March 22 – April 15, 2022; 7784 nm and 1121 days after departure from La Rochelle.
Oh yeah! We were sportive! Even more than usual! Just look at the feature image😁. Ok, true, that was none of us in the pic, but at least we tried this fairly new sport named wing foiling. Have you seen that? It is awesome! And it was sooo much fun. By the way that was my birthday present from the kids!!! Sweet! The learning curve was motivating. Getting on the board was manageable, for El Capitano even easy. Kneeing on the board and holding the wing was also ok, but getting up was the real challenge and ended often, very fast, in a not so slick looking jump into the water. Then the circle started again. Crawling on the board, kneeling and holding the wing, getting up… and splash. Anyway after two lessons of hard training we were able to stand up and once in a while we even managed to stand a turn, a jibe. What a fun sport to do and even for slightly older people possible to learn. Well, if you consider trying, you should keep in mind that the day after was not so much fun. Bruises were evenly spread over our whole bodies and every little muscle, we didn’t even know that they still existed, felt sore. Summarised the day after we mainly spent doing nothing.
Before that little jump into the future I should mention that we made it safe and sound to Guadeloupe. Our first plan to sail to “Les Saints” was spontaneously changed the morning we left Dominica (where we just had an over night stay). The reason was that it was easier to reach Marie Galante (another island belonging to Guadeloupe) from there than from the southern part of Guadeloupe or Les Saints. And we knew that the double AA’s were there too. Enough reasons to change our minds. Marie Galante is a small round shaped island with beautiful empty white sanded beaches and friendly people. Shops, bars etc seemed to be only open when tourist ferries from Guadeloupe were expected. So groceries were better to be purchased in the morning or in the late afternoon. In the meantime the village looked a bit like a lost village. Anyhow we had some nice days and I could even celebrate my birthday with our friends from Lady Jean and some of their friends.
Our next destination was Saint François at the south east end of La Grande Terre, the smaller east wing of the butterfly-shaped main island Guadeloupe. We visited this beautiful and well protected reef anchorage thanks to my fascinating birthday present. The kids figured out that St. François was the best place to learn wing foiling in Guadeloupe. So here we were. The spot was not only great because of its many water sports. We also enjoyed the little marina with its pretty little shops and bars merged into the old town with even more restaurants and shops. With watching the pros kiting, surfing and foiling the hole day and our own sportive activities, the days were just flying by. We were a bit sad to leave this nice spot so soon, but on the other hand we were looking forward to meet up with some friends.
Ty, a former college of El Capitano and his wife Kallianne were on holidays from the US visiting Guadeloupe. To easy meet up with them we sailed to “Marina de Riviere Sens”. A small anchorage in the south west part of La Basse Terre, the other wing of Guadeloupe. They were keen on proper sailing so we took them for a day trip to the island of Les Saints and anchored in a small bay. They impressed us with having extremely good sea legs, in return we impressed them with beautiful turquoise water, great snorkelling and a fairly good lunch aboard Altimate. A couple of days later we met up again at the Cousteau marine park, which was a bit further up north close to Bouillante. Here we could show off with the fascinating underwater world of the marine park and they countered with a beautiful walk up in the national park of Guadeloupe and invited us for a nice dinner. And … as their week was coming to an end they brought us their boost left overs. I’m sure they thought they had booked three weeks… we got so much to drink. WOW! Thank you guys for taking us around and having so much fun😁😋.
During our activities in the last months we have not forgotten to think about the next hurricane season which is already starting officially June 1st. Always a challenge to decide what is best for the crew and the boat. Where to go, which country is nice and safe, is the boat insured and more. This year we have as well a wedding coming up at the end of July in Germany (no, not one of our kids, just in case someone is wondering. Our nice is the lucky one), which makes it even more difficult. The boat would be alone for at least four weeks in the hurricane season. For our peace of mind and to fully enjoy the wedding and Germany we would need to find the following. A hurricane safe area with a well secured marina in a beautiful country with nice people and a fairly easy access to an airport. Oh yes and if possible reasonable priced of course. Well, after a lot of back and forth, talking to friends, checking the internet for information regarding our requirements we came to a conclusion. Colombia and precisely Santa Marta is the place to be. We do hope that is a good decision.
That decision defines as well our next steps. We just arrived at Dominica where we want to stay a couple of weeks to satisfy our desire to relax and enjoy slowly the new country. If we are in the mood we will also stop at Saints Kitts and Nevis, but definitely at St Maarten where we need to pick up our new dinghy. Our old one deserves to get retired soon. It was made for the Mediterranean, the Caribbean sun-rays let it get old faster than expected.