Finally the day of our departure for our first port of call, les Îles des Saintes, had arrived. The very large and impressive Zaca a te Moana had taken the slot next to us and due to our respective hull shapes there was no way for me to escape my slot unless I floored the gas and popped/scraped my way out, but I'd spoken with the skipper and he said they'd leave at around noon that day and I knew that with 5 people aboard we weren't going to be ready until about that time anyway. We'd returned the rental car the day before, had a leisurely breakfast and then proceeded to make the boat ready for the 25-30nm first passage to the Saintes. Shortly before the Zaca pulled her lines aboard we disconnected the water and power and stowed everything in preparation for departure and after she departed we had lots of room available and pulling the doubled lines aboard as well as the forward dock lines was a piece of cake and soon the 5 of us were in the channel leading past the breaking waves on the reefs to our left and right. Once outside we raised the main and genoa and soon had the engine off and were sailing roughly south on a direct course for the Saintes. I hesitate to write this, since I'm sure that Wolfgang will be reading the blog upon his return, but the conditions were quite good with strong winds (we'd reefed our sails) and about a 6 foot choppy swell; but we did sail through some squally areas with no visibility and that must have been the root cause for some seasickness aboard. The plastic garbage bags we'd brought to the cockpit got to see a bit of use but everyone was a trooper and once we'd cleared the headlands of the Saintes thoughts once again turned to the age-old question of "What's for dinner?". Needless to say, Wolfgang had already sailed and was at the helm most of the time and didn't have any problems during the passage. One should add that the wind and waves between Guadeloupe and the Saintes are well-known for being very rough.
We didn't plan on going ashore for dinner that night and we motored past the lee side of Ilet &ag Cabrit but all of the anchoring spots were taken, but found a slot in 50 feet of water in Anse à Cointe. The first time I dropped anchor I heard a strange sound and walked forward only to see that my wash down hose was in the anchor windlass. The chain hadn't touched bottom so I cut away with my trusty knife and extricated the remains from the winch (I'd had to tie the anchor down to remove pressure on the windlass) and then we did a second attempt in another location. But we could see that our location, despite being acceptably calm, was in a more exposed position and soon a powerboat left and we re-anchored closer to shore.
We all went ashore for a little bit in order to get terra-firma under our feet then returned to the boat for a swim and Wolfgang proceeded to make a tasty steak dinner. The winds had settled a bit and the stars had come out but everyone, including myself, was tired and we were soon asleep for the first night at anchor.

Zaca a te Moana sail preparation The classic schooner "Zaca a te Moana" next to us on the docks took hours to get prepared for raising sails and getting underway.
(2013-03-29 08:56:12 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/4.5, 1/1000s] ISO 400 Focus 10.60m)
Zaca a te Moana sail preparation
Zanshin and Zaca a te Moana The classic schooner "Zaca a te Moana" next to us at the docks, She overshadowed us with a hull length of over 140 feet!
(2013-03-29 09:42:42 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.5, 1/2500s] ISO 400 Focus 7.94m)
Zanshin and Zaca a te Moana
Zaca a te Moana departing The classic schooner "Zaca a te Moana" leaving the docks
(2013-03-29 12:31:34 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.5, 1/3200s] ISO 400 Focus 7.94m)
Zaca a te Moana departing
Zaca a te Moana about to motor out The classic schooner "Zaca a te Moana" motoring away from the docks and mooring balls at Marina Bas du Fort in Guadeloupe.
(2013-03-29 12:32:11 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/9.0, 1/160s] ISO 100 Focus 3.76m)
Zaca a te Moana about to motor out
Breakfast at the docks Preparing and setting the table outside for breakfast .
(2013-03-29 08:54:59 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.8, 1/640s] ISO 400 Focus 2.66m)
Breakfast at the docks
Sophia inspecting the boat Sophia checking out the boat.
(2013-03-29 08:55:29 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.5, 1/2000s] ISO 400 Focus 2.66m)
Sophia inspecting the boat
Rainclouds over Point-a-Pitre Dark and heavy rainclouds blowing over the town of Point-a-Pitre on Guadeloupe as seen from the end of the dock. The cargo facilities and cranes are surprisingly big and quite busy.
(2013-03-29 09:39:06 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.8, 1/2000s] ISO 400 Focus 10.60m)
Rainclouds over Point-a-Pitre
Deceased washdown hose The anchor hose had gotten caught in the chain and anchor windlass and this is all that remained of the system after I cut it away.
(2013-03-29 17:12:00 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/9.0, 1/30s] ISO 100 Focus 1.68m)
Deceased washdown hose
Swimming in Les Saintes After we finally anchored in Anse a Cointe we all went for a swim around the boat
(2013-03-29 18:25:12 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.5, 1/80s] ISO 400 Focus 7.94m)
Swimming in Les Saintes
Anse a Cointe looking at rainy Guadeloupe From our secure location in Anse a Cointe we could see the dark rain over Basse-Terre on Guadeloupe.
(2013-03-29 18:25:34 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.5, 1/100s] ISO 400 Focus ∞)
Anse a Cointe looking at rainy Guadeloupe
Anse a Cointe and the Sugarloaf The miniature Sugarloaf at one end of our anchorage in Anse a Cointe.
(2013-03-29 18:25:42 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.5, 1/50s] ISO 400 Focus ∞)
Anse a Cointe and the Sugarloaf
Swimming off the platform Swimming off the platform
(2013-03-29 18:26:26 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/4.2, 1/25s] ISO 400 Focus 4.73m)
Swimming off the platform
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