16 18 N 061 48 W
Good scuba dive yesterday and excellent snorkeling
today at the Cousteau
Park. We did have to rush
back from the snorkeling as, when we and some friends had all re-boarded our
dinghy and were just touring the shores of the small island a little bit, a
British sailboat flagged us down and when we went over to it, they told us that
our friends boat was dragging its anchor and getting dangerously close to a lee
shore. We took off as that is really a scary proposition. The owner of another
Canadian boat was keeping an eye on the scene with his dinghy but had not found
a way to halt the movement of our friend’s boat yet…..and then he
could see us in the distance and was relieved when we arrived. Our friends
hurriedly jumped aboard and got the engine going and lifted the anchor as we
stood by. When the anchor came up it was wrapped with the chain and had no chance
of holding the boat. No harm done…but one more lesson of warning about hazards
in anchoring for all involved.
We intended to be on to Antigua tomorrow
morning but have no way of checking out of Guadaloupe until 4 pm tomorrow
afternoon (Wednesday) when we understand a Customs officer will be available at
this small town of Deshaies. We will sail onward to Antigua
on Thursday….about 45 nm.
A little bit of local news: Nothing to do
with Customs or clearing in and clearing out of Guadaloupe but there is a very
bad situation throughout the island due to a widespread strike that has left
fuel and food and all services shut down. Today the strike spread to Martinique. These islands are part of France….just the same as any region of France on the other side of the Atlantic and there is a complicated scene here that has
driven workers to strike action prompted by the global downturn in the economy.
Other islands which are independent Caribbean islands … or French Territories
like St Martin or St Barts ….don’t have the same situation at
all….strike action is limited to Guadaloupe and now Martinique.
We lucked out at being in St Martin before this happened and since we knew/were
warned of the situation in Guadaloupe, we just decided to avoid the island
mostly except for a couple of anchorages. We had full provisions so no hit
really to us.