27 January 2019 | guadeloupe
One of the great pleasures with my sailing life is the ability to have guests on board. I do not like solo sailing so I like to always have others on board to share the experience. I do run into other solo sailors that cant wait to get rid of their guests and have the boat all to themselves. As I spend time with them I understand why they are alone in the first place.
Cindy and I pick up a wonderful younger couple in Martinique to sail with us north to Guadeloupe. The weather is wonderful and the sailing is easy, until the last stretch from Les Saints to the anchorage in Point a Petrie. It starts out nice and calm with gentle seas and a nice breeze. The further we go, the worse it becomes. The row of clouds in front of us keeps getting closer and darker.
“Let’s take some sail down,” I tell my crew. We start getting some of the sails in but not quite soon enough as a squall hits us with 40 knot winds. (Thunderstorm in landlubber terms.)
“Put more wraps on the winch,” I say to Cindy
“It isn’t coming in.”
Brad runs over to help and between the two of them they are able to start getting the roller furling moving to roll up the front sail.
“Oh Crap,” I say as the jib sheet runs out of the blocks and is wrapping itself around the working jib sheet on the other side. I forgot to put in a keeper knot on the end to keep that from happening. It is those little oversights that cause big problems when you least want them.
Loving the adventure, Brad is on the foredeck bouncing up and down with the wind and waves as he unwraps the line so we can get it all the way in.
We arrive safely at our anchorage and drop the anchor and heave a sigh of relief. I examine why the line to the roller furling was so hard to pull in and see the leader block that guides the line back to the cockpit is a twisted man of stainless and plastic.
“So that is why it was so hard to get the head sail in.”
I had added this new block last year to make it easier to pull it in but I made the mistake of getting one too small. You always seem to pay for those small mistakes when you are sailing.
I realize that for very active people who depend on exercise everyday, sailing is not the best solution. There is too much sitting time. As soon as we hit the shore, they are off running up the hillsides, renting bikes or swimming to get that endorphin fix. When we reach Dominica we hire a driver to take us to the southern end of the island. There is a 45 minute hike to Milford falls where we can swim under the waterfall. It takes us a little longer than 45 minutes but it is a gorgeous hike through the rainforest. We are all tired by the time we get back and head to lunch and then to a hot spring for an afternoon soak. This is so good I might have to do it all over again if I have another opportunity.
All in all a very fun trip and a fun month. Cindy who was a very good first mate, excellent cook, and loved being in charge for the well being of our guests.