S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Quiet Weekend

Saturday, January 13
Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe
N 15 degrees, 52.029 minutes
W 061 degrees, 35.091 minutes

We arrived in the Saints on Tuesday after a quick stop in Dominica and another great day of sailing (okay, half-day. We motor-sailed the length of Dominica because the island's mountains are so tall they not only block the wind, they cause it to back around to the west). Pancho, the "boat helper" in Rouseau, was quick to turn around our propane refill, saving us a bus trip with the tank, and allowing us to forgo checking into the country.

And now we are back in French territory, in a small archipelago south of Guadeloupe proper, where we have done nothing much for several days, and we expect to do more of the same until Tuesday, when the wind abates and (we hope) clocks further south, giving us another shot at a great sail to the main island of Guadeloupe.

We did rouse ourselves to climb up to Fort Napolean, an extremely well-preserved fort with excellent exhibits on the Battle of the Saints in 1782, the original fishing community on the islands, early island furniture, and even art. From there we could see Delilah bobbing at anchor, the only boat in the one of the remote northerly harbors on the main island. That suited us fine until the wind came around to the north, making Baie du Marigot an EXPOSED anchorage, and we found ourselves moving to the deeper, more crowded anchorage off the main village.

Since then we have enjoyed watching the Goldilocks-like comings and goings in this large but not quite perfect harbor, as boats test one and then another potential spot, looking for a place that's not too deep, nor too crowded, nor too rolly, but just right. Eventually they compromise, as we did after several failed attempts at tucking in somewhere shallow.

In spite of being rather deep, the main anchorage does not shelve drastically, so it is quite large. Almost every day we've watched several smallish cruise ships anchoring in the bay, with lots of passengers on shore speaking very loud English and commenting on our Red Sox caps. We've noticed, with disgust, that residents of the Caribbean wear a lot of Yankees hats and shirts, but more because of the cache of affiliating oneself with such a famous city than because of the team, baseball taking a distant back seat to soccer and cricket around these parts. Nobody ever said a word to us about the Red Sox until the cruise ships rolled in.

This morning there were no cruise ships, so I entertained myself by heading to the best bakery in town, realizing shortly thereafter that I was just in time for their final batch of baguettes to come out of the oven. There was no line, just a mob of eager and impatient customers. The French don't seem to care for lines, so I elbowed my way in there and got one of the coveted loaves, along with a poulet roti--a small roasted chicken that Dean and I picked clean for lunch, and which I am now cooking down to stock for dinner.

This evening's excitement included watching three enormous, private yachts arriving in the bay and taking up just about as much room as the cruise ships do. What's most notable about these boats, aside from the fact that they are 150 feet or more in length, is that they are all motorsailers, the duck-billed platypuses of the yachting world. Two of the boats at least try to look like sailboats, in spite of the fact that they have multiple floors above decks, but one boat just looks like a regular multistory powerboat that somebody jammed a few masts into and then called it a day. I can't imagine how it could possibly sail. I also can't imagine how we will gain admittance to one of these boats, but we will work on that tomorrow.


Post a Comment

<< Home