Monday, April 9, 2007

Visited Fort Napoleon again. And missed our friends!

April 9, 2007  Monday
Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe

We missed our friends!!!!!  This is so disappointing!  We had been very much looking forward to seeing Tony and Sandy on S/V Columbine during our trip south.  They were working their way north through the Windwards as we were making our way south through the Leewards.  Figured we would meet somewhere around Dominica or Martinique

Since we have not had internet access very frequently for the past four months, we rarely checked in on their website.  Bill had sent them a few emails but received no response.  I checked their boat card info on Friday and realized that Bill was sending emails to their AOL address instead of their Winlink email address, so they probably never received any of the emails from Bill.  Also on Friday we checked their website and saw that they had recently arrived in Antigua!  They sailed within 10 miles of us while we were at the Marina Bas du Fort in Guadeloupe!

We could sail up to Nevis and visit with them there, but we can’t really justify sailing back north when we are on our way south.  So, sorry, Sandy and Tony; hopefully we will meet up again some day.

We also learned this weekend that another couple that we also really wanted to meet up with are still in Bequia – Dennis and Allayne on S/V Audrey Paige.  They will be returning to Trinidad to leave their boat while they fly home for the summer.  Then they will head to Puerto La Cruz and points westward.  Hopefully we will meet up with them somewhere along the way as we will be traveling nearly the same path.  We will try to stay in touch with them via email every few months.

A note to any cruisers who plan to visit Iles des Saintes:  there is a current through this anchorage.  It causes boats to face very strange directions whenever the winds are light.  A few days ago a boat came forward on its anchor chain until its pulpit was within hands reach from our cockpit!  I got out a fender and we watched it for hours until the owner returned.  Bill told them how close their boat was getting and they pulled anchor and moved.  Good thing this happened during the daytime.  A bump at night would be most disturbing.  The current creates a line through the anchorage.  Those boats to the south of this line will point toward the east, or direction of wind.  Those boats to the north of this line will point toward the south, with the light winds on their beam.  The boat that was moving up on us was on the north of the current line and we were on the south of the current line; so the current caused our boats to be perpendicular to one another and to come within 2 feet of one another. 

April 9, 2007  Monday

Today we walked back up to Fort Napoleon.  Good exercise; I again used the walking sticks and it made a huge difference in walking up that incline.  This time we went inside the fort.  It is worth seeing if you are in this area.  A very impressive fort.  Have to pity those poor men who had to build that thing in this tropical heat back in the days of no machinery.

Then we walked to the other end of town to buy some of the local smoked fish.  We wanted to clear out with Customs this afternoon, but the police department was closed on Mondays.  The police handle the Customs clearance here; they fax the paperwork to mainland Guadeloupe because there is no real Customs office on this island.  We wanted to clear out this afternoon so that we could leave early tomorrow morning for Dominica.  But we will have to wait to clear out tomorrow morning.  It is only a 20 mile passage so it really doesn’t matter if our departure is delayed until late morning.  Just want to be out of here by noon. 

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