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  • Writer's pictureSailing Koinonia

S/V Koinonia Weekly Sailing Log - Exploring Guadeloupe (Wed Aug 2 - Tue Aug 8, 2023)

Updated: Aug 25, 2023

Flamingos at Deshaies Botanical Garden

This week, the crew of S/V Koinona makes an overnight passage from Sint Maarten to Guadeloupe on a full moon night, making landfall in Deshaies. We pick up a mooring ball, check in and explore the town, including the local restaurants and lovely botanical garden. The water is very clear here so everyone enjoys snorkeling; Ben and Amber get reacquainted with their SCUBA diving gear. Ben’s clients sign a deal to purchase a boat in Ft Lauderdale. We leave Deshaies and head south to explore the National Park at Pigeon Island and the surrounding harbor with its coral reefs.

Wed Aug 2 - woke up early to get underway for our passage to Guadeloupe. Heated the pastries we bought for breakfast in the oven. Weighed anchor and got the boat underway to make the 8:30am bridge opening.  Beautiful conditions, but wind was light, so we motor sailed most of the way. We did turn off the engine a few times and it was glorious.  Caught a barracuda and a small False Albacore but the sargassum made fishing difficult.  Amber heated the beef stroganoff she made in advance and it was delicious. The full moon rise was incredible; looked like a volcano was erupting through a cloud; it was a little spooky.  Moon shined bright all night and we enjoyed ideal conditions. Put a reef in the mainsail and Amber took the first watch.

Thu Aug 3 - Ben came on watch at 2:30am.  Dodged a few rain squalls which miraculously moved past or dissipated.  Sailed most of the night without motoring, averaging 5.5-6.2kts in 5-14kts of breeze. Beautiful sunrise around 5am. Monserrat is still visible in our wake and Guadeloupe’s rocky Pointe Gros Morn is clearly visible ahead.  Lizzy woke up and wanted to put the fishing lines out. Noticeably less sargassum but not much sign of “fish” activity.  Kids doubled up on some rainbow runners, which we promptly released. Dropped the sails as we entered the harbor at Deshaies. Picked up a mooring ball in clear blue water; we can see the bottom 50+ft down from the deck.  Ben went ashore and checked us in at La Pelican, which cost 5€ ($7US).  Stores all out of ice right now; no ice delivery for 2 days. Returned to the boat and raised the French courtesy flag. Kids do school with a few interruptions from sea turtle sightings.  After school, we all jumped in an did some snorkeling and cooled off. Inspected the bottom of the boat and scraped barnacles that had grown since PR. Ben had a massive migraine (rare for him). Amber and the kids took care of dinner. Ben woke up around 9:30 and learned the pull cord on the portable generator broke; his experience working for his aunt and uncle as a teenager at a small engine repair shop came in handy!  Got  to bed around 12am.

Fri Aug 4th - slept in a bit after our passage and late night. Amber and the kids do school. Ben did some work for brokerage clients. Broke out the scuba gear and dove on the boat to clean the prop and explore a bit; it was our first time doing SCUBA from our own boat.  Everyone got showers and we went ashore for dinner. Ended up eating at a restaurant “Le Coin de Pêcheurs,” which served creole and local seafood.

Sat Aug 5th - slow morning. Took the whole crew ashore to have breakfast at Le Fournil, the local boulangerie (bakery). Dropped off our pony tanks to have them filled at Tropicalsub Diving. Took the free shuttle up to the nearby botanical garden, “Jardin Bontanique de Deshaies,” at the top of the hill. One of the nicest botanical gardens we have seen! So beautiful; highly recommend!  Ben did some more work for his brokerage clients.

Sun Aug 6th - rain on and off all day. Ben continued running back and forth negotiations for his brokerage clients today. Changed the oil in the portable generator. Rain off and on today.

Large talipot palm

Mon Aug 7th - rain on and off today; Amber and the kids do school. Ben did some work for his brokerage clients most of the day. Did some snorkeling around the boat and spotted some turtles; one was huge but we couldn’t get very close to it.  Dinner was pan seared king mackerel with asparagus and Mac-n-cheese. We have decided King Mackerel is delicious!!

Tue Aug 8th - rainy all day. Amber and the kids do school. Ben replaced the vent fan for the aft head and did some work for his brokerage clients, who signed a contract on a boat. He also made some adjustments to the charge settings on the Victron Multiplus.  Went ashore to top up on gasoline for the generator and the dinghy. Decided to leave Deshaies for Pigeon Cove, about an hour and a half south, with access to the National Park and the underwater Jaques Cousteau bust for some snorkeling/diving. After we anchored, everyone jumped in for a swim to cool off before sundown; Ben and Lizzy checked our anchor set and said hello to a large barracuda that was hanging out around our boat. It rained off and on most of the evening. The anchorage was a bit rolly so Amber and Ben had to sleep beam-wise in our berth, which worked perfectly. Thankfully, we’re both short!

God Bless,

S/V Koinonia

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