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

Iles des Saintes with Freedom Girl

13 March 2024 | Iles des Saintes
Donna Cariss
We departed Bouillante at 0815, with Jimbo reporting that there was now a message on the Digicel site saying top up was unavailable due to maintenance. They were just going to have breakfast and would be right behind us, probably catching us quickly, as there was no wind and we would be motoring. I checked my phone and we had a message from Robin and Liz, on Circus, saying they had arrived in Deshaies and could we meet up; just a day too late! Marine Traffic told me that we were also going to miss Dave and Shani, on Joyful Surprise, as they were just leaving Iles des Saintes for Martinique. We were soon able to sail, with the wind up and down and although we spotted Freedom Girl in the distance behind us, they didn't get close enough to call on the VHF. After Basse-Terre, we started to get little squalls, with light rain and stronger winds but nothing too much to handle. In the distance, we could see yachts racing and they were well heeled over, so we put a reef in before we got there, which proved fruitful. As we left the end of Guadeloupe, we hit a big squall and put a second reef in, to deal with the 22-25 knot winds and then we disappeared into the gloom. With the wind veering, we were heading too far west and would miss the Saintes altogether so, 7 miles out from Terre-de-Haut, we dropped the sails and put the engine on and struggled into the wind and swell at about 3.5 knots. We could see blue sky and sunshine over Iles des Saintes, which kept us going and the last couple of miles were pleasant. We dropped the hook about 50 metres from where we had anchored on our previous visit to Terre-de-Haut, just in front of 'Brightness', who we seemed to be following around. It was 1400 hours. Looking back towards Guadeloupe, we could see nothing but grey and certainly couldn't see the island itself. We sat down to wait for Freedom Girl to arrive but they didn't appear. With no internet, they would be unable to contact us and we had to assume that they had taken shelter and decided not to cross in the squall, rather than anything untoward happening. We had a music night in the cockpit and slept pretty well.
Monday 11th March dawned bright and sunny and we could see Guadeloupe very clearly. I cleaned the heads and the galley, to occupy myself and then we kept a vigil in the cockpit as yachts departed and started to appear crossing the channel towards us. At 0930 we got a 'whoop whoop' on VHF channel 77; Jimbo and Lil were close by. Then we saw them tacking out from behind the island and back again towards the anchorage, where they anchored beside us. They had decided not to head into the squall and had anchored just outside a small marina at the southwest tip of Guadeloupe. They had a good sail over this morning. After lunch, we went ashore in Jimbo's dinghy and wandered the streets before going to Cafe a la Marine for a beer. Pete and I completed the forms for Clarkes Court boat yard in Grenada and Jimbo had another unsuccessful attempt at topping up his Digicel. We had a swim, back at the boat, before sundowners on Freedom Girl.
On Tuesday we hired a voiturette (golf cart) to explore the island of Terre-de-Haut, at the ridiculous price of €90, 50% more than we paid for a large car in Deshaies. The island is only 2km x 3km, very hilly and has lots of one way streets. It's very picturesque. We visited a number of beaches, on different sides of the island. One, on the Atlantic side, with a view of Marie Galante, was wild and windswept, with the small airstrip alongside it. Another, in a sheltered bay, behind a smaller island, had a long sandy beach, backed by trees, with picnic benches, showers and other amenities, in the typical French style. We headed up to the fort, walking the last half mile uphill, only to find that it had closed at 1230. Next stop was the Baie de Marigot, where we sat under a tree, outside a bar / restaurant, for a couple of beers. There were goats and chickens roaming everywhere on the island, with tens of chicks around this bay. We returned the golf cart at 1645, tired and hungry and we decided to head off the Dominica the next day. Back on Freedom Girl, we completed SailClear for both boats, before we returned to Muirgen and had curry for tea.
Wednesday morning, there were a number of small aeroplanes flying over the anchorage and coming in to land at the airstrip we had seen yesterday. Jimbo and Pete went into Terre-de-Haut to clear out and to check whether we could pull alongside the jetty for water but the customs office was closed until 2pm. They decided that we should just leave, taking the completed paper forms with us, along with a photo of the notice on the office door, in case there was any problem in Dominica. I suggested that the customs officials were probably down at the airstrip that morning, given the planes arriving. With that, we prepared to depart for Dominica, some 22 miles south.
Comments
Vessel Name: Muirgen
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Typhoon
Hailing Port: Hull
Crew: Donna and Peter Cariss
Muirgen's Photos - Main
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Photos of Muirgen preparations
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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.
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The Beautiful Kvitsoy
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Weekend with Hommersak Divers at Kvitsoy
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Created 30 May 2017
Mad creatures
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Created 29 May 2017
Getting to Norway and waiting for Donna to fly out
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Buying Muirgen
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Created 26 November 2016