• We are safe in Marina Fort Louis in Marigo Bay, St Martin. No problems, arrived way ahead of schedule as the winds were brisk. We are surrounded by mega yachts. There are a few other smaller yachts here but the majority cost more than 2 million with dozens more than 5 mil. Ginny took the laundry off the lines when we pulled in and washed the boat. Our biggest issue is the dock is fixed (not floating) and is designed for all the expensive big fiberglass so it is four feet higher than our rear fantail.

    Someone is watching over us

    We spent the night on the Southern end of St Kitts. All alone - no other boats. When we were pulling the anchor in this morning, I was sitting on the deck with my feet in the anchor locker and I hear a metal hitting fiberglass noise, klink klink. I look at my feet and a nut is resting right next to me. I search the boom and mast for something not quite right and this nut belongs to a bolt holding the boom to the mast. The bolt is half out of its position. I had to get lines on the boom to pull it up enough to reset the bolt with a hammer.

    Customs what Customs?

    Through Europe we were in the EU so you expect Customs to be non existent but here of the islands (a new one one every 60 miles) there used to be many copies of paperwork. We dinghy in to a beautiful little town. We are supposed to look for a lime green building - Not so hard to find. It is a store with wind chimes, internet, hanging chairs, hand carved wood salt and pepper shakers, money exchange, postcards, etc. You ask about clearing in and they point you to a computer, with the same program Martinique used. Type in your info, print it, give them 3 euros and they stamp it.

    All's Well

    We are safe and anchored in Anse Deshaies, Guadeloupe. Looks very nice. Pulled in at 9:00am local time - 18 hour trip through the night. We had it all - We laughed, We cried. Great beginning, really rough middle, and totally quiet flat ending - had to motor the last 4 hours. New point of sail for us - Wind on the beam. Boat handled it extremely well sailing at more than 1/2 wind speed. Hard to slow the freight train down. Our average speed was 7.69 knots/hr which is amazing considering the last 5 hours were between 3 and 4 knots.

    Back in Motion

    We left Martinique and St Pierre at 15:00 local time today. We toured a rum distillery today and had lunch there (food not the rum - well some rum too). Absolutely beautiful location. Up the volcano base a bit, soft rolling hills, view of the ocean, rain forest like vegetation and acre after acre of sugar cane standing 8 feet high. A river flows off the volcano as it is high enough to attract quite a bit of rain. With the water the distillery used to power everything with a wheel. They still use the water for electricity.

    Under way again

    We are headed North under full sails. Nice to be out again after a week. Quiet with the wind in your hair (all 30 of them for some of us). We are having problems with the day and date. Ginny got the day correct today but thought it was December. I never have a clue as to what day of the week it is. Anchored for the first time yesterday. Put it down so well we had to drive over it backwards to pop it. Not that it matters much but...

    Eat, Swim, Rinse and Repeat

    My friend Bruce likes his Caribbean visit like this. We left the dock yesterday and are anchored off Saint Anne. We traveled a whopping mile from the dock to get here. It was exhausting and we took turns driving - every 5 minutes for the whole 30 minute trip. There is a Club Med in front of us. Ginny wants to make sure I mention that we saw another "Green Flash". Not as long as the last one. I missed it because I was setting up the camera - needless to say the camera missed it too - therefore you missed it. I have tried to upload dolphin footage all week without success.

    On land

    I had to look the date up and the day of the week. We are fine on land doing some boat fixes. Not much Wifi here so limited communication. Dad sent the final link for our trip: Here's the latest google map of the trip

    Had some Russian charters really loud next to us last night. Glad they are gone but they hit the boat on the way out. 25 feet form us and they could not go straight out of the slip. No damage just buffing the gel coat.

    Nous Arrivons

    Ginny did not move from the helm all morning waiting to see something other than water. At 13:41 UTC exactly there was screaming from the helm - Land! Land!. She waited until I woke up and like a little kid wanted to turn on both engines and all the sails to go as fast as we could. Maybe I should have bathed once during the last 19 days? You may not hear from us for the next couple days - we are safe.

    The Bermuda Pencil Point

    I found it two nights ago. Sailing along, middle of the night heading 252 degrees true, total darkness (moon had already set) the boom jibbed, not much as I have it quite well tied down, but loud enough. I look down the wind shifted 50 degrees in a second. Five seconds later the autopilot shuts down in error mode. I go to manual steering and the display now tells me my heading is -13 degrees. -13 is not typically on the compass, 1 to 360 degrees. Forget the auto pilot, I refer to the compass just in time to watch it spin more than 40 degrees even though I never turned the wheel.

    Abundant Trade Winds

    We have shaken off the weather fronts and our power source is back. It is always a double edge sword - great progress vs still abode. It was nice not falling into every surface of the boat as you try to do anything (envision your toilet strapped to the roof of your car as you traverse a rutted back road) during those calm days. But the white sand beaches await us and we are back to 190 mile days and big seas. If the wind continues we will be on land for New Years Eve. Looking good for a Saturday late afternoon arrival.

    Perspective

    At night I have way too time on my hands while keeping the sails full and quiet. By this weekend we will have traveled the equivalent of NY to Naples Florida and back again - TWICE at 6 miles per hour in a car with rather squared tires (and a ton of food). I can see the traffic now backed up behind us on I 95. Wow 17 days since land. We have seen 5 beautiful sunsets, 4 other boats, 3 whales, 2 rain storms and 1 loose buoy base but still no partridge in that elusive pear tree. My favorite are the flying fish. These are the most fascinating creatures. They fly extremely well.

    I can taste the French cooking

    Although Pat cooked southern fried chicken and homemade onion rings yesterday - pounded out with a framing hammer (the chicken) and it was good. We are 536 miles from Martinique. Looks like we will still be at sea for New Years Eve unless we get some really big wind in the next couple days. So I put the champagne in the fridge. Lots of rain last night into the morning (luckily for me right after my watch ended) I came up to help Pat put the Geneker away during a strong squall and she was soaked through and through but the boat look great and clean.

    Whales this Morning

    Pat woke me up around 11:00 because whales were swimming with us. Apparently one was right next to the boat swimming on its side looking up at her right below the surface. It took her awhile to realize what it was. It helped when a smaller (maybe a baby) whale came up for air about 30 feet to our starboard side. I guess we were too slow - they had a lunch appointment somewhere else - because it did not last long and they were gone. Got the video camera but too late. I do have footage of the dolphins I will upload when we get to Martinique.

    Where are you Christmas?

    It has been warmer than it should be in Kansas for much of December. No snow. Yet every holiday cartoon and show informs us that there is always snow at Christmas.

    Last December we got more snow than I ever remember getting since moving here. It was great (I sometimes stand alone in that opinion).

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