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Today was a day only other sailors will appreciate. After a quick coffee at 06:00, I weighed anchor and motored out of Falmouth Harbour by 06:30 and got the mainsail with 2 reefs up before pointing “Zanshin” at the northern tip of Guadeloupe. Winds were light and I got the genoa rolled out with 2 reefs because the sky was incredibly dark upwind with heavy cumulus rain clouds that promised some gusty winds and lots of rain. Within an hour of leaving Falmouth I was hit by the first gusts, 25 knots sustained and a minute later the rain hit and my decks were getting a good washing from the salty encrustations of the day before. One of the many advantages of a big boat the size of “Zanshin” is that gusts like this make a lot less stress on the rig than on a smaller vessel so I was comfortable at the helm with just a small amount of weather helm with my reduced sail plan. Although, I guess "comfortable" is a relative term since I was wearing only shorts and a cheap rain jacked from Aldi and felt distinctly cold!
Conditions shifted from almost no wind to good 15 knot trades and I was at Deshaies before 13:00, but decided to continue onward and soon thereafter the expected Guadeloupe back winding occurred. The prevailing winds come from the east, but Guadeloupe almost always has conditions where the winds curl around the mountains and within a couple of miles of shore they come from the west. This makes for great sailing, since the island stops the Atlantic waves and the water is quite calm yet the 15 knot winds propel the boat quickly and comfortably. I did use some of the time to get the buttons/studs replaced on the cushions using a repair kit I'd purchased a while back. The winds picked up at the southern part of the island and the last part of the journey from the southern tip of Guadeloupe to Les &ICirc;les des Saintes had strong winds and the last 8 miles I had to motor at 2000RPM directly into the wind in order to make it in time for sunset (barely). The anchorage at Anse à Cointe had all mooring balls taken so rather than try to find an alternative I anchored in 70 feet of water and put out all of my chain, sufficient for the conditions but I missed those 150 feet that I cut out at the beginning of the season for the first time.
I thawed out one of my slow-cooked chili frozen meals and had a baked potato to accompany it for dinner and called it an early night; I was really tired from sailing all day although in retrospect I really didn't do very much at all.