Visit the calendar master page for the daily blog entries
I put the finishing touches on the Arduino library for the Cubigel compressor in the morning hours and then uploaded everything to Zanshin's pages on GitHub. Then it was time to get underway and the work that took longest was washing up but I got going at around 11:30 and I was a bit worried about my timing, as I'd need to average 6 knots the whole way to get there at around 18:00 in time to anchor before sunset; and the holding in Deshaies is not very good so I knew that I might need a couple of attempts.
My fears were unfounded as the sailing conditions were excellent. The passage from the Saintes to the lighthouse at the southwestern corner of Basse Terre is always fast, since the wind funnels between the two islands and is always much stronger than prevailing conditions. I zipped across doing 8 to 9 knots with two reefs in the mainsail and 3 reefs in the genoa and the first couple of miles in the lee of Guadeloupe were also very fast at 8 knots with not a bigger wave in sight. Then, within the space of about 200 metres, the wind died and then started up again from the wrong direction and I tacked the boat and was doing about 5 knots so I turned on the engine to give me a bit more speed (and to charge the batteries and make some water at the same time) and after about an hour of those light back winded conditions the wind picked up again and I turned off the engine to make 6 knots in very calm waters. Just before getting to Pigeon Island the wind shifted again and I tacked (without changing heading) and soon I was zipping along at 8-10 knots with a beam reach and the same reefs in the sails! I arrived at Deshaies just after 16:00 and was anchored in 50 feet as the 2nd furthest boat out by 16:30; right behind the French Douane patrol boat.
The sunset promised to be a good one, and I had my camera out with the telephoto lens to see if I could get a good picture when the tender from the Douane boat came by and I was worried that I'd get my second inspection in a week, but the crew aboard just waved to me and told me that I had the best spot in the anchorage to catch the sunset. I think that had I not had the camera out they would have done an inspection (again) but I was spared that this time around.
I kept the dinghy on deck and will paddleboard ashore tomorrow morning to clear out of France in preparation for sailing to Antigua.