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This is my kind of town. You get off the dinghy dock and walk through this alley between two restraints, cross the street and you are in the bakery. And it is a good one. Plus the owners daughter is getting good at English. Of course we are also learning the different fillings for Danishes in French. Danish, French and English. I do not remember using that many foreign nouns in one sentence before. It is one of these you sit outside on the sidewalk right beside the street, You could reach out and high five people driving by. Thank goodness there are almost always cars parked along the street.

Enough on getting fat. We Left Les Saintes on the 8th and had a very nice sail the 8 miles to Guadalupe. The Wind was on our quarter at about 13 knots and only about 1 foot chop. That does not happen very often. Been across that 8 mile strip of water and have had it as rough as any we have been in. We were then in the lee of the island the rest of the day and motored to Deshaies on the north end of Guadalope. We left at 0600 to beat the mid day wind and got to Deshaies at 1145.

It is an interesting anchorage. The bay is maybe a quarter mile across. They have put in mooring balls in half of it. Over half of those are taken by the locals for there boats. The rest of the bay gets filled up with anchored boats. The bottom is not the best holding and they have had several Boat at a time drag out to sea. This happens due to the afternoon wind that funnels down from the mountains through 2 passes. It can be a nice pleasant breeze one minute and then gust to 30 knots for the next 12 hours. There are times when the wind gets to 40 and 50 knots. That is when boats drag out to sea. The first afternoon there we got wind in the low 30’s. The next day was calm. The next day there it was almost 30 knots again. We left the next morning.

We left Deshaies for Jolly Harbor, Antigue at 0800. Hoping that the strong wind of the previous day had dropped enough to allow the seas to get back down. Well they did, kind of. Our winds were 18-20 and gusting to 22 kts. Seas were 4-5 foot out of 2 directions. Makes it kind of like a wash machine. Quite a few rolls in the 20+ degrees and an occasional in the 30 degree range. Not bad. Had most of the sails up, but still motor sailed to get across the 45 miles of choppy water. Got in at 1530 averaging 7 kts. Not bad.

My Dock Lord in Pensacola use to talk about marching elephants on the Horizon when at sea. He did not like those seas. They look like elephants marching tail to trunk along the horizon. We do occasionally see those on calm days. The mate calls our big seas galloping gorillas. They well up on the horizon or block the horizon and come thundering down on you. It is really amazing how fast they can get from the horizon to slamming into the boat. Remember when the weatherman says the seas will be 4-5 feet, he is only talking about the largest 2/3s of the waves. That still leaves 1/3rd to be of any height King Neptune wants to stir up. This day there were 4-5 footers from the east and also from the northeast. Now, thank goodness that does not mean you get waves of 5’ plus 5’ and have 10 footers. You may get a 6+ footer. They will often crest and those are like the old gray back gorillas. Elephants scatter. Sometimes the 2 waves can hit and grow right beside you. Those I just say WOW to and grab hold. We were sailing along, the mate sitting on the lee side and I was sitting on the windward side, with no shirt on while putting on suntan lotion. One of her gorillas welled up and came into the cockpit. Not the whole wave mind you, but maybe a few gallons, most of which hit me square in the back. It was cold.

We are in Jolly Harbor, Antigue for a few days. It has one of the best grocery stores in the islands. It also has a good size boat store. In a couple days we will go to Falmouth Harbor and spend Christmas there. We were a little worried about Christmas. Two ladies decided to put together a Christmas dinner at one of the restaurants on the bay. There may be 30-40 cruisers there for dinner. They did it for 20 last year and thought it was superb. Well as of yesterday there were only about 2 boats that we knew were going to be part of this. Well yesterday late afternoon and this morning a lot of cruisers showed up. We also understand as of this morning there were 10 others already in Falmouth Harbor. Looks like it could be a good time.

Oh yea, we bought a months worth of WIFI that is good in several of the places we will be for the next couple months. In Deshaies it was the fastest we have had in a long time. Lets hope it is that way in Falmouth. Oh Jolly Harbor…, no WIFI.

This post first appeared on Pensacola FL Sailing Blog - Sailingnightwatch | A, please read the originial post: here

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