Saturday, February 17, 2007


As I mentioned in the last update, we were sitting at anchor off Portsmouth, Dominica, when the wind died. Vagus slowly turned with the current, beam on to the incoming swell. We started to roll - not a gentle roll, but a hang-on roll. It also had been raining a lot during our stay and there was the type of overcast that made you feel you were in Vancouver (although warmer, Karen says). As well we had been subjected to three nights of loud music from the partying ashore - till 4 or 5 in the morning - as carnival was starting. Although it was not the best day to leave according to the weather reports, it was an okay day and we needed sleep.

After we raised anchor and motored out the harbour, Legend called to say they were leaving as well. They volunteered to take our picture under sail and they got some great shots, including the one posted. Yes, that is Vagus and we are not sinking. These were just some of the big swells we were sailing in. Legend is a 62 foot sailboat and sits very high over the water compared to our boat. The sail was actually quite comfortable; the seas were just big. We did get hit by a 30 knot squall near The Saints (our destination). We were two miles from a tricky passage through some reefs when the wind and rains hit. Visibility dropped to about 50 feet as we raced under main sail only (we had already rolled in our Genoa)at 7 knots towards the hard bits ashore. We decided to heave-to and wait through the squall. After about ten minutes, Vagus and I were thoroughly washed (Karen, of course, was still dry), the sky was clear and we could see where we wanted to go.

A few miles later, we anchored off the main village in a group of islands called The Saints, or properly called Isles des Saintes. They are part of Guadeloupe, a French Island. Ah! Back to the land of fresh baguettes! The Saints is a tourist destination for people from Guadeloupe. Every morning ferry loads of people arrive at the main dock, disperse throughout the island, walking or on motor scooters, and visit the forts, beaches, restaurants, etc. It was a great spot to visit and explore. The area is clean and picturesque. We hiked to Fort Napoleon, once again on the highest hill in the area. And we got in some snorkeling with Legend. Hopefully you can see one shot of Karen in the water and us relaxing in the dinghy before heading aback to the boat. The water temperature was down to 26C - a little cooler than we are used to.

After a week, we decided to go to Deshaies on the North West corner of Guadeloupe. We met up with some friends on Rovinkind II, a Canadian boat out of Nova Scotia. We had last seen them in 2004 in Spanish Wells, Bahamas. Together we toured the botanical gardens. Karen averaged a picture every 95 seconds - glad we are digital. The gardens were great. There are numerous hikes here but the weather opened up for a run to Antigua - due North 43 miles away. So once again we were off. More later.

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