Bas du Fort Marina, Guadaloupe
Position: 16:13.28N 61:31.78W
Date: Friday 13th December 2013
We left the anchorage just outside Jolly Harbour at around 7:00am on Thursday 12th. The trip down to Guadaloupe was rather wet. We were close hauled most of the way with the wind around 50 degrees off the port bow, and the seas repeatedly broke over the bow in volume, sweeping right back the full length of the boat. It really wasn’t a great first trip to sea for Eileen. Unfortunately I had also left the saloon overhead hatch on the vent setting, so by the time I noticed we’d shipped quite an amount of salt water over the saloon berths. That said we made good progress regularly making over 8 knots.
We reached Deshaies, in NW Guadaloupe by mid-afternoon and anchored overnight. One delightful co-incidence was that we bumped in to friends Iain & Fiona from Ruffian, who we had last seen earlier in the year whilst in Bequia. We shared a beer in a local bar and then they towed us back to our boat as the outboard engine on our dinghy was going through another of its ‘rest’ periods. During the night there was heavy rainfall which washed away much of the salt that had accumulated during the trip down.
Early this morning we upped anchor and made our way around to the marina in Bas du Fort, near to Point a Pitre. This entailed sailing around the entire western coast of the island, basically just over 20 miles going south then another 20 or so going more or less north again. The trip down the coast was tranquil as we were in the lee of the island. However as we rounded the southern cape we ran straight into short sharp seas and the wind accelerating around the cape. It was a face full of wind, seas coming all over the boat again and being shaken around all over the place. The pleasures of sailing. The local fishermen had decided to enliven our day by laying multiple traps of fishing pots all along the route, with small floats bobbing just below the surface so you couldn’t see them until you were very close to them. We made it up to the marina without mishap and settled in to a marina berth.
The reason for coming here was to have warranty work done on the engine by the Volvo agent who is based here. They promised me last June that they would do the work in December, even though my warranty expired in July. They told me that they close for Xmas on the 21st December and don’t open again until 5th January, so it was important that we got here a few days before 21st. I managed to phone them just before they closed for the weekend and they have promised to turn up to do the work at 7:30 am on Monday morning. Let’s see what Monday brings.