Not sure what has got into Beyzy lately, but whenever we are just the 2 of us on passage, she seems determined not to do less than 8 knots through the water and speeds between the islands. Oh well, just desserts for keeping her cooped up in anchorages for the last couple of months I guess.
We spent the few hours from Falmouth to Deshaies tipped up badly enough to make moving around tricky but at least going south means we are on the ‘fridge friendly’ tack, with the contents of the fridge staying put rather than emptying out over the cabin floor. Same goes for the crockery and food cupboards and the cutlery drawers ☺
The true wind was around 12-15 knots but the apparent wind, as we were very close hauled, was 18-21. We kept a reef in the main and adjusted the genoa to make it comfortable in the swells. When we were heading north the wind was more north easterly, now going south it has of course moved to south easterly. So bashing into the wind both directions, how typical!
Deshaies is far quieter than when we were last here. Most of the people going back to Europe have gone north already and those going south to haul out and go home have long gone too. There is plenty of space in the lovely, deep bay and no dangers other than a few fish pots. At the moment we are anchored in 12 metres of clear water and can still see the bottom. We will move in later on when the bay empties even more, as there is a race from here to Antigua for the start of Racing Week there.
Clearing Customs out of Antigua took ages. Apparently my situation was a first. I had cleared in online on 4 April, using eSeaclear but when I arrived in Jolly Harbour the system was down and I had to fill out the forms manually. Unfortunately, the online form was still sitting there and they also hadn’t updated their paper records, so we weren’t on the system. After half an hour’s deliberation between 2 officials with 1 getting very exasperated about the stupidity of it all, the only solution was for me to fill out another set of forms manually.
Coming in to Guadeloupe, which is a French island, the Customs desk is in a little shop called ‘Pelican’ (along the road south of the dinghy dock) and they only have 1 terminal. A long queue of racers were waiting to clear out so I joined it and sent Rob off to wander the shops to pre-empt his moaning. At least there are lots of nice clothes and souvenirs in the shop to look at as you slowly get closer to the PC. It is a quick form, if you can work out the French keyboard and cost us 4 Euros.
The town is really pretty, with lots of nice restaurants, many overlooking the water. There is a good dinghy dock with plenty of places to lock the dinghy and an ATM outside the Post Office to the north of the dock. Being French, the boulangerie is open early and there are a couple of supermarkets and fresh produce shops.
Our friends on ‘Ile Jeudi’ arrived just after us and another boat we know, ‘Aditi’ are also here, so we will be catching up later. There is WiFi out to the bay but I’ll find out how good the signal is before signing up for that as most bars also have WiFi these days.
The botanical gardens have been recommended and will send a car to pick us up, so we will stay in Deshaies a few days and enjoy Guadeloupe for the first time.