A Tropical Birthday

I don’t think I’ve ever a birthday where we’ve had above 8ºC. This year, we got it all: new decade, sun, tropical rain, beach and cocktails. We loved all the birthday wishes, cards and packages that were flown in from the Netherlands. Several birthday presents were put to use immediately: an umbrella, a bikini and some magazines for at the beach!

As every day on Guadeloupe, it poured every few hours but that didn’t stop us from going to one of the prettiest beaches we’ve ever been with the appropriate name of ‘plage paradis’. Paradise it was!

After a few more days of exploring for the family and using the perks that come with a bungalow (shower, internet, laundry machine) for us it was already time for Suus, Joris, Julius and Mara fly back to Munich. We still had some time left with my parents so we decided to sail to Iles des Saints again. The weather had died down a bit but we were still expecting some rough wind and waves. My father conquered his sea sickness and took the helm and we set sail once more.

It was quite busy at the safest anchorage, where there are laid mooring balls. We were in luck, because right as we arrived a boat departed and left its mooring free. There is an unwritten rule that the boat closest to the mooring can tie up to the mooring. We were closest, so that was great! As we motored over there another boat came racing in. He was a lot faster than I expected and we ended up colliding on top of the mooring. Such a dumb situation! But luckily it was a low-impact collision with little damage. Our anchor was bent and the steel part on the bow, where the anchor lies on, was deformed. The other boat had a big scratch on the side.

The other captain started shouting and threatening (‘I came from your right!’) but he was way further out when he started racing for the mooring. He grabbed the mooring (although our anchoring gear was damaged) and started behaving like an absolute maniac. We waited for him to cool down, went over there and exchanged insurance papers. Thats what insurance is for, right?

To make a long story short, the insurance decided that we were both to blame because we couldn’t prove that we were indeed closer to the mooring than the other boat.

After this incident we decided to head back to Pointe-a-Pitre to have our anchoring gear repaired. An expert confirmed that we didn’t have any structural damage. Luckily the boat yard was super equipped and we were able to make the repairs within a week. What sucked was that we had to pay our excess! And that the other boat with the hot-headed captain had to do the repairs in the same marina and we ran into them multiple times a day..

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