2nd March 2019 - Grand Anse d'Arlets

s/v Safena's blog
Simon Ashley
Sat 9 Mar 2019 14:21
Pos: 14 30.18 N, 61 05.30 W

An eventful day!

Fuel leak in RIB
We planned to set sail at first light heading for St. Pierre with a mid-morning stop at Grand Anse d’Arlets.  As I was stowing the RIB there was a bad smell of petrol and I noticed fuel leaking out of one of the fuel lines.  The line had split due to over-tightening of the jubilee clip where it attached to the fuel filter.  I repaired this.  Unfortunately the bilge of the RIB was full of petrol which I cleared out by flooding the bilge with sea water. So our departure was a bit delayed.

We set off and had a lovely downwind sail under Genoa only.  We passed  through a narrow gap between Pointe du Diament and Rocher du Diament, quite a dramatic rock 176m above sea level.

Fishing gear round prop (again!)
Grand Anse d’Arlets is a lovely bay but full of fishing pots (usually small plastic bottles attached to lines) which we tried carefully to avoid.  As we approached our anchoring spot with Nina on the bow and me at the helm I noticed a bunch of bottles and lines on our starboard side getting closer and closer.  We had picked up a submerged line and it was round the prop. Now long lines attached to several plastic bottles were streaming aft and spinning round with the prop - ugh, not again!

We stopped short of the main anchorage and anchored in about 25-30m depth.  We put the GoPro down and it confirmed lines around the prop.  Initially I attempted to go down with mask/flippers and cut this off.  The wind was blowing and the current strong beneath the yacht and I wasn’t confident that I could stay down long enough to get this cleared.  I even thought we might need a diver and went ashore to find one only to be told at the dive shop that under no circumstances were they permitted to do this kind of thing and they didn’t have time anyway!  Subsequently, my amazingly heroic wife donned flippers and mask and cleverly used the current to bring her from upstream onto the shaft/prop, cut the lines away and surfaced at the transom - well done Ni!!!  We then proceeded to anchor properly in the bay.

I think this episode highlights the benefit of being able to scuba and having kit on board if possible.  We need to learn.

Grande Anse d’Arlets is a lovely bay with a nice beach. Ashore in Grande Anse it has very French feel with a Caribbean twist. We decided to stay put for the night and start earlier tomorrow for a longer sail to Dominica.  We took the RIB ashore and had a lovely walk along the beach.

For dinner, Nina made corn dogs with left over chilli.