Friday, April 5, 2013

Les Saintes and the wind

I thought that we were in for a few days of calm, and that we were going to be able to relax and enjoy the Easter Week-End. But Eole had decided otherwise, and the whole week-end we had to deal with fresh winds which made getting in and out of the dinghy a little challenging. The moorings there have an aluminum eye way too low, almost out of reach for Karen or even me. So, the game was to try and keep the boat steady while attempting to get a line through the loop, then get it on the other side of the eye with a boat hook, hope there is enough length to get it back on the boat and tie it up somewhere while the boat settles down. We succeeded on the second attempt, which was not too bad, considering how everybody else was doing.
After that, came the drill of putting the dinghy in the water, and then putting the engine on the dinghy with a constant 2 feet chop and the boat rolling quite a bit. This took time and energy and we were exhausted once this was done.
Then we went ashore, but since I could not remember the place, we could not find a decent dinghy dock and we chose to take the dinghy to an apparently empty beach. We pulled it out of reach for the rising tide, and went to town to register with the harbour master and look at what was available. We had lunch there, on the water and I thought that there was a better location for the dinghy not far from that restaurant. After that, going back to the dinghy, we found it blocked behind a row of small sailing dinghies that people were preparing for a kids sailing school. Not easy to drag our dinghy back to the water. So, when we went back ashore for dinner, Ie took the dinghy to the other spot near the restaurant, at first wondering why people were looking at us with much interest, until we touched rocks with the prop of the dinghy, fortunately with no damage.
We had a wonderful dinner in a restaurant with a very unusual and pleasant setting, with almost each table on a different level, and a "rainforest" like decor, with plants and birds.
We then dinghied back to the boat for a night of rolling and pitching not very pleasant.
The next day, we had become wiser and had found the dinghy dock hidden behind the ferry dock, and that's where we went to take care of laundry and visit the place.
We came back late morning to the boat, as we knew that Jean and his nephew Christophe were arriving early afternoon on the Amel Saintorin that Jean just bought in Martinique and took to Guadeloupe to recertify his life raft.
After drnks on Papy Jovial, we went ashore, this time for a Moroccoan style dinner, couscous with lamb, merguez and chicken. Very pleasant evening.
Once again, the night was not the best that it could have been, with some choppy waters coming in from the north.
The next day, we did basically a repeat of the previous day, this time having dinner at a very nice restaurant on the water and on the west side of the harbour.
Jean and Christophe will leave for Dominica after one more day in Les Saintes, and we will leave tomorrow morning for marina Riviere Sens which is only 12 miles away from Les Saintes. But not without experiencing a little more of the chop and roll.

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