I checked the charts for my trip to Point-a-Pitre and with my expected speed of 6 knots I would arrive during the long lunch break so I delayed my departure somewhat until 10AM and then got going. The seas between Îles des Saintes and Guadeloupe were, as expected, rather high and the winds were funneled between the islands and stronger than the normal trades, so I had reefs in both mainsail and genoa and started tacking towards my destination. I did pass 3 catamarans, large ones, on the way as my boat, despite heavy reefs, was still pointing a good bit higher than they could. I'll have to wash down the decks again, since the boat took on a good amount of water over the bows during the trip. Once I got out of the seas and into the leeward side of the Guadeloupe's eastern island the trip went much better, I unfurled the genoa completed and left the mainsail reefs in place, the waves were no longer making the boat pound and I had 9 knot on the GPS, occasionally going over 10 knots!
The whole trip I'd been thinking and worrying about docking the boat. I assumed that I'd have to Med-Moor, which involves backing in to the dock, picking up a line on a bouy set far off the dock and then when the stern is close to the dock, throwing two lines ashore and then tightening all 3 lines up before the boat hits any neighbours or the dock. While I know the theory, practice is quite different and I had no idea how I'd do the forward bow line.
Once close to the entrance I started calling on their VHF CH9, then on CH16 when no answer was forthcoming. I waited 5 minutes, setting up my stern lines but the 6 fenders I had put on deck weren't put out since I wasn't sure about the docking process. I gave up calling from outside and entered the marina, and again got no answer on the VHF; but I slowly drifted by the Capitainerie and a gent came out and walked to the the marina's dinghy. We spoke and decided that the berth (Med-Moor, of course) he'd chosen for me was too small and I'd probably have to ram myself in at speed to force the boats to the left and right aside, a move which most likely wouldn't endear me to the owners. There was 100+ foot sailboat with room at the head of the dock and he chose to put me next to her; but the mooring ball wasn't at a 90° angle and was almost in front of the big yacht, but he said it was no problem. I had two lines up front and he tied them together to make one long one, which he attached to the mooring bouy as I backed past it, then was on the dock to take the stern lines when I made it there. While this was going on, the skipper of the big boy was standing on deck watching my antics and gave an overall impression of stern disapproval; but he had lots of fenders out and I'd placed 4 fenders on that side (the other side had lots and lots of room). To finish the story, with the help of the Capitainerie and with little wind and a lot of room, the docking went quite well and no animals, humans, or items were hurt or destroyed during the process.
After hooking up power, cleaning and coiling lines from sailing and various other small tasks, I asked the skipper, Björn, aboard and we had a couple of happy hour libations while exchanging stories; later on another crewmember came aboard, a young lady from South Africa, and before I knew it the ship's clock read 21:30 and I knew I'd have to cook dinner aboard since the restaurant kitchens would be winding down at this time on a Sunday evening.

Danger mark leaving the Saintes This buoy is a danger mark, you can see the bright shallow water just behind it, while I was sailing in 70 feet of water.
(2013-03-24 09:58:08 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.6, 1/1250s] ISO 500 Focus ∞)
Danger mark leaving the Saintes
Found those potatoes I knew I had bought some more potatoes, but didn't find them until I was cleaning the bilges prior to my friend's arrival.
(2013-03-25 15:02:50 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.6, 1/20s] ISO 500 Focus 0.50m)
Found those potatoes
Transient slip at PTP My mast is the third from left, next to the huge one of Susanne af Stockholm
(2013-03-25 15:46:16 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/4.0, 1/400s] ISO 100 Focus 7.94m)
Transient slip at PTP
Powerboat section of PTP Marina These docks are for the powerboats - about 10 long rows of them.
(2013-03-25 15:47:09 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/4.0, 1/400s] ISO 100 Focus 7.94m)
Powerboat section of PTP Marina
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