After all the rain in Dominica it was time for some serious boat work in Guadeloupe. First things first: where did all the water in the fuel tank come from? We had a big scare and dejavu moment in Roseau when the engine suddenly died on us. When we got over the initial shock and dramatic overreaction (OMG we need a new engine again) we realised that there might be something wrong with the fuel tank. Right.. a leaky filler cap! All the rain of the last weeks had been slowly dripping into the fuel tank through the filler cap on the deck (where we fill the fuel tank at the fuel station). This was a relatively easy fix, and until then we could run the engine off jerrycans.
The little problem of a leaking fuel cap spiralled into a big series of boat jobs (as usual), which we all did in our first port in Guadeloupe: Pointe-a-Pitre. This is the capital of Guadeloupe and is a very big city for Caribbean standards: there were cruise ships, modern architecture, bus lines, a university, an airport and even a highway. We found a calm spot to anchor just outside of the marina with all the facilities we needed around the corner. It wasn’t very pretty – an industrial view and the sewage smell – but very convenient. We got Scehawk back in the game, better as ever. Right on time for the Best Day of the Year (aka my birthday, and also Suus’ and Darwins birthday as Thomas just told me)!
My sister and I always celebrate our birthdays together. Even past years, living in different countries, we have always made time to celebrate together. My parents usually also join us for the party, and this year was no exception! Willem, Eelke, Suzanne, Joris, Julius and Mara arrived in Guadeloupe for a two week holiday. They had booked apartments and rental cars so we could explore the island together. With our personal travel guide Joris we were in for a full two-activities-a-day holiday programme. We explored almost every beach of Guadeloupe, hiked up a volcano, soaked in hot-water springs and of course we took them for a sail.
The weekend before the Best Day of the Year we took Suus and Joris sailing while my parents watched their grandkids. The weather was very rough, it was forecasted to blow 20-25 knots. As we were sailing into the acceleration zone between the islands it gusted up to 35 knots and the waves were steep. We were tacking into it, beating against the waves, wind and rain. This all didn’t stop Joris’ excitement (Suus was a bit less excited). It was not quite what you would imagine thinking about a nice Caribbean sail!