The day started off as most of the others, with coffee in the morning while editing the previous day's pictures and writing or completing the blog entry. When I'd finished I wanted to call Katzenellenbogen to ask if Stephen might want to head to town to connect to the internet and do a baguette run but as I was reaching for the VHF handset I heard a dinghy approach the boat and it was Stephen who asked if I wanted to go into town. It took a couple of minutes to unplug the notebook from all those cables and get set but soon we were underway in the Katzendinghy. We used the Wi-Fi at the Cyber Café where one clears in and out and I was soon finished but it took Stephen a long time to get going since his Macbook didn't want to connect to the internet. I fiddled around a bit and found the problem (some odd setting for DHCP with a fixed IP address was preventing the connection) and soon he was off doing his e-mail and calls. When we finished we got a baguette apiece and returned to our anchorage. I noticed a big and ugly-looking powerboat anchored in my neck of the woods and it wasn't until we were close that it turned broadside-on to us and I could see that it was a big gun metal grey coloured patrol boat with the French “Douane” written on it. Stephen dropped me off and I'd barely made a cup of coffee to go with the two mini-croissants I'd acquired in town when the customs boat dinghy with three friendly officers aboard came alongside and thence onto my boat. When I mentioned friendly in the previous sentence I was being quite honest - while they were professional in their duties they were very friendly about it, perhaps out of relief that I could converse in French with them.
The visit started out with all of us in the cockpit and they asked for my boat papers, passport and clearance. While one of the officers was copying information from the documents the other two were questioning me and I have to admit I am not quite sure what they were looking for. I was asked for the bill of sale papers as well and I had those in a folder with my other important documents (my sailing licenses, radio certificates, tonnage survey, insurance papers, etc.) and one of the officers perused all those documents - not in the normal offhand way to see if I was nervous about the paperwork but actually reading them. Then one officer asked to inspect the boat and I assented, then he asked that I follow him while he walked around. I had a closed Peli case in the forepeak which he asked to open (it was empty), then he had me open the bilge and also show him the engine and that was it. We talked about French boats for a bit and then they departed; and although all three were armed and in uniform it was a pleasant visit indeed and some other countries could certainly learn lessons from the French customs officials in Guadeloupe.
Later in the afternoon I took the Zandinghy across to town, and it promptly died on me about halfway across. I think I was going too fast and some water splashed into the carburettor, since it fired up and then died when I gave gas; this happened a couple of times and Stephen, who had zipped ahead of me in the Katzendinghy, came back to rescue me. When he arrived the engine fired up and ran smoothly and I could continue on my way. This was opportune, as I'd neglected to stow the dinghy oars aboard! Ashore I cleared out for Dominica (at the exorbitant cost of €1) and then did some shopping for French items I know I wouldn't get in Dominica and also got 2 baguettes which went straight into the freezer once I was back home.
After the tall ship majestically sailed past, I got the dinghy taken apart and stowed for the passage across to Dominica, an unnecessary precaution but it isn't more than 10-15 minutes of work so I invested that effort and even did a quick snorkel around the boat with a kitchen scrub to remove the traces of green at the water and also scrub the 3 blades of the propellor which had collected a bit of gunk. By the time I was finished the sun was in the process of setting and I got out a local beer called Corsair and viewed the end of the day from the cockpit.

Solandge anchored next to me Solandge dropped anchor just outside of our anchorage; I'm not sure why they didn't go any closer into the main anchorage.
(2014-04-03 12:52:24 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/7.1, 1/125s] ISO 100)
Solandge anchored next to me
Clean lines of Solandge The clean lines and curves on this megayacht are elegant and give this motor yacht a very pleasant aspect.
(2014-04-03 08:22:27 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/8.0, 1/400s] ISO 100)
Clean lines of Solandge
Royal Clipper under sail The Royal Clipper under (partial) sail and arriving in les Iles des Saintes.
(2014-04-03 09:11:01 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/6.3, 1/500s] ISO 100)
Royal Clipper under sail
Royal Clipper at anchor The Royal Clipper with some crew aloft while at anchor in the Saintes, part of Guadeloupe.
(2014-04-03 11:04:40 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.3, 1/200s] ISO 100)
Royal Clipper at anchor
Distant Guadeloupe clouds The passage between the Saintes and Guadeloupe proper is known to be particularly rough and windy but today there are few whitecaps in sight.
(2014-04-03 08:22:48 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/8.0, 1/80s] ISO 100)
Distant Guadeloupe clouds
Sea Cloud in the Saintes Another tall ship, the Sea Cloud at anchor off Le Bourg in the Saintes.
(2014-04-03 11:09:17 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.0, 1/250s] ISO 100)
Sea Cloud in the Saintes
French customs boat This French customs boat anchored next to me and then three officers paid me a visit; checking the boat papers and my clearance papers plus passport and taking a cursory look aboard. They were very friendly as well as being professional and this visit, while not quite a pleasure, was far from being uncomfortable.
(2014-04-03 12:02:24 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/7.1, 1/40s] ISO 100)
French customs boat
Royal Clipper under sail The Royal Clipper under sail leaving Les Iles des Saintes.
(2014-04-03 16:52:36 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/7.1, 1/100s] ISO 100)
Royal Clipper under sail
Royal Clipper under sail The Royal Clipper under sail leaving Les Iles des Saintes.
(2014-04-03 16:53:26 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/13.0, 1/40s] ISO 100)
Royal Clipper under sail
Royal Clipper under sail The Royal Clipper under sail leaving Les Iles des Saintes.
(2014-04-03 16:53:36 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/200s] ISO 100)
Royal Clipper under sail
Royal Clipper under sail The Royal Clipper under sail leaving Les Iles des Saintes.
(2014-04-03 16:54:08 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/5.6, 1/500s] ISO 100)
Royal Clipper under sail
 
Le Bourg anchorage Panoramic shot from the dinghy dock in Le Bourg in the islands of Les Saintes belonging to Guadeloupe.
(2014-04-03 11:04:29 NIKON D7100 with a "18.0-250.0 mm f/3.5-6.3" lens. [f/16.0, 1/60s] ISO 100)
Le Bourg anchorage
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