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I needed to clear out of France and head towards Antigua in the morning, but my dinghy was still upside-down on deck and the outboard engine tucked away in the dinghy garage, so I either had to see about getting a ride to the (very) distant shoreline or get on the paddleboard and head there on my own. As none of boats around me looked like they were about to board their dinghies, I got the paddleboard out of the garage and put my passport and boat papers into a waterproof satchel and got ready for the long trek. Just as I was about to leave some heavy gusts of wind frothed up the anchorage and a bit of rain came down - so I opted to add a clean T-shirt and my VHF to the satchel's contents just in case either was needed.
I waited for the rain and wind to subside a bit and then got going. The wind made this a very long paddleboard trip and before I got even a third of the way I was feeling tired and of course all the dive boats and fishermen decided that this was the perfect time to zip across the anchorage and let me fend for myself in their wakes! But I finally made it to the dock and walked to the store which has a computer that lets one clear in and out. There was a gentleman ahead of me at the computer and I saw that the cursor was still on the first line waiting for him to enter the date and once I saw his hesitant hunt-and-peck approach to data entry I knew I was in for a very long wait before I could enter my data. A very long wait later it was my turn and soon I'd entered my data, paid the obligatory 4€ and was on my way back to the dock. The winds had really picked up now and were whipping up little waves, so my downwind trip back to the boat was very fast - I actually had to kneel on the paddleboard rather than stand so that I could slow down and I was getting a bit worried about what would happen if I missed the boat and had to fight my way back upwind; this was a bit worrisome since there were no boats at all behind me and I had fleeting visions of me drifting off to sea and not being able to raise anyone on the VHF! But I managed to catch the aft end of the swim platform once I reached Zanshin and boarded the boat without getting wet.
I departed the anchorage at 11:30 and only then realized that the distance to Falmouth Harbour was further than I'd remembered and I would need to average 7 knots in order to arrive in time to anchor before dark. Luckily, the wind for the first two hours was directly on the beam which let me sail at over 8 knots with a reef in both sails. Then the wind shifted and I was close-hauled for the rest of the trip and even then the waves were minimal and the wind steady so I had a very fast and comfortable passage, arriving at Falmouth Harbour at 17:30 in good time to anchor before dark. Getting the dinghy off the deck was another matter, the slight gusts of wind kept on turning the dinghy around so that the hull would scratch along my topsides if I were to lower it. Each time I turned the dinghy around while it was hanging from a halyard and would go back to the winch to lower it, a puff would twist the dinghy around again!
But in the end I had the dinghy down (albeit without the engine), the Q-Flag raised, my anchor ball up, the boom secured and my first happy-hour beer opened by the time the sun set at 18:30. Since I hadn't cleared in, I wasn't allowed to go ashore so I made dinner aboard.