Around the Corner to Anse Canot

While we were in Saint Louis, we briefly met our friend Robie, on Blue Moon.

It had been rough for a few days, but now that the weather had improved, we went around the corner to the beautiful (but more exposed) Anse Canot.

Here we snorkelled in the shallows, and hiked the Vieux Fort loop.

One day we tried to motor out to the Ilet du Vieux Fort, to the North, to snorkel around it. But the current was too strong to be enjoyable.

Time on the water: 0:51
Distance covered: 3.1nm
Avg speed: 3.6kts
Max speed: 6.4kts
Crew: John, Stefano, Clare, Sandy, Ugo

Navionics Track

Hard Sail to Marie Galante


After a week in The Saints, it was time to head east to Marie Galante. This was going to be the hardest easterly sail we did with my parents, but we'd done it a couple of times already, and thought it would be manageable.

After breakfast, we put up sails inside the bay, and motored South through Passe du Sud, between Terre de Bas and Terre de Haut. I had intended to continue South through Passe des Dames, between La Coche and Grand Ilet. But the wind through the Passe du Grande Ilet looked like it would be sailable, North of Grand Ilet, so we went for it. This turned into a horrible slog, into a strong current and big swell. The swell got squeezed through the Passe du Grande Ilet, making for a very uncomfortable ride.


I won't say my mother enjoyed it, but I think she forgave us, on condition that we don't do something like that again. Some anti-anxiety medication, and a few sea shanties until the medication kicked in, went a long way to easing the voyage.

Once we were out of the saints, we tacked North. Then, behind Marie Galante, the wind changed and we decided to just motor the rest of the way to Saint Louis, rather thank tacking across the bay, all afternoon.

In our previous visits to Marie Galante, we'd anchored in the Anse Canot / Anse de Mays area, but hadn't visited the town of Saint Louis itself. It turned out to be a beautiful and friendly little town. We walked the beaches and bought local head scarves.

Time on the water: 5:48
Distance covered: 23.8nm
Avg speed: 4.1kts
Max speed: 6.9kts
Crew: John, Stefano, Clare, Sandy, Ugo

Navionics Track

Sail to the Saints

Our first real sail with my parents. This started off with a light wind, in the wind shadow, so we motor sailed down to the Southern tip of Basse-Terre.

Then the wind started to pick up, and we were heading directly upwind. So, we started to heel a bit. Not my mother's favourite, she prefers a level deck.

After a couple of tacks upwind, we motored the rest of the way into the saints, and took a mooring ball off Ilet a Cabrit. This is the quiet anchorage away from the hustle of Terre de Haut, but still close enough that you can dinghy in to pick up fresh baguettes and pain au chocolat.

We walked up to Fort Napoleon, on Morne Mire, and looked through its museum and succulent garden.


We went for an early morning hike up Le Chameau, and had breakfast at the old fort on the top, enjoying the spectacular view.

The route up was on a road, but the path down the other side was steep at times, and it was a very hot day. So, when we got down, we left my parents to have a coffee at a beach resort on the West coast, walked back to town, and picked them up by dinghy.

Time on the water: 5:11
Distance covered: 30.7nm
Avg speed: 5.9kts
Max speed: 9.8kts
Crew: John, Stefano, Clare, Sandy, Ugo

Navionics Track

Pigeon Island

This was the trip we did with my parents on the boat. To keep it simple, we just motored down the island a couple of hours to the Pigeon Island area.

Here we did some snorkelling in the Cousteau Reserve.

Time on the water: 2:07
Distance covered: 10nm
Avg speed: 4.7kts
Max speed: 8.6kts
Crew: John, Stefano, Clare, Ugo, Sandy

Navionics Track


Fuelled up again, we were ready to head South to Guadeloupe to have my parents on board for 3 weeks.

Customs was busy when we went to clear out on Tuesday afternoon, so it took a couple of hours. The next morning set off at 10am, for a straight shot down to Deshaies, on the North-West corner of Guadeloupe. I don't recall too much about the trip, but it would have been a nice easy sail, on probably a broad reach.


We arrived in good time in the afternoon to check in at "Le Pelican" in Deshaies, and have a swim before sundown. In the French Antilles, customs clearance is self-service, often inside a small local business like "Le Pelican", a curio store. It takes 5 minutes, and costs a couple of Euro.


