Arrived in Guadeloupe!

Tue 22 Dec 2009 19:17
16.13.263n 61.31.781w
The view from our boat is of palm trees with sounds of exotic birds (OK, and pigeons!).
A lazy looking pelican is circling above and we have arrived in Guadeloupe, a Leeward island in the Lesser Antilles. A strange island, divided into two parts by the river Salee and we are in the Grande Terre half.
Our crossing was a bit slow as we had quite a few days of light winds. We did have some cracking sailing along the way, but our top speed sailing is 7 knots and this was rarely reached.
We have come to Guadeloupe to sort the boat out. The echo sounder and Autohelm have stopped working, the engine is not fully functioning - believed restricted fuel lines as the long journey has stirred up the crud at the bottom of the tank. The fridge needs even more sorting, plus a few other minor jobs - its not all sitting on the beach you know!
The only other problem on the crossing was suffering a knockdown due to a sudden gust on the side of the boat when we had full sail up. There were no dark clouds, no flattening of the sea, no fog or freshening of the breeze, or any indication that strong wind is coming. Murray realised he ought to get up to help when he found himself lying on the wall of the cabin instead of the bunk. Caroline was on her first helm of the night when this massive long gust came out of nowhere and pushed the boat over. She was paddling in the cockpit (not a good thing!) trying to spill the wind from the main sail. The boat slowly righted itself and then we were travelling at just 1.6 knots and there was not a breath of wind, as though the big gust had taken it away. It was so still. All that remaind was to stow the contents of the cupboards back where they belong and tidy the deck.
Every day on the voyage nature shows her best side, from fabulous starry skies with shooting stars to daytime flocks(?) of flying fish.
Thank you to everyone for our birthday wishes on card and email.
We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and Merry New Year.
Pic shows part of the dolphin going away party as we left La Gomera.

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