Born of the Sea

Preparing for a phased retirement on the sea. Muirgen (Gaelic for 'born of the sea')

14 May 2024 | Union Island, SVG
10 May 2024 | Mayreau, Grenadines
09 May 2024 | Tobago Cays, Grenadines
07 May 2024 | Mayreau, Grenadines
05 May 2024 | Mustique, Grenadines
02 May 2024 | Baliceaux, Grenadines
01 May 2024 | Bequia, SVG
22 April 2024 | Saint Vincent
15 April 2024 | Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia
08 April 2024 | Saint Lucia National Parks
06 April 2024 | Rodney Bay / Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
31 March 2024 | Sainte Anne, Martinique
13 March 2024 | Iles des Saintes
10 March 2024 | Deshaies, Guadeloupe
03 March 2024 | Monserrat to Guadeloupe
02 March 2024 | Monserrat

A Week in Deshaies

10 March 2024 | Deshaies, Guadeloupe
Donna Cariss
On account of arriving in Deshaies on Saturday, having agreed to meet Jimbo and Lil, of Freedom Girl, on Monday and then them being delayed by various electrical issues and not arriving until Thursday, we ended up spending a whole week in Deshaies (Guadeloupe). It's fair to say that a week in Deshaies is too long but we learned that staying in one place for a period of time is how you really meet other sailors, find out what they know and where they are going. We briefly met Jo and Carl, from Widnes, on our way back from our post passage beer and agreed to catch up with them for a beer and to provide insight for their trip to Antigua but unfortunately that never happened, as they departed before we had a chance. Features of Saturday evening were the Air France jet dumping its excess fuel (what a smell) and a very strange band performing onshore until late at night.
On Sunday, I was up, bleary-eyed, to WhatsApp call the family, who were all gathered at Mum's for Kyla's (my niece) 9th birthday. We went to clear in but customs was closed on Sundays, so had a walk, visited the ATM and went to Catherine's Bar (real name Le Madras), of Death in Paradise fame for a drink. We returned there for dinner but it wasn't great, obviously living on its TV location.
On Monday, we were moved from our anchorage because our anchor was about 3 metres inside the boundary of the mooring buoy field and we had to anchor well out as the anchorage was very busy. We cleared in, after a bit of a wait for the tardy team of customs boys, then shopped for provisions before returning to the boat. We spotted, on Marine Traffic, that Dave and Shani (Joyful Surprise) were closing in on Deshaies but they headed down to Pigeon after seeing how busy Deshaies was. Hopefully we will catch up with them later. We did meet Adam, solo sailing on a 34 foot Gibsea, who anchored behind us. He stopped to chat on his way to the dinghy dock and ended up staying for lunch and all afternoon, during which time Pete helped him re-anchor a couple of times, as he was dragging. We decided that his chain was so heavy that it wasn't allowing his anchor to catch and dig in. He eventually ended up on a mooring buoy.
On Tuesday, it was still blowing hard in Deshaies. There really hadn't been much let up since we arrived. We were confident that the anchor would hold and Pete had snorkelled to confirm that it was well dug in (up to the hilt), so we decided to visit the botanical gardens, 1.5km outside Deshaies. On route, we spotted a Westerly Oceanlord, called Locomocean, so stopped to chat, meeting Martin and Debbie. Again, we agreed to catch up later. The gardens are at the top of a very steep hill. You can call for a free shuttle bus to collect you but Adam had told us we could flag it down as it went backwards and forwards, if it wasn't in the carpark at the bottom of the hill, so we decided to start walking. It was midday and extremely hot and the minibus never came. We were dripping by the time we arrived at the gardens and some people in a car congratulated us on our achievement. The shade and breeze in the gardens was welcome, as was the beer at the end. The gardens were pleasant, especially the parrots and parakeets but they were busy, with lots of children around and we didn't enjoy them as much as the gardens on Nevis. We called for the bus to take us back down the hill! Adam invited us for evening drinks and provided some very nice bread and cheese, plus chorizo which he still had from Spain, prior to his Atlantic crossing.
It was a very windy and uncomfortable night and we were up early on Wednesday morning. The Austrians in front of us had dragged their anchor and were very close to us but they were up and preparing to leave. There was a mass exodus from Deshaies. I spent the morning doing my beauty regime, before going ashore to book car hire for Friday, when Jimbo and Lil would be with us. On our way back to the boat, we met another British couple, Peter and Ingrid, on Ocean Deva. They live in France and have done so for around 30 years. They invited us to call for drinks any evening after 6pm. Next stop was Adam's yacht, Francis Bee, so we could say goodbye before he left for Antigua the next morning. The wind gusted again overnight but dropped off in the early hours.
Thursday saw another mass exodus from Deshaies. We went over to Locomocean for coffee and croissants and Martin and Debbie provided lots of useful information about Grenada and other places that we plan to visit. They said that they were planning to leave early on Friday but had been to clear out and customs, fuel and water were all closed today and then I remembered that someone has said it was a French bank holiday today. They would need to wait and clear out at 0830 hours on Friday. It wasn't good news for us either as we had planned to fill up with water today, making several trips in the dinghy with our empty 5 litre bottles. At 1330 Jimbo and Lil arrived. I spotted Freedom Girl coming round the headland. They appeared to be looking for us but missed us completely, so as soon as they were anchored, we went over in the dinghy and took them a refreshing beer. Later, we had drinks on Freedom Girl, watching the sunset.
