• Day111

    Deshais, Guadeloupe

    January 9, 2016 in Guadeloupe ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    In all of our travels, Mike & I have never geared up for a destination, traveled there, then left; all the while never completely knowing the correct way to pronounce the town we were visiting. Before we left two people who have been there pronounced it differently, while we were there the transients mumbled different ways to say Deshaies, and even as we left… other cruisers just shrugged their shoulders. We have confirmed pronunciation now….

    DSC_0389From Falmouth Harbor Antigua to Deshaies Guadeloupe, it’s about 40 nm. We left early and caught great wind, a bit gusty from the land at times but overall beautiful. In our sail we got a bit cocky, in which, the Ocean responded very clearly with a rogue wave dousing me (at the helm), the wind completely dying then changing direction, then taking one of our winch handles (we then performed a winch overboard drill – yes OUR Titan winch handles by Lewmar DO float…. they look “dinkey” but by George, they float… Plus, we’re not down a winch handle ! woot). We learned a lot how wind moves and fluctuates as you near land.

    Deshaies is a small sleepy town on the NW side of Basse Terre. It has beautiful mountainous terrain and steep slopping harbor to go with it. We found most people anchored in 30-40 feet of water. The mountains can create high winds that funnel into the harbor so anchoring can be a bit dicey. If you’re lucky you grab a free mooring ball. When we arrived it was crowded and one mooring ball was available but it had markings on it that was different from the surrounding balls. Unsure if it was public we left it alone and anchored near shore snuggly between a steel-hulled French boat and a black boat from Nantucket.

    {Kirsten’s Little Glory Story: In the process of anchoring Gaia drifted a little too close for comfort to the Nantucket boat. I was at the helm (Mike on anchor duty) and the other captain tended to his own bow. I threw over a fender and calmly maneuvered the boat as best I could waiting to make the turn so our davits didn’t hit his boat. The captain on the Nantucket boat seemed impressed that I didn’t crack under pressure and asked us over for drinks.}

    We had drinks with these salty seasoned sailors and serendipitously found out one of the men lived but only a few blocks away from Anne, Mike’s moms home on the Cape! Thousands of miles away in Guadeloupe, on this night, in this anchorage we happened to sit next to a “neighbor”! Talk about ‘Of all the gin joints in the world’… WOW. So we enjoyed our tropical drinks with, OF COURSE, nutmeg freshly ground on top. :) Then a dinghy with two ladies came up to the boat. They handed over a package of beautiful tuna steaks. Mike & I quizzically looked over as to …. what was going on… You could place your orders with these ladies and they would deliver food to you, really good food. I heard “croissant almond” in all the French conversations and knew I needed to get in on this. Without hesitations I threw up my hand waving frantically saying ‘ Bonjour! Je voudrais du croissant. silt tu plait.’ And that was that. Like placing a trade on my stock portfolio I had just engaged in a kind of futures contract. Tomorrow would be the delivery. They soon left and we continued our drinking.

    {Anchoring Woes Story: Around 5 AM the wind and current caused the boats to “dance” around their anchors in an odd manner. I heard an odd noise. Opened my eyes and saw a beam of light in our boat. We were hitting the French boat behind us! We jumped up turned the engine on pulled up the anchor and politely left the anchorage area. The odd looking mooring ball was still available so we grabbed that. At 6:45 AM we awoke again to grab a more “legit” looking morning ball as soon as someone left. And by 7:30 AM the croissant women arrived with my breakfast. Best Croissant Ever. And we all lived happily ever after.}
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