S/V Koinonia Weekly Sailing Log - Exploring Guadeloupe (Wed Aug 9 - Tue Aug 15, 2023)
Updated: Aug 25
Highlights: this week, the crew of SV Koinonia continue sailing south along the coast of the French Island of Guadeloupe, stopping at a few places along the way for some great snorkeling, before continuing to the archipelago of Les Saintes and Terre-de-Haut. We explore the city, snorkel, hike, and do some light provisioning as we prepare to leave Guadeloupe for Dominica.
Wed Aug 9 - everyone works together on school today; math can be hard! Rain on and off all day. Ben washed two loads of laundry on the boat. We’ve learned that a five gallon bucket and stopping with your feet works great. Fortunately, we have a spin drier, which allows us to dry our clothes in about an hour. Went snorkeling on the reef close to shore and saw tons of coral and reef fish.
Thu Aug 10 - kids start school then pause so we can go snorkel the nearby Réserve de Cousteau Guadeloupe. Pigeon Island and the surrounding area was first brought to international attention by Jacques Cousteau when he declared it one of the best dive sites in the world. It is now a national marine park. Saw tons of fish and amazing coral structures of various kinds. Came back to the boat, everyone got showers and the kids resumed school. Made water. One of the fresh water fittings for the flow meter on our water maker cracked, but fortunately we were able to by-pass it and continue using it. Pancakes for dinner with homemade sausage patties.
Fri Aug 11 - quiet time; Amber and the kids do school. Rain showers on and off. Ate breakfast in the cockpit. Ben got the boat ready to get underway; short trip of 3-4 hours to Terre-de-Haut in the Les Saintes Archipelago of Guadeloupe. Picked up a mooring ball and then moved because the lack of wind would have resulted in the ball banging into our hull. Les Saintes Multiservices (LSM), who manage the moorings and customs, met us immediately; cost for the mooring is 14€ per night. Got settled and the kids finished school. This bay is rolly (uncomfortable) due to the large and frequent ferry boat traffic between mainland Guadeloupe and Les Saintes. Continuing to monitor weather for possible departure to Dominica.
Sat Aug 12 - everyone got dressed, loaded up in the “car” (aka dinghy) and went into town to drop-off our laundry, get rid of our trash, and clear out of Guadeloupe. LSM also has drop off laundry; cost for three loads of laundry washed and folded was 36€; cost to clear out was 4€. Had breakfast at a cafe/ boulangerie called Le Joyeux Gourmand where we had our fill of freshly baked pastries and café. Did some shopping then had lunch at a small restaurant called Île Blue, then took the kids to get ice cream at C'est Bon, just downstairs from LSM. Went in search of a dive shop to replace the strap for Maddy’s dive mask but no luck. Returned to the boat and moved the boat to the west side of nearby Îlet a Cabrit. The kids jumped in and snorkeled the reef off the back of the boat while Amber made a divine meatloaf for dinner (Tom Colicchio recipe).
Sun Aug 13 - breakfast, followed by Sunday worship. Ate lunch and then took the dinghy ashore to hike to to the western peak of the island to see the ruins of Fort Josephine. Hiked back down and did some snorkeling on the reef around the island. Water was a bit turbid, so visibility wasn’t as good as usual but still saw lots of fish and corals. Dinner on the boat was baked ziti with Brussels Sprouts.
Mon Aug 14 - woke up to the LSM guy knocking on our boat; paid another 42€ to stay on the mooring through Tue night. Amber and the kids do school. Something is causing the kids to have a mild allergic reaction; dosed with Benadryl. Ben took the dinghy ashore to get some bread and revise our clearance date but the lady working customs said we would have to wait until Wed morning. Rats! Went back to the boat and worked on a consulting project. Leftovers for lunch. Amber washer two loads of laundry on the boat to catch us back up. Made water. Ben made a baked pasta dish with leftover pasta, steamed broccoli, mozzarella, homemade mornay and homemade Italian sausage.
Tue Aug 15 - very windy today and partly cloudy. Amber and the kids do school. Ben made a bread pudding out of leftover baguettes. Continuing to monitor weather; looks like we should be able to leave tomorrow for Dominica. Two tropical waves have formed that are currently predicted to have only a 20-30% chance of forming into a storm over the next 7 days. One of our oldest Caframo Sirocco II 12v fans died in the galley; fortunately, we had a spare and Ben swapped it out in 10 mins. Ben continued working on his consulting project, then did some work on logistics for a survey and trial run for his clients. Amber cleaned out the fridge and then made some yummy quesadillas for dinner. Everyone got showers then we started a game of Monopoly on the girl’s Nintendo DS.