Evening Ebb

s/v evening ebb

Port: Washington, DC
23 May 2023
14 May 2023
03 May 2023 | Guadeloupe
30 April 2023 | Guadeloupe
04 April 2023 | Portsmouth Dominica
22 March 2023 | Rodney Bay Marina, St Lucia
04 March 2023 | Admiralty Bay Bequia
18 December 2022 | Petit Martinique, Grenada, WI
21 September 2018 | prickly bay grenada
11 July 2017 | oaxaca mexico
11 May 2017 | prickly bay, grenada, west indies
02 March 2017 | frigate island, union island, svg, wi
27 February 2017 | tobago cays, svg, wi
24 February 2017 | saltwhistle bay, mayreau, svg, wi
23 February 2017
19 February 2017 | Tyrell Bay, Carriacou, Grenada
17 February 2017 | prickly bay, grenada, wi
20 January 2017 | prickly bay, grenada, west indies
09 November 2016 | Block Island RI
29 September 2016 | block island rhode island

Heading Home

23 May 2023
Sue S
On the 1st May we pulled the anchor and headed south to Dominica. We planned to spend the night at Base Terre at the southern end of Guadeloupe, since we wanted to make the crossing to Dominica in daylight. What little wind we had was coming from the northwest, but really there was no wind. Dirk and I played cards on deck and we didn't have any flying cards. Just outside Basse Terre the wind picked up and switched round to the East South East, ie on the nose!! The anchorage was very very rolly and windy, so not much sleep.

In the morning, we pulled the anchor and headed to Dominica. There was a slight burning smell which after checking below, we thought must be coming from shore. We motor sailed until we got clean wind at the bottom of the island, Then sailed for a few hours. We fired up the engine when we realised we were not able to lay Portsmouth in Dominica. There was definitely a burning smell and we discovered that the alternator was on fire so we shut down the engine and mulled over our options. Dirk remembered he had a spare alternator. He was able to switch alternators. None of the electrics from the alternator worked but we had a motor. He is such a star!!! We limped into Portsmouth late afternoon and got a mooring ball. The following day we cleared Customs and Immigration.

We spent a week in Portsmouth. I wanted to be in an English speaking country with good internet for the Coronation. We took a bus to Roseau to get a few staples that Portsmouth didn't have. I watched the Coronation. I took a bus over to Calibishie to visit Blackbeard Dairy and bought some Feta cheese. We had dinner with friends. We got the boat ready to sail non stop to Carriacou. We usually have several snacks to munch on underway and Dirk makes a big Tuna Pasta which is tasty and easy to dish up.

On the 11th of May we let go the mooring and headed south. The wind was predicted to come out of the East but it was North West all the way down Dominica. We motored sailed until we cleared the bottom of Dominica where we pulled out the jib and watched the sun go down. We did 2hr watches. I did the first watch. At 3.00am on Dirk"s watch between Martinique and St Lucia, I knew there was something wrong when suddenly I felt the boat slow and Dirk speak profanity from the cockpit!! The engine wasn't pulling us forward which Dirk deduced meant something was wrong with the prop shaft. Sure enough, we looked and there were no bolts holding the ccupling between the prop and the V drive together - two had sheared off and one was missing. So again we had no motor!! We attempted to lay Rodney Bay in St Lucia to get the problem sorted out, but the current and wind conspired against us. By this time Dirk found ONE bolt that would hold the prop shaft and V-drive together. Our hope was that we could use the engine just above idle to move us forward. So the decision was taken to head straight for Grenada and get help there.

We had good wind until half way down St Lucia and then it died. For 4/5 hours we drifted, going round in circles moving backwards with current. Finally we picked up a wind which sent us south west (we wanted to go south).. We went with the flow. Later in the night we pick up wind and were able to get back on track. Between St Lucia and St Vincent, again on Dirk's watch, he noticed the windvane (steers the boat) was not working, so we had to turn on the other Autopilot which can only be used in light - Moderate winds. When it was daylight we were able to see a bolt had broken. Dirk went to his trusty cup of spare screws and bolts and found one that fit and was able to repair the wind vane, - hanging over the stern of the boat with his knee wedged in to prevent him falling over board. Dirk knows his boat and is awesome to have on board.

During the night we hit the wind shadow of St Vincent and didn't move for 7/8 hours. Finally at lunch time, we were so frustrated that we turned on the engine for 1 and a 1/2 hours and it worked!! We had it just above idle going about 2.5-3kts We hit wind and it went from 5 Kts to 25kts in the space of 10 minutes. Fortunately we were able to use the wind vane because we had 20-25kt winds until we got to Grenada another 50 miles of sailing. We hit the wind shadow of Grenada at 2 am about a mile or two from where we wanted to pick up a mooring. We rolled up the jib and dropped the main before turning on the engine. We motored around the corner to Grand Mal knowing we could easily to pick up a mooring in the dark because we knew it so well. But the moorings were NOT there. We were in shock. It was now around 4 am so we decided to drift until light. We made a cup of coffee and sat in the cockpit listening to the Mother's Day Concert in the Stadium at St Georges. By 6 am we were safely on a mooring ball outside St Georges, finally able to relax. Later we slowly motored into Port Louis Marina so we could get someone to come and look at the engine.

