Although I somehow woke up far too early, at 6AM, I didn't get going on passage to the Îles des Saintes until after 13:00; much of that time was spent on the internet with contacts in Germany discussing, via e-mail, possibilities for work again in the near future. I made a tasty breakfast (well, it probably wasn't really good, but I was hungry so pretty much anything would have been classified into the category “tasty”) and then cleaned and washed up and prepared the boat for a rough passage.
Weighing anchor was a bit difficult, as a boat had used a mooring which had, due to wind shifts over the days, drifted over my anchor. Naturally by the time I wanted to depart the boat was empty and I pulled up chain until I was close behind the boat, then went to the engine and with judicious use of reverse dragged the anchor far enough so that I could pull up the remaining feet of chain without running into the rear of the moored boat. While still in the sheltered Portsmouth harbour area I set the mainsail up with about 4 reefs, then put 3 reefs in the genoa before hitting the full winds and waves outside. Once clear of the headland the winds picked up considerably and were whipping the tops of the waves waves into froth; at times the apparent winds were 30-35 knots so my choice of sail plan hadn't been too conservative after all. The boat was behaving extremely well and I thought that I might put out some more sail, until I looked at the chart plotter which told me I was moving in excess of 10 knots - a good amount of speed and I was ploughing into some of the big waves but the balanced sails made it seem effortless. An hour later in the passage the winds died down a bit and I let out one reef in the genoa and managed to make the east end of the Îles des Saintes in one tack. The last section was with wind from behind and I only noticed the size of the waves then, as they tried to poop (wash from behind) my poor dinghy. Once inside the anchorage the waves were still quite big and I searched, without success, for a mooring ball. I opted to motor to Îlet à Cabrit in order to see if there were any moorings there. SUCCESS - I saw one deep inside in almost calm waters but as I was picking up the ball some swimmers told me that the ball was limited to boats of 40 feet or less, and I noticed that while I still had 10 feet underneath the keel I was quite close to both the boat in front of and the one behind me so I dropped the mooring and used the bow thruster to turn around the inner anchorage. The folks from LSM came by in their dinghy and confirmed that the mooring was for smaller boats allowed me to anchor outside the mooring field as there were no open moorings available. I dropped my hook in 40 feet of water, putting out 160 feet of chain and settled in for the night.

I went snorkeling to see how the anchor had set and also to explore the shoreline where I'd seen a dive boat earlier and was rewarded with an interesting and varied underwater vista. I watched a small moray eel go foraging just three feet below me, and saw the black sea urchins go wandering about as well. There were lots of small fish and I'm sure a deeper dive with scuba gear would have been rewarding as well.

I fired up the generator in order to recharge the batteries and let me cook dinner and also replenish the water supplies but it cut out after 10 minutes and the blinking light error code stated that the engine had overheated. I fired it up again and saw that no water was coming through the raw seawater strainer which told me that I was going to have to replace the impeller; but I'd had some wine and was hungry, so I made a saffron rice dinner using the inverter and postponed the maintenance work to the next day.

Flying fish that didn't make it This flying fish was good in flight but his choice of landing spots wasn't. He hit the side of the outboard (I found scales) and dropped inside instead of outside. Note the water collected in the dinghy from just 10 minutes of rain!
(2013-04-22 08:24:29 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/8.0, 1/320s] ISO 100 Focus 3.76m)
Flying fish that didn't make it
Closed cruise ship dock I tied up to the dinghy dock section and the securty guard in the closed facility unlocked the main door to let me out and then back in again after I'd done my tour of Cabrits. I don't know why ships don't go there anymore, but the facility is slowly going to see.
(2013-04-22 13:22:04 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.0, 1/320s] ISO 100 Focus ∞)
Closed cruise ship dock
Fort Shirley cannon emplacements The inner main cannon battery at the restored Fort Shirley in Cabrits park overlooking Portsmouth in Dominica.
(2013-04-22 13:23:43 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.0, 1/640s] ISO 100 Focus ∞)
Fort Shirley cannon emplacements
Zanshin's King Knot The King knot denoting the wheel centre position on the starboard wheel of Zanshin after one year of use and some light cleaning.
(2013-04-22 11:41:02 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.6, 1/320s] ISO 100 Focus 0.50m)
Zanshin's King Knot
Fort Shirley cannon A cannon battery at the restored Fort Shirley in Cabrits park overlooking Portsmouth in Dominica.
(2013-04-22 13:23:52 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.6, 1/320s] ISO 100 Focus ∞)
Fort Shirley cannon
Swiss steel yacht This steel yacht anchored quite a bit away from shore in what must have been 60 or more feet of water. They must have a lot of chain.
(2013-04-22 18:01:16 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/16.0, 1/15s] ISO 100 Focus ∞)
Swiss steel yacht
Fisherman hurrying home Speeding home past the anchorage as the last rays of sun come over the horizon.
(2013-04-22 18:01:36 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/16.0, 1/10s] ISO 100 Focus ∞)
Fisherman hurrying home
Saintes cloudy sunset Saintes cloudy sunset
(2013-04-22 18:17:59 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/16.0, 1/200s] ISO 200 Focus ∞)
Saintes cloudy sunset
Two yachts beating windward As the sun sets, two final yachts are beating against the wind and waves between the Saintes and Guadeloupe. Little do they suspect that the anchorages are pretty full already.
(2013-04-22 18:21:59 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/16.0, 1/50s] ISO 200 Focus ∞)
Two yachts beating windward
Two yachts at sea A posterized picture of two yachts approaching the Iles des Saintes.
(2013-04-22 18:24:13 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.6, 1/125s] ISO 100 Focus ∞)
Two yachts at sea
Anchorage neighbour This boat came in and anchored after me, in this picture they were at the far end of their swing, but we were almost touching on the other apex; I even tied my dinghy to that side of the boat in order to cushion an eventual collision. They later reanchored.
(2013-04-22 18:41:13 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/4.0, 1/8s] ISO 400 Focus 10.60m)
Anchorage neighbour
Watermaker filters clogged The white and blue water filters are for the 10 and 20 micron raw water filtration and they both were clogged and needed to be replaced before the watermaker could run again.
(2013-04-22 18:49:41 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.5, 1/8s] ISO 400 Focus 0.50m)
Watermaker filters clogged
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