Posted by: bearcruzer | June 13, 2010

Fire and Brimstone / Saba – Guadaloupe

June 03 –June 04

We caught a good easterly breeze and turned DD South.  We traveled two 12 hour days, sailing for most of the way.   We now have numerous Islands in sight as we journey on.  They appear on our horizon as distant gray hills rising from the water and grow as we approach them into verdant majestic mountains dotted with pastel colored houses beginning about halfway up the slopes and trickling down to the coastline.   On our first day we passed Saba, St. Eustasius (Stacia),  & St. Christopher (St. Kitts).   Many of these Islands are shaped like what created them,  Volcanoes.    By evening of the first travel day we found ourselves moored off the coast of Nevis.  We fly our yellow quarantine flag & spend a quiet night.  This is required upon arrival and prior to checking into any new country however we will remain aboard and will not travel ashore for at least another day.   Upon leaving Nevis we tune into the Coconut Telegraph on SSB Channel 4060.0 at 8:00am and check in.  S/V Persephone whom we have not seen or spoken with since St. Thomas contacts us and we discover we are only 1 day behind them.   As we are making good time we plan on catching up with them in the next couple of days.   They have been traveling along with S/V Sanctuary and S/V Just Imagine whom we have not seen since Luperon in the Dominican Republic so a reunion of sorts is in the making.   We approach Montserrat with its active volcano that began erupting in 1995 and continues still.    We listen to a report given to another vessel traveling our same route regarding the level of volcanic activity expected today.   It is at a level 3 of 5, minimal activity,  and so we pass within about ¾ mile offshore.   We take turns looking over the lava flow area with the binoculars as we pass by a ghost town of sorts.   What used to be the capital city of Plymouth that was destroyed during the initial eruption and remains devoid of life to the present day.    Although not spewing any flaming projectiles, the Soufriere Hills volcano still belched sulfurous smoke that blanketed one side of the mountain.   As it made its way offshore and wafted over DD, the smell of it conjured up memories of downtown Pagosa Springs, CO   reminding us of the unseen forces lurking just below the surface of our own hometown.         Michael was able to get some good shots of the devastation and the contrast between the Northern untouched part of the Island and the lava flow areas to the south and west.     We make good time down to Guadeloupe and anchor off the picturesque  little town of Deshaies .   David from S/V Persephone has let us know that he believes he thwarted an attempt to steal his dingy in this anchorage the night before.   He was working quietly in the dark at his Nav Table when he could hear whispers coming through the porthole next to where the dingy was tied and fortunately locked to the boat.    He picked up a flashlight and climbed into his cockpit and shined it on some men in a skiff within an arms length of his dingy and they immediately started their engine and roared off into the night.    Lesson learned:  As Melanie of the Safety and Security net says…….Lock it or Lose it.    We leave our dingy on the Davits and don’t bother putting it into the water here.

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