June 5-14, 2010 -- Heading South

Click on the above thumbnail for a map during this time period

Heading South

On June 4 we left Grand Case at oh-dark-thirty, headed for Antigua.  (The Terns chose an alternative route and promised to meet us later in Deshaies some days down the road.  Something about wind directions.  Sailboats are so funny that way.)  The run between St. Martin and Antigua has been good to us: once again on that stretch we caught two nice blackfin tuna.  We arrived just at dark, and opted to anchor in the nearly deserted anchorage up next to the resort in Five Island Bay.  Next morning we ran the boat around to the outer channel of Jolly Harbour and took Barb in to the dock so she could catch a bus in to St. John's.  Her mission, believe it or not, was to try and buy some bridge books, since the Terns have talked us into learning bridge with them.  Not our best idea, sending her off like that, since the customs lady, when she finally showed up, about 45 minutes late, insisted on enforcing the sign posted prominently on her door:  NOTICE:  BOAT MUST BE VISIBLE FROM THIS OFFICE FOR CLARANCE (sic)  Ours wasn't.  Dragon Lady could not be charmed, and I could not move our boat by myself, because the customs dock is rather short, and I certainly couldn't expect any help from her.  Nor could I grab one of the nearby (and VISIBLE) mooring balls by myself.  So I had to wait.  By the time Barb had returned and we had moved the boat and gotten checked in (and out) and purchased some groceries and some goods at the chandlery and gotten permission to buy duty-free fuel and then bought said fuel for $2.97 a gallon, we were running behind schedule.  So it was well after dark when we pulled in to Deshaies, Guadeloupe.  Next day we hopped down to Portsmouth, Dominica, arriving in the middle of the afternoon and settling into the rolly anchorage in front of the Purple Turtle.  Our first chance to try out our new poles for the flopper stoppers!  (Turned out some adjustments will have to be made -- but that is a digression from this posting.)  On to Ste. Pierre, Martinique, the next morning, arriving in plenty of time to get a good spot, and smiling at the lack of rolls, unusual for that anchorage.  Continuing with our one-night-per-spot, we moved on to Le Marin the next day.  That summarizes 5 hops in five days.  Weather prognosticators were predicting squally weather for several days, so we checked in (and out, at the same time) and settled in to our favorite protected spot in Martinique:  squirreled in among the reefs just SE of the Club Med Resort.  There we found Magus, where Chris was up to his elbows in two-part paint for his decks.  So the Takks and the Maguses and Terns took turns entertaining each other on evenings until the weather cleared on June 11.  On the 12th the Terns and Takks left Magus with his paint and moved on down to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia.  A quick trip to Island Water World, another to the grocery store, a quiet night on board, and the next morning we head to the Pitons.  As we passed Soufriere, we were hailed on the VHF:  "motor vessel heading south past Soufriere, this is SMMA.  Motor vessel heading toward the Pitons, this is SMMA".  I answer, and we switch to channel 14:  "SMMA, this is Tusen Takk II;  is this Peter?"  "Yes, this is Peter".  (Peter is the Park Superintendant for the St. Lucia Marine Management Area, and a heck of a nice guy.)  After an exchange of greetings, I ask about a dive later that day, and he agrees to stop in and see us later.  When he subsequently comes to our mooring, we arrange for a noonish dive, and the Terns and I (Barb's back is still bothering) do a roaring drift dive past Superman's Flight in strong current, off Petit Piton.  Spectacular, as always.  Effortless, since the current is really moving.  Just like our progress, since we are Heading South.

Playmates ...

... on the way to Antigua

Arctic Tern chases a rainbow on the way to Dominca

Panorama of Mt. Pelee and its surroundings

Panorama of St. Pierre waterfront near dusk

Devi at St. Pierre addressing the problem she calls "trawler butt"

Magus on the way to Arctic Tern for dinner

Neighbors at Le Marin

Sunset behind Club Med

Arctic Tern against the night lights of Le Marin

Pulling up a long long line whose floats were wandering all over the Piton anchorage; turned out to be a fish trap

Coming back from our fish trap expedition

Arctic Tern and Daniel Storey under Gros Piton

Tusen Takk II under Petit Piton (photo by Devi Sharp)



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