Deshaies Guadeloupe

14 May 2023
Sue S
We put the dinghy on board, pulled up the anchor and motor-sailed 8 miles up the coast of Guadeloupe to Dehaises. It is a lovely fishing village but also known as the location for filming "Death in Paradise". We had a couple of tries at putting down the anchor, caught on a rock and after an hour we were too close to a boat whose anchor wouldn't extend completely. After lunch we put the dinghy in the water and went ashore to explore.

We found the Honore Police Station and Catherine's Bar which are featured in the TV series. They do tours of the Death in Paradise locations but were never open when I was there. I saw postings for extras for Death in Paradise - missed my opportunity to become famous!! More important, we found a Boulangerie, where they made lovely almond pastry, pain aux raisin, and baguettes, all very close to the dinghy dock. How convenient.

I went for a long hike over to the next bay, thinking I might see the shack that the police officer in Death in Paradise lived. No such luck. It did rain so I sheltered under a palm tree and watched the huge surf. Afterwards I went to investigate Sam's retro cafe just off the beech. It started to rain when I got there, so I had a drink and chatted to a French barmaid who was on holiday.

It definitely was retro or rather very basic -plywood table tops with legs and a few chairs, under tarpaulins covering. The other walk I did was to the Deshaies River. I didn't get too far as the rocks were very slippery and I was on my own.

Deshaies is know for its botanical gardens, not only does it have lovely plants but also parrots and flamingos. Dirk and I got our exercise by walking up and down the hills to Gardens, They were beautiful and well thought out. Unfortunately everything was in French and our French is limited, looking was great.

We had a drink and an appetizer at Catherine's bar of the TV show. It was similar to a lot of bars we have seen here in the Caribbean. We didn't eat out while in Deshaies, as nothing looked appealing, but we did get takeaway, which was very nice.

We made the decision to make this our last northern stop. I told Dirk that I wanted to be in an English speaking country to watch the coronation. Looking back now, I realized I could have watched the same thing in a French country but the internet in Deshaies was awful!!

We left Dehaises on 30th April overnighting at the bottom of Guadeloupe in a really really rolly anchorage. We left early the next day and headed for Dominica where we stayed for a week. This is the last of my blogs for this trip. Dirk is writing the 3 day return adventure trip for the blog.

Pigeon Island

03 May 2023 | Guadeloupe
Sue S
We dropped our mooring and headed up the west coast of Guadeloupe on the 13th April, heading for Pigeon Island. It is 2/3 up the coast and is famous for being the Jacques Cousteau Marine Park. The sailing was a bit rough to start but after about an hour it settled down. When we got in the wind shadow of Guadeloupe near Basse Terre, we pulled in the jib and motored sailed until Pigeon Island when the wind filled in from the West North West. It was very strange anchoring as we were pointing west. The prevailing winds are easterly trade winds, so boats usually head East not west. The other strange feature was that we were anchoring on a lee shore as the wind is blowing you onto the land normally it would blow away from the land. To make sure we were dug in, I got in the water and confirmed the anchor was set.

While anchoring I saw several turtles which I always take as a good omen. By nightfall, the boat had turned around and was facing east. The constant moving of the boat was a theme for this anchorage. In fact one morning we woke to find someone had put in a mooring close to us which was then taken by a cruising boat. We watched to see if we could stay. Finally I looked out the porthole and we were too close so we had to move. No sooner had we moved then boats came and anchored near us again, even though there was loads of space elsewhere. It seems that some French boats get lonely when they are too far from another boat.

I did a lot of snorkeling in this anchorage. The coastline provided more interesting sea life than around Pigeon Island. Along the coast I saw spotted eels, chain eels, rockfish, octopus, flounders, turtles and something looked like a cross between a baby shark and ray. We dove with a dive shop that took us to the Cousteau Marine Park, 5 mins away. I was expecting lots of variety of fish, coral, sponges but we were disappointed, it seem to have a lot less fish than Grenada and nothing unusual. I spent a morning snorkeling in the Cousteau Marine Park and didn't see much of interest.

Being a French island, we were still treated to the tantalizing smells and food as in IDS. The bakery had the most amazing almond pastries - the most delicious almond paste with pastry that melted in your mouth!! The baguettes were delicious as well and went so well with the amazing cheeses. We had a couple of lunches out. After diving I had a Bokit - flat fried bread sliced open with ham and cheese inside from a lunch wagon. It was delicious!

We had the best meal of the whole trip here at Le Rocher de Malendure. The guide book says " it is perched on top of a little headland, and you sit amid flowers overlooking the bay in cozy patio." The staff were attentive and the meal was fabulous. I had a salad of smoked fish, ceviche, seafood salad and tuna rillette. It was soooo... good. Dirk had grilled Asian Tuna done to perfection - pink in the middle and crispy on the outside.

