An early wake up and we are prepping the boat for a day of sailing.Kyle gets the dinghy and motor secured, hatches closed, anchor raised, coffee in hand and main sail raised - we are now heading out trying to beat the rain that is sure to be full in the clouds above.
Out to sea, the Captain has plenty to keep him busy with 3 to 5 feet waves, winds 12 to 20 and a gray sky.The plan is to sail south, past Dominica and into the bay at St. Pierre Martinique, a 69 mile day.
Thinking back, just to yesterday, it was a long day of sailing, I seriously didn't do much at all, Kyle (Captain) did it all.... Between The Saintes and Dominica(a 26 mile stretch) the conditions I mentioned above along with scattered showers, and a few wind gusts.
Arriving to the leeward side of Dominica gave Kyle a new set of conditions, lighter winds, a few more showers, waves continuing(20 miles or so along the coast).
Hitting the southern tip of Dominica into the channel between Martinique(another 20 mile stretch)... more of the same, a mixed bag for the Captain.
I'm still, I guess you would call it, gun shy after being sea sick, so I made us breakfast and read most of the day, and of course, looked cute :)
We hit the tip of Martinique at about 3pm, back to light winds and waves 2 to 3 feet. Kyle is first to jump in the shower and I watch the helm (not to much action), and soon the Captain is back at his station.My turn to shower off and it's my first shower in a while with the boat still on course, I'm quickly reminded how slippery it could be with the boat hip hop'n along. It's a good core workout just keeping your footing all day with all the movement.
Kyle picks us a good anchoring spot close to the main dinghy dock, we are hooked, and toasting to a shot of sake.
This is where the title comes in... we didn't have more than a few minutes of sunshine all day, and wouldn't you know it, the sky has completely cleared and it's beautiful, yip, Kyle's my 'Magic Man'.
A quick walk through town to check in at customs only to find that the location is closed, so a quick stop at the grocery store for coffee and paper towels (essentials!) and back to the boat. My awesome Captain is understandably tired so we opt for a easy dinner on the boat and few episodes of 'How I met your mother' (we needed a little comedy) and we turn in early, and are found by a great night of rest.
Cheers from the Windward Islands (the chain from Martinique south through Grenada) & good bye to the Leeward Islands (Anguilla through Dominica), Brenda & the Capt'n
Waking up in The Saintes, wish I could say I had a better night of sleep... We were visited my numerous rain showers throughout the night, so that means the hatches were mostly closed and that makes for a stuffy stateroom.
Coffee, cleaning and no emails... wifi has yet to make it's mark on these small islands.
The morning passes quickly and we decide to head around the bay to town and to find some lunch. We walked through Bourg De Saintes noticing that there are more scooters in town to rent then people :), then happen upon a great lunch spot that actually has wifi. A nice French lunch accompanied with a split of Rose', and we check in with our peeps & post a few blogs.
A stroll back through town and then a dinghy ride back to ITW. The weather is pretty decent and hot, so the water is looking pretty inviting. Kyle puts on his snorkeling gear and I decide to just paddle around with him. Kyle's report on the underwater world is just 'ok', we had a bit higher hopes since we anchored with a turtle greeting.
A relaxing rest of the afternoon & evening with a movie and an episode of Jag. Kyle grilled us up some nice beef filets and we enjoyed another sunset....
Cheers & back to sailing tomorrow, Brenda & Kyle
04/11/2010, Antigua to The Saints
No rooster needed, we are up with the sun, coffee going, hatches closed, main sail raised and we are heading out to sea.
Within minutes of exiting the harbor Kyle has us sailing with the main (2 reefs in) and the genoa. Winds are as predicted, 15 to 20 knots and straight out of the east. The seas are more than manageable at 4 to 6 feet. We have a steady roll as we are sailing south to Guadeloupe, all the elements favorable and Captain has us sailing between 7 & 8 knots..... nice.
I made us some breakfast, egg sandwiches, all the while thankful for my handles on the stove top to hold the skillet in place & I start a new book (lov'n my new Kindle) .... I know, the life of a First Mate :)
We reach Guadeloupe in 51/2 hours, we've made great time, and now with calmer seas 2 to 4 feet the winds very from 15 to 20 and throwing in a few burst of up to 30+ knots, my handsome Captain sure isn't getting bored today!!
So, things can sure change on the leeward side of the island, our winds by mid-way down the island are down to a low at one time of 2.2 knots, the mountainous peaks of Guadeloupe have given us gusts and they have blocked he wind all together.. yip, the Captain's on it... motors back on and we continue our track.
2/3rd's the way down the island just before Basse -Terre we see what remains of 'Spice', a beautifully built Catamaran that Kyle and I have liked since we first saw it in Trinidad last year. On our way up the chain and our pass by Guadeloupe in February we passed by Spice only an hour or so after one of her dagger boards hit ground and she wrecked close to shore. We can see they salvaged what they could, but we are both bummed for the short life of such a beautiful 'Cat".
