The sail across to Guadeloupe from Les Saintes was uneventful although once in the lee of the island the wind became very variable. We spent the night in Deshaies, a beautiful bay on the NW tip of Guadeloupe and full of boats heading north or just arrived from Antigua.
We anchored and lit the BBQ but a catamaran decided to anchor in front of us and ended up with their boat on top of our anchor. Rob and I paddled over to let them know we would be leaving at 2am and may have to wake them and they were fine with that. In the event the wind shifted slightly and we didn’t need to disturb them when we left.
We had a lovely night sail towards Montserrat at good speed and saw the sun rising over the volcano. It was quite a sight with the smoke pouring out of the sides and the lava stream stretching into the sea. We didn’t stop this time but will in the future.
The wind died as we got nearer to Nevis and we had to motor for 3 hours to get in before dark. Having only 12 hours of daylight is something we are getting used to now and plan our passages to arrive before sunset if possible. Deshaies is an easy bay to leave at night except for a few lobster pots which we located and noted on the way in.
Nevis is beautiful with a long beach where the Port Authority has laid 100 mooring buoys. Some are missing the long pick up line, so be careful to get one which has or the mooring buoy bangs into the hull all night! You need a boat hook, rather than a moorfast, to grab the line as it isn’t a solid hoop as in Les Saintes. It was 77 miles from Deshaies and there are lobster pots off the southern coast of Nevis and it is also very shallow for quite a long way out.
Clearance takes an hour or more, as you need to visit 3 separate offices in Charlestown. I took the dinghy to the dock behind the ferry terminal and a local man helped me in, took the garbage and showed me where the customs office was. You are not allowed to lock your dinghy to the dock here, in case the fishing boats need to move them.
Customs cost 30 EC$, then on to the police station to get the passports stamped, then to the Port Authority to get the harbour dues etc paid, which amounted to 153 EC$ and finally back to the Customs office to get a boat pass to St Kitts in case we want to go there. We are planning to stay here a few days, so I paid for the 3-7 day pass to give us some leeway as it is only 5 US$ more than the 1-2 day pass. If we don’t stop in St Kitts I need to visit customs again here and clear out, with 24 hours notice. There are a couple of museums we want to visit in town, plus take a bus to the other side of the island for a meal in one of the restored plantation mansions.