We stocked up at Carrefour, and picked my parents up at the airport. They were pretty exhausted after 2 long-haul flights, but soon settled into boat life, relaxing and swimming off the boat. Deshaies was where Death in Paradise was filmed, which they've been watching on TV. So we wandered around the village spotting all the movie sets.

The local botanical garden was a bit of a hike up the hill, but well worth it for its variety.


One day in Deshaies, we were visited by a couple of local dolphins in the bay. They seemed playful, so I jumped in the water, and swam out to them. Soon everyone else joined in.

It was something quite special to get up close and watch them play. But sometimes a little scary, too. They would be playing with each other, writhing in the depths. Then suddenly they'd turn and swim at you with open jaws, only darting away at the last moment. I don't know if I want to be part of dolphin games like that.

Often they would be close enough that you could touch if you wanted. Some sailors from another boat joined in, and one of the dolphins would jump out the water, over a swimmer. It's not hard to imagine a small mistake by man or dolphin really hurting someone.

Definitely something to remember for a long time.

Time on the water: 6:41
Distance covered: 44.3nm
Avg speed: 6.6kts
Max speed: 11.7kts
Crew: John, Stefano, Clare

Navionics Track

Fuelling Up

We spent a couple of weeks in Falmouth. Generally taking things easy and trying not to spend too much time watching the news about the Ukraine invasion (probably the reason I'm a year behind on these blog posts).

We hiked from Pigeon Beach to Nelson's Dockyard, past the old Forts Culyer and Berkeley. This is a easy hike with a spectacular view over both harbours. But also exposed to the sun, and hot.


Sailboats may sound like the perfect green travel vehicle, but we burn diesel too. Motoring is the easiest and safest way to get in and out of anchorages. And the wind isn't always favourable. Sometimes if you want to get somewhere it makes more sense to motor than wait for a perfect weather window.

We also run a generator occasionally, we don't quite have enough solar power to keep up with all the electrical usage. So, yeah, we need diesel.

With our large tanks, at our current usage rates, we only need to fuel up every couple of years. Some countries only allow commercial vessels access to duty-free fuel, or have other difficult restrictions. So, when it comes to fuelling up, we can wait until we get to an island that will give us a good price. Antigua is usually a reasonably-priced place to fuel up. As a foreign vessel, one can buy duty-free fuel there. The fuel docks are plentiful and easy to get to, and the quality is good.

We could predict that the Ukraine invasion would send fuel prices soaring, so we tried to fill up before this happened. We didn't want to be rushed, filling up, so we waited a few weeks for an alongside berth to open up on the Antigua Yacht Club marina, for a day. They'd bring a fuel cart to us, and we could fill at our leisure, filtering the fuel on the way into the tanks.


But the marina was packed with super-yachts, and all the convenient berths would be immediately taken by these massive and well paying guests. One of them turned out to be Amadea, a Russian vessel fleeing sanctions. She filled up in Antigua, went dark on AIS, and turned up in Fiji a month later, where she was arrested and handed over to the US.

We stopped waiting for a berth, and booked a fuelling at the fuel dock in English Harbour. Mark came along to give us a hand with the tight manoeuvring and docking. On the way out of Falmouth Bay, a hat flew overboard, and Clare dived in to save it. So, we got to practice a man (and hat) overboard drill in the middle of a tight busy channel. Both were picked up, and we continued round the corner. We were now a little late and had to wait for the dock to empty, so did some loops in the bays.

The fuelling itself was simple enough, and we were able to go faster than we thought, through the Baja fuel filter.

But things got busy. Another yacht rafted up alongside us to fuel. And our old broker, who was relocating back to South Africa, came by to sell us their folding bicycle and Iridium Go. They gave Mark a lift back to Falmouth. These distractions meant we were a little under-crewed and overfilled a tank by mistake, causing a (very small) spill. Exactly the kind of rush we were trying to avoid, a good lesson. It was almost entirely contained, on deck, at least.

At this point the diesel price was going up twice a day (when it had previously changed once a month), so we got caught in their IT crisis. They had offered us the morning's price, but charged us the afternoon's price. This took some time to sort out, but they made good on their offer.

We motored back to Falmouth, and anchored off Pigeon Point.

Time on the water: 4:42
Distance covered: 6.2nm
Avg speed: 1.3kts
Max speed: 9.6kts
Crew: John, Stefano, Clare, Mark

Navionics Track