Our last few days in Antigua were quiet but busy in the little remote anchorage of New Division Bay, just a little north of Jolly Harbour. There are no on-shore amenities in the bay (i.e. no distractions) so it gave us a good chance to catch up on a few of our boat chores. Cleaning the boat bottom, laundry, polishing our stainless steel and making water – yup, there is always something to do on the boat!
We also fit in some swimming and snorkeling. Besides being fun, this is a big part of how we stay cool during these hot days. The temperature is commonly around 30 degrees Celsius lately and with the humidity, it can get close to 35 or 37 degrees Celsius. Mid-day is the worst, which is why many shops close in the early afternoon, either for the rest of the day or until the night cool sets in. Oh yes, thankfully the nights cool off! This makes sleeping possible. Ummm, except when it rains, which it is doing quite often these days. When it rains, we need to close our boat hatches and well, closed hatches = one very hot boat! With many spotty rain showers and squalls at all hours of the day and night, we find we are opening and closing hatches numerous times an hour. When this happens overnight (which has been frequent over the last few weeks), a full night of REM sleep doesn’t always happen. Open the hatches, close the hatches, open the hatches, close the hatches, yeesh, we are not a fan of the hatch olympics!
How else do we stay cool during the day? Besides swimming and snorkeling, we relish in the sea breezes that flow through the cockpit when we have our boat windshield open. Ah, divine! If we must go to town, we try to linger in stores that have air conditioning. Most of the time, Ocean is allowed to shop inside as well or, at worst, be just inside the front door. Either way, she gets cooled off too. 😊
Cooled off or not, we have to keep heading south. We targeted last Tuesday for making the jump from Antigua to Guadeloupe. The day before (Monday), we repositioned the boat to Jolly Harbour so we could easily go to Customs and clear out, which we did in the early afternoon. At sunrise the next morning, both Caretta and Wild Horses weighed anchor. We had a beautiful day and the wind filled our sails for a fast and comfortable passage the whole 47 nautical miles to Deshies, Guadeloupe.
We arrived in the harbour just before 4pm, which we thought was perfect since the clearing in point was inside a store called “Le Pelican” and we had been told that it opened at 4pm. Only we couldn’t find the store. We chatted with a few locals and came to learn that Le Pelican is closed for a month. With this info, we gave up trying to find the store and instead went with Plan B. Other cruisers had said that boats could also clear in at the local municipal police station. After walking pretty much all around town, we finally found the station. Yes! But no! Taped on the front door was a note saying that pleasure boats should clear in at Le Pelican. Yeah, that same Le Pelican that we couldn’t find and that is closed for the next month. We tried hailing someone inside the station but got no response. Hmmmm. A little stuck, we thought we would try, once again, to find Le Pelican and confirm that it was, indeed, closed. We walked to the area described on the police door signage and still could not find a store with the marquee “Le Pelican”. But we did find lots of closed stores. Perhaps it was one of them? We had now been walking around for almost an hour but as a last ditch effort, we walked again to the municipal police station. With a stroke of luck, an officer was standing outside the station and he confirmed that he could clear our boats in. Yes! Fifteen minutes later, both Caretta and Wild Horses were properly cleared into Guadeloupe. And just one minute after that? The police officer walked outside, locked the door and left for the day. Wow, cleared in at the eleventh hour!
We will stay about a week in Guadeloupe, sailing down the coast and to “Les Saintes” a group of beautiful small islands just south of the main island. Our plan is to enjoy “Les Saintes” for a few days and then head off for our next island, Dominica.
Interested in where Wild Horses is currently anchored? Click on the link below.
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.