After Caroline’s sister flew home we sailed back to Martinique and based ourselves in Ste Anne at anchor as Caroline and Charlotte needed to fly back to the U.K. for 10 days. We looked at every option to get them to the airport, the main problem being they had to leave Silhouette at 5am! In the end a private hire taxi took them for 90 euros… ouch!
This left me on board with a list of jobs which would certainly keep me busy, including stripping back the teak decks and resealing. This alone took nearly 3 days, mainly because it was so hot under the Caribbean sun I kept diving for shade! The end result though was great and Silhouette once again has beautiful decks. Other jobs included oil change, saloon covers washed, waterline cleaning (never ending task) & lots of small jobs I can’t remember.
Steve on Allegrini needed to reseal his bottom rudder bearing, so as I’d done ours 2 years ago I said I would show him how to do it. This meant me sailing Silhouette back to Rodney bay solo (first time).
The trip was an easy reach in 15 knots of wind in lovely sunshine, made extra special by a pod of dolphins arriving, our first pod on this side of the Atlantic.
Rodney bay seems like our home port, we’ve been back so many times now, there are certainly worse places to anchor off though. We met up with 3 other arc+ yachts, Crean, La Boheme & Passat II making a 5 boat reunion. Even Ithaka anchored behind me for one night, so the arc+ legacy continues.
Partying over, it was time for me to head back to Martinique to pick up the girls. I picked them up from Fort de France as it was the easiest as its quite close to the airport, a quick restock from the very busy but well stocked Leader Price supermarket and we were off Dominica.
The 3 of us made a decision to head north to Antigua quite quickly as it was looking like I would need to return to the UK soon as my father was extremely ill. This meant the islands of Dominica and Guadeloupe would only be overnight or 2 night stops. We would explore in depth on our way south in April. It would be unfair to comment on these islands as we literally anchored and moved on, in fact we never lowered the Q flag in Dominica. We did spend 5 nights in Guadeloupe 2 in Deshaies where the tv show Death in Paradise was filmed. this area is a wind magnet and we can confirm it blows there all the time. The wind bowls through the mountains causing huge gusts and choppy waters, even in the bay.
We did manage to stop at the Jacques Cousteau marine national park to snorkel. This protected park is full of aquatic life, on our way back south we will spend more time in this beautiful area.
We found a window in the weather (or so we thought) and left Deshaies at 7a.m. This wind remained on the beam but kept building up to 32kts with a confused sea. Silhouette absolutely loved it and we reached 9.2kts at one stage, and averaged just over 7kts for the 43 miles.
As we approached Antigua, we started to see very large racing yachts practicing, but for what………