Sunday morning, with still no favorable winds for sailing forecast in the 7 day outlook, we motored the 15 miles between Les Saintes and Dominica, picking up a mooring buoy with Bacco's help and rewarding him with James' fresh caught Mahi mahi. Bacco filleted out the fish for us and happily retained the head for himself to be added to the stew pot with "ground provisions" ( bananas, taro, sweet potatoes, chayote etc.) He and his friend, who got the tail, thanked us again as we chatted with them at the PAYS Sunday night barbeque, a fund raising event to support the security system the boat boys have organized for visiting yachts. Not only is the barbeque a fun place to meet other yachties, PAYS has managed to change the reputation of Portsmouth, an anchorage we avoided three years ago. In spite of the free rum punch we rolled out of our bunks at dawn for the 52 mile passage to Martinique, this time with a whale breeching as we neared the island. It's 5 in the evening, the church bells are ringing across the harbour, a quiet rain is settling over the lush slopes of Pele, the goddess that erupted, killing all but one inhabitant 110 years ago.
05/01/2012, Isles de Saintes
A rainbow tucked us in at Pelican Bay, last night, just adjacent to the Jacque Cousteau National Park, one of our favorite places to snorkel. Unfortunately 35 knot gusts from a persistent squall line scooted us into the anchorage, so we added to our list for next year and motorsailed to the Saints at first light in the morning. The wind is moving south all next week.
We picked up one of the new mooring buoys in front of the Village by 10:30, looked across at the postcard perfect seaside resort, and made a very difficult decision. Bash to weather for the next week or sip wine in sidewalk cafes?
You got it, we're staying here. "It's the choices you make.", or something like that, a great quote from a Harry Potter Book.
77 miles logged Nevis - Guadaloupe
3 sturgeon sea sick pills that worked!
30 knots of wind on the nose
8+ knots to windward reefed down
1 bucket lost to sea gods
4 portable diesel container lids lost to same greedy gods
1 pouring spout - sea gods dessert
1 douse of sulphur fumes from Montserrat's volcano
1 giant wave into cockpit, a first for Harlequinn
1 broken toe
All the above quickly forgotten as a pod of dolphins welcomed us into the anchorage, one piroutting on its tippy toes three times while we enthusiastically applauded follwed quickly by a turtle flipping us off. ( or perhaps a friendly wave?)
The tantalizing smell of baguettes baking woke us up this morning and we soon found ourselves sipping espresso and munching pastries at a little sidewalk table. Then across the street to buy a tiny, red, local pineapple, a big green avocado and a bundle of "seasoning for soup" including thyme, leeks, carrots, pumpkin, local celery, christophene and cabbage. Dinner tonight will be the above served with fresh mahi mahi James pulled in yesterday just after having stuffed our tummies and the freezer with an even larger 20 pounder a couple of days earlier.