The, sort of, final leg of the season

Tomorrow morning at daybreak we will slip Pandora’s lines and drop the mooring that we have been on for the last few days here in Les Saintes, to make the 75 mile run north past Guadeloupe and on to Antigua.

From Antigua I will fly home with Brenda to get the house open for the summer. Mid April, tax day actually, I will fly back to participate, I hope, in the Classic Yacht Regatta and then run Pandora south to Trinidad with a friend, the last cruise of 2024.

Les Saintes are a small group of islands located just south of the main island of Guadeloupe, one of our favorite places to visit. The view of shore is very charming, with red metal roofs on all the buildings, looking oh-so-French.

The view to the north of the “big island” of Guadeloupe, is impressive, especially when the light glows near sunset. Or wait, was it sunrise? Whatever, it’s always lovely.

These islands are accessible from the main island via ferry and there is a constant parade of boats coming and going all day and into the evening, disgorging hundreds of tourists, mostly French.

“Mainstreet” is very charming, complete with a number of patisseries, so there is always a good selection of baked products to choose from.

Our run from Martinique here a few days ago was uneventful, with very nice winds. I took this short video as we approached Dominica.

We stopped for the night in Portsmouth, Dominica but didn’t clear in, “yellow flagging” it, and leaving early the next morning. Sadly, as has been the case in many places this season, it was terribly rolly so we didn’t get a good night sleep. Brenda and I have had just about enough rolling for one season. There is something unnatural about being anchored and yet having enough boat movement to make it impossible to keep anything upright on the counter.

Fortunately, Les Saintes have proven to be mostly calm and enjoyable. We’ve eaten out a bit and tonight we will be meeting a number of fellow cruisers a bar overlooking the water for cocktails. It will be a nice mix including two couples that we already know and three that we don’t.

One of the couples are on a mooring near us, flying an Ocean Cruising Club burgee, another French couple that we anchored near in St Pierre and a third that we met today on the dock. The chance meeting on the dock was when they asked us where they could get rid of trash. We told them and then I invited them to join us. Random? Yes, but that’s a great way to meet folks.

Imagine seeing someone downtown where you live, perhaps at the post office, and inviting them for drinks? No, not a chance but in the world of cruising, not weird at all. Well, not for someone as shy and retiring as I am.

This evening should be fun with a nice mix including that couple the we “met”, sort of in St Pierre, and they don’t even speak English well at all. When I went to see them this morning and invited them to join us for “sun downers”, well, they had no idea what I was trying to say. We finally settled on “drinks” and they got that along with me putting up five fingers to designate the time.

That’s me, shy and retiring Bob. We will see how that goes. I’m sure that it will be fine.

So, tomorrow, off to Antigua for the, sort of, final chapter as we pack up all our stuff, mostly Brenda’s and decide what we can live without until Pandora goes to Trinidad and sometime later in the year, back in the water to head north again.

Trinidad is a long way from home and with all the work that has to be done to get her ready for the “possible, likely, hopefully” run to the Azores next spring, plenty to think about.

For the moment, not a lot to think about at all except perhaps which bathing suit to wear for my afternoon swim.

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