Rounding the SW tip Guadeloupe and now The Saints (a burst of a few smaller islands, that have high peaks, beautiful beaches & welcoming bays. (These islands also fall under the French flag along with Guadeloupe.)) are now in sight, resting about 6 miles southwest of Guadeloupe.
The Captain is back to both hands on wheel as the winds have again picked up to 20 plus knots and we are screaming at just under 9 knot... woo hoo!! At one point the winds and bash of the waves flip the dinghy over that is tied down on the trampoline. Kyle grabs another rope and secures the dinghy and we blast across the channel to anchorage at Terre D'en Haut. We drop the sails and motor in to the small bay and have a turtle sighting, always a good sign for us so we set the hook in 20' of water just off of the Le Boise Joli Hotel and a 100 yards from the beautiful cliffs.
Hot showers, gin & tonics wonderful grilled fillets and tonights movie is Easy Rider which we only make it about half way through before it is lights out.
Sometime during the middle of the night we had a big rain shower, so up we go, close the hatches and back to sleep to dream of a clean boat when we wake up in the morning!
04/10/2010, Fallmouth Harbour, Antigua
We started our morning out with our usual coffee, emails, light cleaning & a little reading all while we were comfortably moored in Falmouth Harbor, Antiqua.
Our last visit here we rented a buggy and drove around the island, and had a blast! We wanted a reminder so we jumped in the dingy with our sunscreen and camera, and shoot - 15 minutes to late.... it was being rented as we walked in.
Plan B, we walked over to English Harbor and made our customs/immigration stop and Kyle got us all checked out for an early departure in the morning. We walked back to Falmouth and decided on a light lunch at the Yacht Club. We made a stop off at the grocery store and picked up a nice port loin for dinner and back to ITW.
Are plans are to sail out early in the am with a destination of southern Guadaloupe which we anticipate being at least a 10 to 12 hour day, so, a relaxing day on the boat sounds just great.
The afternoon was filled with quick naps for both of us, some reading and painfully slow wifi connection.
We break into some of the new movies Kyle purchased and we decide upon & watch 'The Bounty' & 'The Rainmaker' breaking only for a quick dinner of grilled pork loin & applesauce.
What can I say... another great day for 'the honeymooners' :) We love ya.... Brenda & Kyle
04/09/2010, Fallmouth Harbour, Antigua
Our day started out late, we both slept until 8 AM which is very unusual for us to not be up with the sun, but it felt good get get some additional rest after the early morning departure from St. Barts.
After coffee and emails we headed to shore as we had made an appointment for massages at 10:30 AM, and boy was that worth it and much needed. It was relaxing to have some of the kinks worked out and the message oil totally soaked in to our dry weathered skin - ahhhhhhhhhhh.
A lunch stop for egg plant parmesan and a pizza and we were back to ITW and motoring out of Jolly Harbour. Through the Goat's Head inner channel with the genoa out and around the corner to Fallmouth Harbour and the hook is set within a couple hours in 6 feet of water just off of a little beach.
Tonight's plan, hot showers, grill up the scallops we purchased in St. Bart's, a bottle of Saki, another picturesque sunset and the last two episodes of NCIS season 5 (we just ordered season 6) and the end to a perfect day in Antigua.
If the weather is good tomorrow we will try to go rent the buggy again for a day and let Mad Maxine (Brenda) take it for a spin.
Our phone alarm sounds at 1am, Kyle's feet hit the floor before mine. A quick look around and outside, and he also tried for one last check of the weather (but no wifi), and he says 'start the coffee'.
Kyle starts the motors, charts our course, and we pour our first cup of coffee and leave it to cool while we raise anchor.
RIght on schedule, 1:30am and we are motoring out of St. Bart's. The weather has been building, holding more wind and a few more clouds. The forecast was for 15 to 20 knot winds from the NE and 4 to 6 foot waves.... close but - actually it was 20 to 25 knot winds & 6 to 8 foot waves consistently until sunrise, where it settled down back closer to the forecast.
It's now 8:30am, 7 hours into our Antiqua sail. Kyle still has the motors on, but now the genoa is also helping out. My Captain has it very well under control. He is excellent at what he does and he is also excellent at taking care of me - which is what he has been doing today.
The morning started out ok with me, but within an hour or so, I started feeling sick, by 3:30am - I was.... and Kyle was right there holding on to me, so I can't say I've never been sea-sick anymore. Not fun!!, but I am so thankful that Kyle is able to handle everything on his own... and more...
It was a long day of sailing, but all is well, we made it and we are now happily and safely tucked into Jolly Harbour, Antiqua.
We did our duties of securing the boat, getting the dinghy back in the water & a quick boat clean-up. We checked in with Antiqua and found a little spot for a burger then boack to ITW for a couple hour nap.
We finished our evening with checking emails, an NCIS & some snacking....
Oh, what a day....
Love you All, Cheers from Captain & Crew (me :))
Captain's Log: Got up early, sailed for 12 hours, checked in, had a burger, took a nap, couple episodes of NCIS and then lights out. Arrrrrrrrrrr