Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Jump to the wayback machine and return to Guadeloupe
The first evening with Pierre Louis was wine and cheese with a bit of Saucisse Sec (Dry Salami) with a heavy emphasis on wine.
The next morning we had cloudy heads and we prepared for a trip to the Isle des Saints as we were invited by our generous neighbor.
At first, I was not too keen to do any sailing, but the combination of warm breeze, sunshine and a fine boat brought me into a fine sailing mood.
The only thing making it sort of unwieldy was that Pierre-Louis spoke the best version of Anglais, where the other couple he brought weren't so good at english as a second language. No problem; We couldn't speak Francais, so we were on level ground.
We started for the big island where another friend had his sailboat anchored and we would tie up to them and have a bit of lunch. And wine. Mostly wine, with snacks.
Still, there was an ocean journey so I took the helm while Pierre Louis did the hard work of trimming sails. Our main sheet let go with a pop, and the boom swung to the starboard, it seems the sheet traveler had come apart.
Moments before the mainsheet faliure;
The fiddle had come apart from the traveler and we lost control of the Main Sail. No big deal, I asked Pierre-Louis where his hardware box was and we quickly made repairs and were on our way in about five minutes. Pierre-Louis acted like it was a big deal that we identified the malfunction and had a repair quicker than it took to describe and translate into two languages. It made me feel pretty welcomed to have been actually useful to our host. Since I had been thinking and doing nothing but sailing for the previous six months, it really was an instinctive reflex.
We continued to the island and soon we were approaching the small lagoon and identified our destinations, near the cliff. It was a 38 foot sailboat anchored and the two occupants were waving a welcome to us and we made the approach from the stern to tie up.
After we were secure the beer and wine flowed as everyone began swim call. Even thought the main conversation was in French, we still felt very much a part of the fun. Everyone seemed very happy to have us at the party and I definitely felt relaxed. Especially after three or four 1664's.
The photo's from this journey have been posted before, but I will repost because they were pretty cool. There are more pictures, particularly concerning the tuna we caught and the feast that followed, but I have no idea where I put them.
The sailing voyage was really becoming a very pleasant adventure, we were not enduring any kind of hardships and the people were super fun.
We pulled away for the return at about 1500 (3:00 PM) and we headed back to Basse Terre. There was a tuna lure being towed behind, just like on the outbound journey, but on the late afternoon, the fish bit! We caught a fine five pound tuna which we dispatched with a capful of rum to the gills. Soon, we were approaching our marina and it was a bit frantic as we put away the fishing pole and secured our sails for the lannding approach. We pulled in next to Wildebeest III like professional sailors and congratulated ourselves for a fine day done.
Only now we were invited to another home to dine on fresh tuna. Turns out our host is/was a Supreme Court Justice for the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. This Judge really liked having Americans visiting, so he broke out many bottles of Champagne and had his cook put out a fine spread.
I'll try to locate the pictures from the rest of the day.