I knew it would be an uphill struggle to get back against the wind to St Barts, didn’t quite figure that it would take all day, hard on the wind , lots of tacking and a wind and sea state that belied the forecast. However I got back to Anse du Colombier before sunset and picked up a mooring in time for a swim, good after a head day.
First light the next day I slipped the mooring bound for St Kitts, I knew it would be another long day Close hauled I could hold the desired course and rounded the north end of the island in good time but then a long succession of beats down the coast took ages until a race against the sun setting took me to White House Bay to anchor.
Monseratt was the next destination, first I had to sail past Nevis then it was hard on the wind, 20 25 knots of it – what was this about light winds in the forecast and there was some south in the wind too so with that and punching into the waves i couldn’t hold the desired course. I had thought of anchoring off Little Bay but was pushed too far south and in late afternoon a quick mental calculation of miles to go with tacking and time before sunset it was apparent that I wouldn’t make it. The course I was on would clear the south of the island so be it, a night passage to Guadeloupe it would be. I did give me a fairly close look at the ruins of Plymouth destroyed by the volcanic eruption 20 years ago and yes the volcano was still smoking after all these years.
It was a long night, catnapping was difficult due to the number of ships about , none came close but I like to keep tabs on them. I had shortened sail before dark – it was blowing 25 knots mind, preferring comfort to speed but probably overdid it and when the winds eased later perhaps should have set more sail. It was a slow passage and dawn found me still mile away from Guadeloupe. Things were not helped by rain squalls which blotted out all visibility. I had though to make for and anchor at Deshaies but had been pushed to far south so settled for making for Pigeon Islands and anchored in the bay there early afternoon. Time for a nap. Waking I wasn’t quite happy with the anchorage here, the wind was shifty, swinging room was limited by other boats and holding not too great so I up anchor and moved 5 miles down the coast to Anse du Barque – much better. and had a very peaceful night here.
Raising anchor the next morning was hard as in swinging the chain seemed to have wrapped itself around a rock but eventually I got it up and was of. But what was this A southerly wind of 20 knots and I wanted to go south down the coast. I am never ever going to believe in weather forecasts ever again. It has been wrong every day. Plan A had been to make it to Dominica, scrapped that go the Les Saintes instead, this lies further East so more tacking but not so far to go and from there should give a better slant on the wind for Dominica. Plenty of vacant moorings in Bourge les Saintes.
I remained here the next day, it was cloudy with rain but I fancied a stretch of legs ashore. I walked up to Fort Napoleon , very well preserved and lovely views and I also saw Iguanas – fantastic animals, wouldn’t mind a couple in my garden.
Onwards then to Dominica, but so much for a favourable slant of the wind which had gone to the SE. Then halfway across the wind died. I slopped about in the residual swell for what seemed like a decent interval then resorted to the motor. Anchoring in Prince Rupert Bay I noticed that Harvey and Rita’s boat was here, I’d seen them last in Antugua, and later bumped into them ashore at the Blue Bay Bar. Barely ashore this, you land on a slightly wobbly wooden jetty and the waves lap at the front of the bar terrace, a nice spot.