Sunday May 14th, 2000

Left St. Martin at 8am. The wind was a little north of east which is beneficial. The wind is more often out of the southeast, which is the direction we want to go. We headed up, pointing between 125 and 150 degrees magnetic (110-135 true) for about 50 miles. Getting east put us in a good position even if the wind shifted more towards the south. At that point we adjusted our course to 170 degrees magnetic, straight for Anse Deshaies, which is on the north west side of Basse Terre, Guadeloupe. This course took us between Antigua and Montserrat, famous for blowing it's volcanic top in 1995 and continuing to erupt until March of 1998. -DWH

Monday May 15th, 2000

Continued sailing through the night with people taking shifts at the helm of about 2 hours at a time. A second person is always on call and plots our position every hour, with naps in-between.

It is great to have Matty along. An extra person means we all get more sleep.

Arrived at Anse Deshaies at 7am. Cleared customs, but other than that it was a pretty lazy day with lots of napping. -DWH

Tuesday May 16th, 2000

Guadeloupe consists of two large islands, Basse Terre and Grande Terre, and several small islands. We are on Basse Terre which is mountainous and covered with rain forest. The center of the island is all national forest.

Deshaies, the village we are anchored near, is a pleasant little place. There are a few shops and restaurants and a lot of fishermen. It seems to be pretty mellow, but probably gets busy on the weekend, especially in July and August when the French have holiday.

Stacy and I toured the island by bus including a stop at the Musee de Rhum. Jo, Laurie, and Matty also checked out the local buses with a trip to Saint Rose.

Just before dark a charter boat came in an made several attempts to anchor. Many of these attempts were to close for comfort. After most attempts there was an angry discussion and pointing at other possible spots. A couple of other nervous cruisers came out in inflatables to help. -DWH

Wednesday May 17th, 2000

Stacy and I went to a beautiful beach just 2 km north of Deshaies. The sand isn't black like some other places, but is is still a little darker than most and way too hot to walk on with bare feet. Anyone who tried to walk down to the water would usually make it about one third of the way before starting to run. The swimming was great. There is no development along this beach and the water is very clear.

After swimming we had Ti Punch (rum, sugar cane juice, and lime) and lunch at Chez Samy. Samy and his helper, Jo, were great fun.

Jo, Laurie and Matty explored the interior of the island by bus.

Once again we had a charter boat come in just before dark and struggle to anchor. We really need to get an anchor float so people can see where our anchor is. We are in 20ft of water with 140ft of chain out. The charter boat pulled up just about on top of our anchor. As they drifted back they realized that they were getting close to us. I also hope they realized that they did not have enough scope out. The last thing I want to for someone to put out insufficient scope in order to stay far enough up wind of us. After much discussion, they decided to move. If they hadn't, we would have really needed to go over and discuss it with them. We are certainly not experts, and I'm not anxious to tell others where they can and cannot anchor, but we also have to look out for ourselves.

I've been trying to figure out why the boats that we've observed the last two nights have had so much trouble anchoring. I've come up with the following conclusions:

1) It takes practice to pick a good place to drop. This is especially true in deeper water when you need more rode to get sufficient scope. Also, if you drop and don't like where you end up, moving 10' is probably not going to solve the problem.

2) You can't drop all your chain right on top of your anchor. A boat pulls up, comes approximately to a stop, and then drops the anchor and 100ft of chain straight down. I think that when they try to set, the chain snags on the anchor and keeps it from setting.

3) Anchors just don't set with a 2:1 or 3:1 scope. -DWH

Thursday May 18th, 2000

Rented a car and toured Basse Terre. We did a lot of hiking in the rain forest and went to two waterfalls. The best part was swimming in the pools under the waterfalls. The second waterfall was 365ft high!

See more at Hiking and Waterfalls in Guadeloupe