Thursday, January 30, 2014


On the ride into Terre Haute we had dolphins around the dinghy at least three were close enough to touch if we had stretched out.

It was rough and rolly so we decided to press on to Deshaies.

I remember this from a song sung by Tom Paxton

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.

It describes perfectly this development
spotted on the west coast of Guadeloupe before Pigeon island. We were romping along and I had only needed to turn the engine on for a few minutes to power through dead spots as we sailed up from the Saintes to Deshaies in Guadeloupe.

We were greeted in the morning
by the early day antics of the well gunned and booted but incredibly young looking French sailors who checked out the anchorage for suspicious characters not flying the courtesy flag correctly.

Sunset was pretty good
and as the last rays were fading away the Stade Amsterdam arrived furling its square sails for all the world like an eighteenth century wooden warship arriving from Europe with news and fresh supplies of men for the garrisons.

Dizzy is getting more confident on the boom and bimini
often catching us out as we brush

the underside with a well timed pounce.

But he is also practicing his sleeping skills sometimes in the oddest of poses.

I mean can this be comfortable.

We left Dominica with this elegant greyhound at anchor alongside this boat that had been tapped with an ugly stick.

Not hard mind but definitely tapped.

A couple of reminders of how harsh
the salt water environment is for anything electrical. My anchor foot switch failed. I guess this is number 7 or 8 in 4 years. Some parts turned to blue crumble as usual.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Good fast beam reach up to the Saintes. I entered through the windward channel so as to be able to sail into the anchorage Pain de Sucre but it always gives me a frisson as I head in waiting to identify with certainty the marks that give you the safe line.

It was amazing to see more boats motoring with no sails up than actually bothering to hang the rags on the sticks and get that perfect moment when the motor goes off and the boat comes alive doing what it was designed to do SAIL.

The system where we have to take a mooring in Terre Haute has been relaxed and it is now possible to anchor behind the mooring buoys, however we may stick it out at Pain de Sucre as it looks like it is less rolly there even though the ride in to town in the dinghy is WET WET WET to coin a phrase.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dominica to the Saintes

An easy twenty mile beam reach today. Should be fun and although we will try hard , fishless.
The clean up around Prince Rupert bay is done and except for one leftover small lower hull all the rusty wrecks are gone.

Nice french angel spotted snorkeling.

Monday, January 20, 2014


I had expected to find just an average day but the viz was exceptional and along with the usual guys I saw these.

I was using a better camera and the results were a little better than my old snapshot cheapie.

The recent news about a British sailor being killed in St Lucia during a boat invasion is running around the Caribbean liveaboard community like wildfire. The tragic and pointless killing comes on the heels of another pointless attack during a another boat invasion in another island which I would have said was one of the safest to visit.

I guess we all have to rethink our safety precautions and after a recent demo of the 12 bore flare gun shot at near point blank range pretty much failing to impress I want a better deterrent. A water pistol filled with ammonia and panic button operating lights and a really loud horn are on the TO DO list ASAP. Well any excuse to browse ToysRus and a Auto store will do..

Friday, January 17, 2014

We are up in Dominica and anchored of Cabrits where we have a good view of the horizon and the setting sun. Tonight we had the best green flash seen so far. Just for a second there was an intense brilliant green jewel on the horizon with a beam extending upwards. This was our fifth green flash in 11 days.

The others were all in Martinique and I have been thinking back to my wanderings around the Streets of Fort de France and all the graffiti I saw.

Some was just crude.

Others were still monochrome but more sophisticated in style.

Some were disturbing but really well executed.

Some were humorous.

But some just took my breath away as good maybe great street art.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Anchor down in Dominica.

Arrived safely in Portsmouth Dominica, after a very fast sail up. For 5 hours we averaged just under 8 knots, the old girl was flying! We had the warm wind over our shoulder so it was pretty pleasant sailing I had to keep checking the speed to remind myself that we really were doing 8s 9s and the occasional 10 much of the time.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


It will be an early start for us tomorrow leaving St Pierre for Dominica at 6 am for the 60 mile sail up to Portsmouth harbor.

