washing.  It rained and with the dinghy down I had enough clean water to rinse the bedding.  The anchorage is just off the port channel and somehow the powerboats are allowed to race up and down, which is not wonderful.  I have got too much sun on the back of my neck and am trying to keep it covered, but it alternates between too hot and sunny and cold and rainy.



We are waiting for good weather between Guadeloupe and Antigua before going through the river.  It was supposed to have been very windy with a rough sea.  It does not seem to be from where I am, but I have the right half of Guadeloupe protecting me.  The bridge does not open on Sunday, Monday looks the only reasonable day and then it gets rough again.