First thing on Friday we moved to a mooring buoy because we would be away all day. Jimbo would be driving the car and we were heading for Pointe-Pitre, the capital of Guadeloupe, to buy a sim card that covers all of the Caribbean islands. It can only be purchased on the French islands though. As we passed through Saint Rose, I spotted a Digicel shop, so we went in there, to be told that the deal we wanted was no longer available but there was another similar option called Nomad. However, they didn't have the sim cards and we needed to go to the Digicel shop in the shopping centre outside Pointe-Pitre. We were shocked at how the narrow roads suddenly became 3 and 4 land highways and became clogged with traffic. It was like being in Lyon or Bordeaux! Google Maps took us to the right carpark and entrance to the massive mall and we found the Digicel kiosk just inside. The young man spoke very good English and was very helpful. Jimbo took Nomad, at €45 per month, as he could switch it off when back in the UK, providing he topped it up with €10 every 3 months or so. Pete took a 12 month contract at €29.99 which activated immediately. This was OK for us as we would be in the Caribbean for 8 or 9 of the 12 months. Next stop was the marina to buy various items to allow us to lift the dinghy on the side of the boat at night. Now for some sightseeing. We took the scenic route around the coast, on steep and winding roads but as the rain came down, we couldn't see Iles des Saintes or any of the views. Twice, in a village, we went the wrong way down a one way street and had to turn round. Pete got really angry at a man in a van that was honking his horn and gesticulating at Jimbo. We ended up in the village where the ferry goes across to Iles des Saintes and just made it into a bar as the torrential rain came down again. On the way back to Deshaies, we called to the Leaderprice and Carrefour, at Pigeon, to shop. Back on Freedom Girl, after returning the car, we had the first attempt at registering Jimbo to top up his new Digicel Nomad account. We eventually created the account but couldn't top up.
On Friday morning, having done a single run for water (50 litres) and being charged for a cubic metre, we were ready to depart for Bouillante, 12 miles down the coast. We had run out of time to go for drinks on Ocean Deva but would catch up with them again later. There was no wind, so we motored, Freedom Girl overtaking us. Then we suddenly had 18 knots of wind and Pete being in the heads, I attempted to put the foresail out on my own but I wasn't strong enough to hold the gib sheet and the outhaul at the same time, so I was stuck holding on until Pete came up to help. We sailed for an hour, to just beyond Pigeon, then dropped the sails and caught up with Freedom Girl, to show them where we would anchor. We hauled Jimbo up his mast to fix a lazyjack and had another failed attempt at Digicel Nomad top up, then had a swim. I was stung twice by jellyfish threads. There was a fantastic sunset and we had a good night on board, ready for our trip to the Saintes.
Comments
Vessel Name: Muirgen
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Typhoon
Hailing Port: Hull
Crew: Donna and Peter Cariss
Muirgen's Photos - Main
No Photos
Created 1 April 2024
26 Photos
Created 22 March 2024
49 Photos
Created 22 March 2024
19 Photos
Created 22 March 2024
30 Photos
Created 3 March 2024
5 Photos
Created 3 March 2024
84 Photos
Created 3 March 2024
7 Photos
Created 3 March 2024
29 Photos
Created 4 February 2024
22 Photos
Created 4 February 2024
32 Photos
Created 24 January 2024
31 Photos
Created 24 January 2024
14 Photos
Created 27 December 2023
9 Photos
Created 11 September 2023
15 Photos
Created 11 September 2023
44 Photos
Created 11 September 2023
13 Photos
Created 9 August 2023
9 Photos
Created 9 August 2023
10 Photos
Created 9 August 2023
12 Photos
Created 9 August 2023
9 Photos
Created 19 July 2023
10 Photos
Created 19 July 2023
66 Photos
Created 14 July 2023
10 Photos
Created 14 July 2023
3 Photos
Created 24 May 2023
65 Photos
Created 20 September 2022
56 Photos
Created 9 July 2022
13 Photos
Created 7 July 2022
7 Photos
Created 18 April 2022
19 Photos
Created 3 April 2022
22 Photos
Created 3 April 2022
3 Photos
Created 10 September 2021
3 Photos
Created 10 September 2021
4 Photos
Created 2 October 2020
16 Photos
Created 26 September 2020
13 Photos
Created 23 September 2020
11 Photos
Created 27 August 2020
27 Photos
Created 25 August 2020
9 Photos
Created 25 August 2020
11 Photos
Created 18 August 2020
16 Photos
Created 15 August 2020
22 Photos
Created 15 August 2020
18 Photos
Created 10 August 2020
10 Photos
Created 7 August 2020
20 Photos
Created 3 August 2020
14 Photos
Created 3 August 2020
20 Photos
Created 27 July 2020
10 Photos
Created 26 July 2020
29 Photos
Created 18 July 2020
5 Photos
Created 18 July 2020
12 Photos
Created 18 July 2020
Photos of Muirgen preparations
8 Photos
Created 12 July 2020
39 Photos
Created 11 August 2017
52 Photos
Created 6 August 2017
35 Photos
Created 6 August 2017
10 Photos
Created 6 August 2017
26 Photos
Created 6 August 2017
4 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
13 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
14 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
5 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
10 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
6 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
13 Photos
Created 21 July 2017
30 Photos
Created 1 July 2017
15 Photos
Created 23 June 2017
Photos are limited as the weather was dreadful and was mostly a white out. Photos are from the phone as too wet to take the cameras.
10 Photos
Created 19 June 2017
9 Photos
Created 17 June 2017
11 Photos
Created 15 June 2017
17 Photos
Created 15 June 2017
The Beautiful Kvitsoy
5 Photos
Created 5 June 2017
Weekend with Hommersak Divers at Kvitsoy
8 Photos
Created 5 June 2017
13 Photos
Created 30 May 2017
Mad creatures
16 Photos
Created 29 May 2017
Getting to Norway and waiting for Donna to fly out
6 Photos
Created 18 May 2017
12 Photos
Created 6 December 2016
Buying Muirgen
6 Photos
Created 26 November 2016