I will be loading up on the Camenbert
and red wine before I leave Martinique.

We also leave behind an island which is in shock over a gang shootout in a bar that was closed for a private party. It shocked us too as we were anchored right off that bar in St Annes. Two young men were killed, one is critical and 5 more are hospitalized with gun shot wounds.

PS I like my Camenbert runny, eating the one above would be infanticide!

Sunday, January 12, 2014


After months of enjoying a sundowner we were rewarded with a
green flash like this one. My favorite anchorage came through for us and we had a perfect green flash moment.

Patricia turned 70 so we went out to Ti Sable for a celebration.

Patricia stuck to the house wine and then the house cat joined in the celebration. A lovely marmalade guy called Remy who was very well behaved even though his head would appear under your arm he never once got on the table or used his teeth to emphasize a point .

We have had some wild and
wet weather but you know what they say “No rain no rainbows”.

40 knot squalls at 3 am saw some serious dragging but luckily it was not us or anyone in front of us.

Grand Anse d'Arlet has some really fine snorkeling

I spotted these cleaner fish on duty over this coral head, a smallish moray eel and a fairly big lionfish out in the open for once.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The 12th day of Christmas and Wylde Swan

Well it was time to return the decorations
to their boxes and think back to the magnificent fireworks display we watched while at anchor in Rodney Bay St Lucia.

After a couple of days in St Annes we pulled anchor and headed for my favourite anchorage of Grand Anse d’Arlet. The trades are blowing hard so just the headsail gave us 7-8 knots running downwind past Diamond Rock and past the other bays on the SW corner into d’Arlet.

We tried to pickup a mooring ball but the grip came off the boathook leaving Patricia with the grip and the boathook hanging off the mooring ball. We slunk off and anchored and were luck enough to find the boathook still there when I dinked over to it.

I settled down to enjoy lunch but as the camera was handy I caught this oldtimer slipping past. It tacked in and anchored behind us.
On my way into the beach I detoured to find out it’s name which is Wylde Swan and Mr Google soon laid it’s secrets bare.

The hull of Wylde Swan started life as a 'herring hunter' in the 1920's, working off the Shetland Islands – a ship built for speed, ferrying the fresh catch from fishing grounds to the markets ashore. The Jemo, as she was originaly called, was originally built by HDW in Kiel. The ship was decommissioned sometime in the late 20th century and had changed ownership several times before Willem Slighting saw in her underwater ship the makings of a fast sailing ship. Her sleek underwater hull is now part of the world's largest two mast topsail schooner. The work was finished in 2010. Wylde Swan combines the majesty and tactics of the largest tall ships with the sailing characteristics and raw excitement normally only found on much smaller yachts. It's no wonder that it is a fierce competitor for the first prize in any Tall Ships Race.

Finally I included this as it tickled my fancy.

It might have been one of the smaller yachts in Rodney Bay but it had the biggest flag.

Saturday, January 4, 2014



We have been without water on the boat for a couple of days now and the word from the marina is “sorry we can not supply you with water”, the story goes that the pressure is so low that they are reserving what they get for their slip customers.

So it was a nice day and the wind was favourable for Martinique therefor we pulled tha anchor and broad reached the 25 miles to Marin in Martinique and a water supply that survived the Christmas eve storm.

We were pulling the anchor the following morning and heading in to pick up water from Bichik. I was just persuading the last foot or two of chain into the locker when I looked up and realized that we were on a collision course with another yacht, Patricia just had not seen the second yacht while concentrating on another one.

I have not moved so fast for a long time. I managed to get to the wheel in time and we slid past literally inches away from the other boat with much shouting from the crew/owner.

We were very fortunate. It would have been a VERY EXPENSIVE HIT. At least a bow roller pushpit and possibly a roller furler maybe even a mast on the other boat, on Elephants Child stanchions chain plates and maybe the mast plus lots of fibreglas and paint.