Monday, February 18, 2013

A Windy Weather Window

Goodbye Rodney Bay
We are now very keen to sell Alianna and so are on our way north to St Martin where our broker Tony at the Little Ships Company is and where we hope to have a better chance of selling her quickly.
Sim setting the main.
So heading northwards with a small and windy weather window, we left the comfy confines of Rodney Bay behind early on Saturday morning. It is only a 45 mile or so trip up to St Pierre at the north end of Martinique but always erring on the cautious side we like to leave ourselves plenty of time to arrive before dark. We were up at the crack of dawn, already shipshape with only the sails to pull up and the anchor to haul away. This two day weather window wasn’t the best in the world with force 5-6 winds and seas to accompany. Alianna was reefed down with just half a headsail and two reefs in the main. It was a bumpy ride across the St Lucia/Martinique channel. Alianna was surfing the waves, disappearing down troughs only to rise up again on the crests. One minute my view would span the world the next a wall of water. The wind was howling a good 25+kts and Alianna was stonking along loving every minute of it. It was an exhilarating ride, not one I like to do for very long but it certainly blows all the cobwebs away. Thankfully the seas died down as we came into the lee of Martinique and we had a beautiful sail in the flat waters all the way up to the pretty anchorage at St Pierre and below the always awesome Mt Pelee.
Anchorage St Pierre, Martinique
It was the same procedure the following day, up at the crack of dawn for the 55 miles to Dominca. Another bumpy ride for slightly longer as this channel between the islands is wider. But again Alianna sailed like a trooper. Double rainbows and dolphins entertained us. It’s so wonderful to be sailing again after being immobile for so long. The sense of freedom it evokes is indescribable.
Beautiful double rainbow.
We are now anchored in Portsmouth Bay, Dominica. We have anchored and re-anchored and….re-anchored again as the holding is notoriously bad but as we are going to be holed up here for a few days while force 7 winds blow through we want to be happy that our anchor is secure. The boat boys have been out and greeted us; it can get rather annoying when they hang off the sides while you are trying to anchor. But they are only trying to earn a living. Sim has cleared in. We will now wait for this weather to pass through before we carry on north to St Martin.

Dominica last night.
Sim having a quick cuppa b4 we head out.
T'was a wet and windy trip.

with the wind in my hair!
Sim taking a dive in St Pierre

so clear and blue at St Pierre

At anchor in St Pierre
Cute town of St Pierre

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