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Sailing At Last
This is the tale of our journey to fulfill a passion of learning to sail and a dream to circumnavigate. Welcome Aboard At Last!
Profile of At Last and the Gorrell's
[ Contents ]
Parlez-vous Francais?December 15, 2011, 6:24 am, Deshaies (Day-Ay) Guadeloupe
Guadeloupe is a French speaking country. And I mean French, and only French. This is the first time we have had a major problem communicating with anyone in the Caribbean. Sometimes communicating may have been difficult but one can manage to get the point across. Here, I had a very difficult time checking into customs. This is the first island where they had me use a computer to check in rather than fill out 3 pages of paper forms in triplicate. I thought this was going to be quick and easy. But did you know that French computer keyboards have the keys in different places compared to US keyboards? I spent thirty minutes correcting my typos. Do you know what the French call the United States? Etats-Unis. Try figuring that out from a drop down list of 200 countries. Checking into Customs still took an hour after all, and the nice customs official had to correct much of what I had entered into the computer. I could go on about it but let me just say that the experience taught us that we need to learn some French now, before we get to French Polynesia. By the way, the currency differences are starting to have an impact. So far we were able to use US dollars everywhere though we may have received change back in Eastern Caribbean Dollars. In Guadeloupe the currency is Euros and they don't wish to take any other currency.
December 14, 2011, 2:23 am, The Passage to Guadeloupe
The passage from Antigua to Guadeloupe was eventful. No nothing to do with the weather, the boat or sea sickness. We caught a 4ft 5in Wahoo. We had about 4 strikes along the 6 hour trip but none of the fish took the bait. With an hour left on the passage, we got a big strike and the fish ran with the line. After 30 minutes of excitement, maneuvering the boat to keep the fish astern and lots of questions like "What do we do now", we were able to bring the fish on board.
No, This Picture Did Not Come From a Post Card.Mark
December 13, 2011, 6:05 am, English Harbour, Antigua
Need we say more? The pictures are worth seeing in the Antigua photo gallery. Janet and I spent the first half of the day hiking (rather climbing) the trail to Shirley Heights, a site overlooking English and Falmouth Harbors. We asked the water taxi driver how long it took to hike the trail. He answered 20 minutes. He forgot to tell us that was how long it took to come back down. The views are fantastic. We have a photo that includes the path we took from our boat to the top of Shirley Heights. And yes, Janet worked up a sweat hiking the trail believe it or not.
Goodbye Nevis, Hello AntiguaMark
December 12, 2011, 5:59 am, Falmouth Harbour Antigua
The passage from Nevis to Antigua was pleasant. Seas were calm but the wind was on the nose at only 10 knots so we motor sailed the whole 50 miles. We pulled into Falmouth Harbor around 4:00 pm just in time to anchor in day light for a nice change. There are pictures of the passage in the photo gallery "The Passage from Nevis to Antigua" include Montserrat, the volcanic island, and the shore line of Antigua.
New Friends are Easy To MakeJanet
December 10, 2011, 5:34 am, Charlestown, Nevis
While checking into customs on Nevis, Mark met two other sailing couples who are living on their boats in the Caribbean area. They invited us over for cocktails at 5:00 pm. Mark and I are amazed at how experienced each couple is. We call ourselves newbies for the entire evening as each couple shares how they met, how they started sailing and their best advice for us. We have a fantastic evening and leave with all sorts of new information and ideas about how to survive the challenges we will face over the next two years. To our new friends David and Trudy on Persephone and Janice and Steve on Sailacious - thanks for a great evening and all of the encouragement. Hope to see you again when we pass through the Caribbean after the World ARC in April 2013.
Sailing to the Islands With Their Heads in the CloudsMark
December 8, 2011, 5:28 pm, Sailing from St Maarten to Nevis
It is 9:00 am Thursday we are heading out of Simpson Bay St Maarten. It is difficult to decide where to go but after consulting with the cruising guide (a book written for sailors telling you where to go, what to do, and the regulations for checking in and out of each island), we decide to head to Nevis. We choose to sail a bit out of our way to see Saba, Statia and St Kitts. These are islands on the western side of the Leewards that also include Montserrat. They are volcanic islands that rise to 4,000 ft above sea level and thus, have their heads in the clouds.
The possible effects of a circumnavigationSome of the diversity one finds in Simpson Bay
December 7, 2011, 11:00 pm, Simpson Bay, St. Maarten
The picture above is what our boat actually looks like now (with the new awning).