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Today marked the last full day of Sandra's and Sascha's visit; we needed to return to the Marina Bas du Fort in Pointe-à-Pitre on Guadeloupe so that they could catch their return flight the following day. This morning's breakfast was simple omelettes with thawed-out baguettes and after the repast we got the dinghy engine stowed away and did our final swim in the calm anchorage waters. Even though we weren't quite ready to depart at about 10:30, a big customs boat pulled into the anchorage and I didn't want to spend an hour or more dealing with them if they decided to inspect us so I got underway very quickly. It turned out to be unnecessary as they lowered their RIB right after anchoring and headed out at speed to inspect or intercept a sailboat coming around the corner of the island.
The winds were favourable at first, but then a front moved through and we got rain and low winds so had to motorsail for a while. The final 2 hours were a nice sail but we had to dodge a lot of fish traps and the waves were once again confused the closer to shore we got. Shortly before arriving at the marina channel entrance we got the dinghy pulled up front, the bow line attached, the fenders out and the stern lines flaked and ready for docking and I was immensely relieved to see that there were open spaces at the main transient dock. They Capitainerie answered immediately when I hailed them on VHF 9 and the docking manoeuvre proceeded without a major hitch - the dock master tied our bow line to the mooring ball as I reversed in the large space and someone came by on the dock to take our stern line and put it around a cleat for us. Once both stern lines were attached I put the boat in idle forward and Sascha and I went forward to remove the anchor chain from the windlass and use that to tighten our bow line.
The engine was turned off and we got the power cord out and plugged into shore power and at that moment the rain decided to come by and give us a visit for the first time on the trip. I put Sascha to work on lightly scrubbing the decks with a brush in the rain while I went to the Capitainerie offices to check in and clear in. The initial small shower was just a precursor to the big showers that came later and Sascha and I used the free water to scrub the remains of salt and dirt off the decks and topsides before huddling under the leaking bimini for a happy hour celebratory drink.
After dark we went to a dock side pub and tried the local brew, “Gwada”, which is quite similar to Caribe beer and then we sauntered along the docks looking for a likely dinner candidate. We spotted a place called “Byron's Burgers” and opted for that - the burgers were very tasty and quite filling indeed. The walk back to the boat woke us up a little, but we didn't last long sitting in the cockpit in the still air after the weather front had passed and were soon in bed in air-conditioned frigid conditions. I'd set my A/C to 26°C and that ended up being just right for the night.