Still along the food theme, there were two relatively large grocery stores, which are always interesting to go in and look at the cheeses, the smoked fish, rillettes du marlin or tuna. Also they had a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. To get to the grocery stores we had to tie our dinghy not to a dock but to rocks and scramble up and down. Challenging when one is loaded up with groceries. I was able to buy a few things at the pharmacy at a reasonable price.

Normally in the Caribbean, the eastern shores are covered with sargassum seaweed. We watched one afternoon while a huge amount of seaweed invaded the anchorage. The winds were very light and from the west. Slowly this huge island of seaweed moved in surrounding all the boats - very strangely, by morning most of the sargassum had disappeared and the wind was out of the east. I did a few hikes around the area, nothing spectacular but got me exercising.

We pulled our anchor on the 26th April and headed 8 miles up the coast to Deshaies, where "Death in Paradise" is filmed.

The Saintes

30 April 2023 | Guadeloupe
Sue S
We let go our mooring in Dominica on the 4th April and headed for the irresistible group of French islands Iles Des Saintes (IDS), south of Guadeloupe. We only went to picturesque seaside town of Bourgeois des Saintes on the largest island Terre d'en Haut with red roofs and balconies and cute little houses.

The roads are only one car width, so most locals and tourist travel by bike, electric bicycle or the occasional golf cart. I saw maybe 6 or 7 cars/vans. Several ferries come in most days carrying day-trippers from Guadeloupe. Tourism is the main industry. They have numerous boutique tourist stores and lots of restaurants. One of my fond memories of IDS is walking down the main street and being tantalized by the most delicious smell of French cooking and bread. We were introduced to the French afternoon siestas - most shops open from 9-1 and then 3.30 - 7.00. The Resturant's quite often didn't reopen until 7.00pm.

The harbour is very deep so they have lots mooring balls - French mooring balls where I had to thread the rope through an eye on the mooring ball - nearly impossible to do. I was extremely luck to have a "mooring ball angel" come to my rescue in the form of Hedrick (a fellow cruiser) who got in his dinghy, came over and helped me tie up to the mooring, he was rewarded with a few beers. We put the dinghy in the water and went ashore to do customs and immigration, which is done by computer at a store called LSM which only opens from 2.00-4.00 with just one computer. We had 4 boats ahead of us. This store also had washing machines and driers and helped us with water. We did our laundry before we left and it took the whole two hours and the clothes still weren't dry so we finished drying them on the boat.

IDS is a great place to hike and I did several. On Good Friday, I walked to the top of Chameau Hill which I thought was 313' high, but I read it wrong. It was 313 meters ie 1044' high. I made it!!

The downhill trail was paved so that made it easier than climbing over rocks like I did on the way up. The trails in IDS and Guadeloupe in general are well marked with yellow paint on the rocks or trees indicating where to go. I did a couple of other hikes. I felt safe and they were easy to follow, great way to get exercise. Swimming wasn't really an option as the Bay/harbour was busy with ferries, yachts, dinghy and wing foil classes. It was entertaining to sit in the cockpit and just watch all the activities, who would get a mooring ball, how long it took for boats anchored in the wrong place to be told to move and watch the performance of the wingfoil participants do there thing.

There is an old Napoleon Fort on the northern side of the bay, which we walked up to and explored. It was really well restored and the views were spectacular. It was a clear day and we were easily able to see Guadeloupe 6 miles away.

We had several meals out and choose to do lunch rather than dinner. One of the things IDS is famous for is 'Tourments D'amour' tarts made of a pastry case filled with Jam or coconut then a cake on top see the picture. They tasted best - when they were warmed and whipped cream on top. The other nice thing about being on a French island were the baguettes, pastries, and cheeses. They are sooo.... Delicious.

Our French isn't great but we were able to make ourselves understood. I have been doing duolingo for the past 2 months but it seemed to go out the window when I needed it most. Oh well, I will keep doing the French I can only improve. The other issue we had was internet access. In all countries that use EC$, Digicel will honor our Grenada plan. We were now using euros, we thought we could purchase a SIM card but they didn't sell any on IDS. So we had a challenge with wifi for the first few days until Dirk worked out the best package for us was roaming with Digicel.

We left on the 13th April, as we had to wait for a weather window and had a great sail up to Pigeon Island.
Vessel Name: s/v Evening Ebb
Vessel Make/Model: 1979 Pearson 365 Ketch
Hailing Port: Washington, DC
The boat's name comes from a poem by Robinson Jeffers: Evening Ebb The ocean has not been so quiet for a long while; five nightherons Fly shorelong voiceless in the hush of the air Over the calm of an ebb that almost mirrors their wings. The sun has gone down, and the water has gone [...]
s/v Evening Ebb's Photos - Main
36 Photos
Created 27 January 2013
Traveling shots on the ICW Jan 2013.
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Created 5 January 2013
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Created 20 December 2012

s/v evening ebb

Port: Washington, DC