Well, that didn’t quite go according to plan. When I left Deshaises on the northwest tip of Guadeloupe this morning I knew I’d be in the island’s wind shadow as I sailed down its west coast but I didn’t expect the wind to be quite as fluky as it was. Seventeen knots from the south one minute, seven from the west the next, then none at all, then back to the south again, and on and on. Sails up, sails down, sails in, sails out. Cup of tea. Repeat.
As I ate my lunch of bread and cheese I considered a change of plan. I had intended to sail to Martinique to meet some friends who are there on their boat, but I’d expected to crank out the 125 mile voyage in a day or so, not take all morning just to make fifteen miles.
So I pulled in here, the southwestern corner of Guadeloupe, and dropped anchor just before dusk. I only made twenty-five miles today and I feel like I’ve worked for every one. But no matter, I’m in no particular hurry.
As the anchor light sways to and fro in the gathering gloom the pressure cooker hisses in a homely fashion. Just rice and a few vegetables will do tonight.
It’s dark now, and ashore the insects are shouting at the tops of their voices. None of them make it out here to where I am, fortunately. Voices like that conjure up fearsome images of what they might be like. As the low, slow swell rolls in from the sea the boat sways gently and the woodwork creaks, like the soundtrack to a cheesy film set on an old timber galleon. The stars shine out from a black sky and I hear the soft shushing of the surf breaking on the beach, out there in the hot, humid night.
I can’t face listening to the news. The world will have to get by without me raging about it. I have that pleasantly tired feeling that comes after eating dinner at the end of an active day. I’ll sleep well tonight, rocking gently in my bunk, and in the morning I’ll raise the anchor, hoist the sails and be on my way again.