keskiviikko 5. tammikuuta 2011

January 4th 2011

Petite Anse d'Arlet

14º 29.28’ N, 61º 04.93’ W

For the first time in our lives, we decided to skip Christmas, and I am certain that this decision brought a Christmas Curse on us (I am convinced that there is such a thing!).
We stayed in St. Lucia till the 23rd but as there was a tropical cyclone on the island that brought strong winds and heavy rain with it, we checked out and sailed to the neighbouring island of Martinique instead. Later in the afternoon, when we dropped anchor near the small village of St. Anne, the weather was fine with just a gentle breeze and nice sunshine. But the following night, first it started to drizzle and then, the wind picked up and it was soon raining cats and hounds. We didn't leave the boat for two whole days because of the continuous wind and rain but eventually, we had to go ashore to check in to avoid problems with the authorities.

Speaking of problems, while still in St. Lucia, our generator stopped charging or, more precisely, it charged far less than before. Pekka used several hours trying to fix the problem, the reason for which remains unknown, but so far to no avail.
During the short crossing from St. Lucia to Martinique, while we were up on deck, the water hose under the galley sink became detached and all the water from the tank went into the bilge.
We took two bags of dirty clothes to the laundry but when we went to collect them, only one bag was returned to us. The lady behind the counter said that she had probably given half of our clean laundry to somebody else by mistake, and that she was sorry about that. Well, so were we but, ce'st la vie. And, after all, the loss wasn't so big, nothing we couldn't replace or do without. Except that, among the clothes, there was one item that had sentimental value for us, namely Captain Stig's Memorial T-shirt.

Did I ever tell you about our cairn terrier Pipsa? She was already thirteen when she became a member of Sarema's crew on our first two Atlantic crossings from Europe to the Caribbean and back. During the voyage, Pipsa proved to be such a courageous dog and a natural-born mariner that we renamed her Captain Stig. After we had returned to Europe, we had T-shirts made with the text I AM SAILING WITH CAPTAIN STIG, written on the front, and CREW, on the back. After the long voyage, Captain Stig retired in Andalusia, Spain, and eventually passed away in Finland at the age of sixteen. As she was unable to sail with us to the Pacific, we took her ashes with us and scattered them into the sea in Alaska to honour this adventurous little dog who was a great companion and a keen sailor.

Thank God, Christmas is finally over, and we assume that things will get back to normal.
We left St. Anne on the 29th and anchored in front of the picturesque village of Petite Anse d'Arlet amid no more than five other boats. We came here to escape the all-night-long disco music, the fireworks, and the crowd that had started to celebrate the turn of the year already weeks ago. We have now spent almost a week in this tranquil setting snorkelling, sea turtle-watching, and socializing with the crew of s/y Suvi, a Finnish boat that was anchored in the same bay. But the time has now come to head back to St. Anne and start preparing our good boat Sarema for more than a month's solitude as her crew will fly to Europe to spend high quality time with family and friends for a change.

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