Click on the above thumbnail for a map during this time period
We left the Lagoon of St. Martin the morning of May 3 and
travelled the short distance to Ile Fourchue, a small barren island a few miles
north of St. Bart. We had been told that the anchorage was well protected,
but that assurance was presumably based on an assumption that the waves would be
coming from the east or northeast. Unfortunately, there was a southern
component to the swells that night. Knowing that we would be leaving early
the next morning, we decided not to bother with the flopper stoppers. In
retrospect, dampening the severe rolling would have probably been worth the
effort. In more favorable conditions, the isolated anchorage would provide
a pleasant place to linger for a day or two. As it was, we left at dawn
with no regrets.
We arrived at Antigua just at dusk, enjoyed the unsecured wifi
available from the exclusive resort on the southern shore of Five Islands Bay, and again flew a yellow flag
and again left at the next dawn.
Sunrise as we left Five Islands, Antigua
We had additional luck with trolling on our passage, again
hooking a fish on each of our two lines at the same time.
Two moderate-sized mahi-mahi
The (perhaps only) downside of catching fish is the mess they make while
flopping around in the cockpit before we can get them "pacified".
Step one: soap and water
Step two: fiberglass cleaner
On May 5 we arrived at Les Saintes, Guadeloupe. We caught up with Steve
and Ann (Receta) there, and Steve helped us get attached to one of the new
mooring balls that have blossomed out since our last visit. We are not
always happy to be told that we must use a mooring ball, but the installation
was a good move in this instance, as far as we are concerned. Much of the
anchorage has very deep water, so the installation of mooring balls has greatly increased the
capacity of the bay. The only downside is that the mooring balls lack
painters, and instead feature a large iron ring through which one must pass
one's own painter. So instead of being able to use a boat hook to bring a
painter up for fastening one's own lines, one must somehow pass one's own line
down to the mooring, through the ring, and back up to the bow. Impossible
on a boat with a high brow such as Tusen Takk II. Fortunately, we
have an (expensive) gizmo that is designed to help with that task. I have
written about the device before. The line that
the gizmo attaches to the ring is however not permanent, so that one must later
take the dinghy down and replace the gizmo line with a pair of sturdy painters.
As I mentioned, we were able to avoid getting the dinghy down because of the
help of Steve. In addition to the extra effort involved in getting
attached to this style of mooring ball, there is the problem that the iron ring
is high enough to bang on the hull should the wind slack enough to permit the
ball and boat to come in close proximity. All in all, we prefer the
Barb joined Steve and Ann for an extended hike one morning. Near the end of their walk they stopped for lunch at a
restaurant near Pompierre Beach. On another day she hiked by
herself, and took the following photos:
I have had the impression lately that pictures taken with my Nikon D200 camera
were not as sharp as those taken with Barb's Canon G12. So Steve and I got
together on Tusen Takk II and did some testing. Took similar photos
with all combinations of his camera (D300), my camera, his lens and my lens.
Conclusion: my camera and lens are performing as well as his.
Looking back at similar pics taken on Barb's camera, they no longer look sharper
than mine! Can you say "obsessive"?
Two cameras, two lenses, and two Macs. What fun!
As we departed Les Saintes on our way to Dominica, Barb took this picture of the
wind generators on Terre de Bas:
On Sunday, May 13 we motored for 4 hours down to Portsmouth, Dominica.
We arrived in time to relax a bit before dinghying in to the Sunday Night
Barbeque hosted by the Portsmouth Association of Yacht Security (PAYS).
New event building of the Portsmouth Association of Yacht Security (PAYS)
Former PAYS president Alexis
Mark and Willie at the PAYS Sunday night BBQ...
... and across the table
Willie, Barb and an enthusiastic local dancer
Next morning while Willie and Mark (Liahona) and I were getting checked
in at Customs, our favorite Dominican "boat person" Martin stopped in at
Tusen Takk II. You can see the evidence of his visit below:
There have been a number of changes in Dominica since our last visit, the most
striking of which is the nearly-completed removal of the rusty boat wrecks that
formerly disfigured the shoreline of "downtown" Portsmouth. Turns out the
Venezuelans are doing the removing; they want the iron for melting down and
fashioning into pipes for their oil industry, and of course the Dominicans are
happy to have the wrecks removed.
Downtown, on the section of main street that is closest to the new dock (see
below), is a shiny new facility for marketing the fish caught by the locals.
Only remaining "whole" wreck
Almost cleaned-up: dam around the bottom of the hull so that it can be drained to recover the last of the scrap metal
All that remains of the huge wreck that used to block the entrance to the river
New construction at the Fort
New hotel being built along the approach road to the Fort
Huge new dock for the fishermen
Not everything is getting better: Purple Turtle's dock has fallen into disrepair
Willie is a physical therapist and an enthusiastic evangelist for water
aerobics. Barb and I joined her on most mornings while she and we were in
the anchorage. She says that the exercise has definitely diminished her
arthritis; it is probably too early to tell if it will help me, but I am
While we were bobbing about on our noodles one morning, we witnessed a
remarkable sight. A very pretty (and shapely) tanned young woman emerged
from a nearby adjacent small and rusty sailboat and proceeded to squat out past the stern
of her boat. I want to be delicate about this, and I am having
trouble finding suitably discrete words. In the very short list of numbers
that is sometimes used to describe these events, the largest of them would be
relevant. Interesting to observe her scoop up some water to wash herself
after finishing her business. Then, still squatting, splash her
hand about to wash it. Then repeat the process several times. Then pull
herself erect and pull shorts up over her lovely white derrière.
Since the tide was flowing from her boat toward us, we were exceptionally
alert as we returned to our dinghy.
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