Weeks with friends.
11 December 2015
A week after splashing, Anne, a friend from the US, joined me for a couple of weeks and we planned to head north to Martinique to enjoy some pretty anchorages and enjoy the great wines, cheeses and banquettes that go with the territory. No to fast sailor!
Anne arrived Saturday. Sunday the head (toilet) was blocked solid! Through no fault of Anne's, I might add. Damn!
I managed to get hold of a friend of mine who had worked on my boat in the yard and he installed a rebuild kit that I had. No go. The pipes were blocked. So out they came, eventually. No easy job. They were blocked solid with "toilet concrete" as he called it. Dexter took the pipes ashore and literally beat the stuffing out of them. This had built up over the life of the boat. 16 years. I would have replaced them with new ones but there was none in Carriacou and we wanted to get going. Monday evening he was back aboard installing them and it worked like a dream.
Thanks Dexter! Anne was a champion through out this ordeal. Needless to say, buckets were involved but that's another story.
Tuesday we went alongside the fuel dock for water, diesel and to check out with customs and immigration. We then had a gentle sail to Chatham Bay, Union island, where we anchored for the night. The next morning we were up and headed to Cumberland Bay, on the west coast of St. Vincent. We overnighted there and then sailed up to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, where we spent the night, and from there it was a motor sail to Saint Anne's, Martinique. Here we caught up with friends on Partners, Secret Smile and Emma. It's a pretty bay with a quaint seaside town. Small supermarkets and boulangeries abound. There's even a baguette and croissant delivery service in the bay. A lady in a dinghy comes around to the boats at about 06:30 with them still piping hot. And pan au chocolat too. What a treat.
We spent a couple of days there, snorkeling etc. and then made our way into Le Marin. This is a large bay with hundreds, maybe thousands of boats anchored or moored, and every service that a boat owner could wish for. There's a huge supermarket which even has it's own dinghy dock. Needless to say, a lot of time was spent loading up with wine, cheeses etc. Luckily I had raised the waterline.
We had lunch in the new marina, walked around and just enjoyed being in a European country for a change.
After getting a few chores done we went back out to Saint Anne's to enjoy the clear water etc. The evenings were littered with various cocktail and happy hours and we all produced great snacks so dinner wasn't needed.
Sadly it was time for Anne to fly back home. We had had a lot of laughs and generally a great time together. She was fun to sail with and great help around the boat. And it's never been cleaner! Thanks Anne!
A day or two later, Partners and I took off to Anse Mitan in the Fort de France bay. We spent a night there but weren't too impressed so motored over to Fort de France proper where we stayed for a couple of nights. More food shopping done!
I took off in the morning for Saint Pierre and dropped the pick there for the night. Partners left that afternoon and did an overnight trip up to Les Saintes. The following morning I took off for Portsmouth, Dominica, in the company of Pipe Muh Bligh and Secret Smile. An overnight there and then Pipe and I sailed up to Les Saintes. The sail from Saint Pierre to Portsmouth was great. A close reach and Golightly hurtled along with a top speed of just over nine knots. Fastest ever!
The sail from Portsmouth to Les Saints we had similar winds but larger seas. At one stage it was all getting a bit out of hand. The boat was all over the place with the large seas and I was concerned about gybing. So I slowed the boat down by spilling the main sail and she settled very nicely. Happy me. I arrived in the anchorage, dropped the pick, squared the boat away and was in the water an hour later where I happened upon a lobster. So the lobster, garlic and cream cheese dip was enjoyed aboard Partners, with Pipe, that evening.
All is good aboard Golightly.