Guadeloupe Early Days

Tue 26 Jan 2016 11:09
On our first windless evening in the marina we slid the mainsail down its groove and onto the side deck, folded it like a fan then hauled it onto the pontoon and folded it up to fit in its bag. The voilier or sail-maker could not believe the poor quality of the thread used on an other wise well cut sail made of top quality material.
The thread is brown in colour and his word for it traversed perfectly from French to English being the slang for a common bodily function. The main could be described as thread bear just like a children’s teddy, over much of the surface the thread only existed on one side of the sail. Other seams were ready to part. The voilier worked through the night and re-stitched the entire sail. Our original sail-maker in the UK, who made the sail for us in September 2014 was most apologetic when we sent him the photos and transferred the cost of repair into our account the next day.
As we had already deduced it is the PCB (printed circuit board or brains) of the dessalator that is at fault on the watermaker so a new one and a new switch have been ordered from France under warranty and we have to wait a few days for it to arrive.
This marina is sheltered from water movement but not wind and rain. Sitting having a quiet Leffe beer in one of the bars at lunchtime, the heavens opened and Rob had to dash back to the boat to close windows and hatches. No one really minds getting wet though as it is nice and cool for a short while before the heat of the day dries you off.
The fridge compressor and plate have to be replaced. Although there is still some gas left it is no longer obtainable as it was destroying the ozone layer so the parts are obsolete. Modern design has made the compressor less power hungry but the gas is only expected to last 10 years, instead of over 25 like our last one. The cost of replacement and fitting would be £1,000. Sitting in the cockpit we were working out how to meet this latest bill when I remembered I had some funds in my Pay Pal account after selling numerous items on Ebay, that calm anchorage of liquid assets. 24 hours later the funds were ready in our joint account to pay for the new fridge, which should use only 3 amps instead of 5 or 6 amps.
We had to celebrate one free repair, one warranty repair and one Pay Pal purchase so we hauled ourselves up onto high stools in a little, all French wine bar for a glass of Muscadet for me a glass of merlot for Rob and a platter of French cheeses from the low to the mountain regions of the mother country, it was modest and affordable.
The final few days of our crossing provided ample rainwater to wash Zoonie from rigging to deck, but with the bimini up the cockpit escaped the rain so I used warm water and a tiny bit of delicates detergent and with a soft brush gently cleaned the teak planks on the cockpit sole and seats. Well it came off dark brown and after a freshwater rinse and some sun the wood dried lighter than I have seen it for a while. Next is the bright-work, the stainless steel.
We have noticed, on our busy visitors’ pontoon, that most other yachts are Swiss, Swedish, French, USA, Canada, South Africa and Australian. There are no German yachts at present, or Irish, Spanish or Portuguese and only one or two other UK yachts at the moment. Having said that Tim and Philippa have just come in alongside in their Moody 38 from Southampton, towed in from their anchorage at great expense by a customs boat as the engine would not start. As two customs officials escorted Philippa to the nearest ATM she recalls, “People must have thought I was either very important or very naughty!”
So next we hire a car for three days and explore the two islands that make up Guadeloupe, the Papillon or butterfly island.