Jolly Harbour and on to Deshaies, Guadeloupe

Imagine Of Falmouth Online Log
Jon Constantine
Wed 21 Jan 2009 17:35
Tues 20th Jan 09 to 22nd Jan 09

It was a 6 hour sail back to Jolly Harbour.  No bacon sarnies for brekker and Terry popped a sea sick pill just in case, so no problems there!  Mum and Terry must be our good luck charms as we caught another fish.  A 5 lb Barracuda this time.  I'm afraid we didn't keep it though.  We know that Barracuda are prone to the Ciguatera toxin, particularly in the Leeward islands and especially in the big ones.  I got the pilot book out and read up on it.  Scary!  It comes from an algae that is produced usually from damaged reefs.  The reef fish eat the algae and store the toxin which builds in quantity as it proceeds up the food chain.  Cooking does not eliminate it.  The symptoms are horrendous both neurological and intestinal and can lead to death on rare occasions.  Well that was it!  Back into the sea it went but sadly it didn't survive the ordeal.  That's it for me.  No more fishing until we get to the Windward islands.

                        The Barracuda                                               New crew learning the ropes!

We went through clearance at JH when we arrived as we are leaving Antiguan waters tomorrow for the French ones; Deshaies in Guadeloupe and then onto the Saintes.

This was an even longer trip but Mum & Terry seemed to enjoy themselves (Terry having popped another pill).  We assured them that it was worth it as Deshaies is a lovely town and they will just adore the Saintes we know. It was a comfortable sail, just off the wind and making the course.  We made the anchorage just before sundown after nearly 9 hours of sailing; the well earned rum punches in the cockpit all the more enjoyable. I had a little accident while anchoring; managed to slip down the anchor well scraping my shin down the anchor windlass.  Ouch!  That's gonna scar.  Mum made the cocktails!

The next morning we completed the necessary clearance paperwork and then explored the small town; coffee and croissants for breakfast being top priority. And of course a couple of baguettes to take back to the boat for lunch. Fabulous.  We had a lovely meal ashore in the evening and a nightcap before bed.  We made one little mistake that night though which tainted our stay.  We didn't haul the dinghy; the first time since getting the A frame & davits made,
although it was locked to the A Frame.

Jon woke at 3am for some reason and went up to the cockpit. That woke me up and I joined him a little later to see what was up.  Something didn't look right about the dinghy.  The outboard was gone.  Aaargh!  Someone must have taken bolt croppers to the substantial bar and padlock that we'd attached to the outboard and dinghy transom.  We couldn't believe it.  We'd heard nothing.  They must have been so quiet as we were sleeping in the aft cabin, only a few feet away, and Jon is normally such a light sleeper.  Later that morning we gave Mum & Terry the bad news and then headed into town to report it.  Luckily we have a spare outboard, our little 2HP Honda.  When we got to the road to immigration (we needed to find out where the police station was and figured they could help us) we thought there'd been a accident as there were cars everywhere and debris in the middle of the road.  It was actually a road block and it was only much later that we found out that this was the beginning of the troubles that were to hit the French islands over the next couple of months.  The lady at immigration very kindly escorted us to the Police station at the other end of town, where we made our report.  The policeman were very helpful, friendly and efficient ensuring that we had all the paperwork we'd need to do the insurance claim. One of the policeman spoke very good English and told us that there was little to no chance of retrieving our outboard and that this was the 5th theft from a yacht this week and a regular occurrence.  Great! 

So it was back to the boat feeling pretty miserable.  It was still reasonably early and we still have just enough time to reach the Saintes in daylight so we set off as quickly as we could. We didn't want to stay here any longer than we had to.  Such a shame as we've always liked this anchorage.  Well, we weren't going to let this ruin our trip.  They didn't steal the dinghy (essential for getting ashore), we have a spare outboard and no-one was hurt.  It could have been much worse.