Plans Written in Sand at Low Tide…

A Week Aboard S/V Sabado: 6/4/2023 – 6/11/2023

Hi hi!! Happy Sunday!

Have you seen our latest YouTube video?

Monday morning, we decided to hike up to the fort overlooking our anchorage. We’d been anchored on the French side of Saint Martin for a bit longer than anticipated due to some irregular weather patterns, and we were beginning to go a little stir-crazy. So, we took the dinghy to shore to stretch our legs. For the past week, we’d been staring up at Fort Louis, but it had been unbearably hot, making the thought of a hike repulsive. 😂 The heat hadn’t subsided, but we felt we’d acclimated. We made our way up the trail and were rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view.

Fort Louis was built in 1789 to protect Marigot Bay, where they stored most of their harvested goods from Dutch and Spanish pirates. It was a sweaty trek to the top, but it was worth it! After our hike, we wandered around town. We stopped at a grocery store to pick up more shelf-stable milk for our yogurt maker, then had a fabulous lunch at the yacht club. 

The next day we decided to revisit our favorite cheese shop. We discovered Le Comptoir Des Fromages when we were here a few months ago and haven’t forgotten it since. They sell a small but excellent selection of oil, vinegar, salt, and cheeses, but the best experience by far is taking a seat and ordering a curated cheese board. The gal who works there will ask you a few questions about your preferences/how hungry you are and bring out custom tasting boards with fresh bread for you to enjoy. We had to order some wine to go with it, too. 😉

We took our time, munching our way through each option and discussing. Our favorites were the goat cheese rolled in vegetable ashes  (round, bottom of the board) and the herbed sheep’s milk cheese from Corsica (to the left of the goat cheese). 

We made it back to Sabado just in time for a beautiful sunset!

By Wednesday morning, we were ready for a change of scenery. The weather didn’t allow for a substantial move, but we decided to pull up our anchor and make a small hop South to Saint Barts. It was sweltering when we left, and the lack of wind only amplified the heat. We were sweaty messes. We motored through the flat, still water for a few hours before arriving at the packed port. 

We took a few laps around, looking for a spot to anchor, but the only available space was too deep for us. We decided to continue on. Unfortunately, the places we had planned on going to next were too far away; we’d be arriving at night in unfamiliar waters, something we do our best to avoid. So, we headed out without a real plan. Luckily, the wind filled out. We raised our sails and went where the wind wanted us to: Saint Kitts. We found a side-of-the-road type anchorage on our charts, good enough for an unplanned one-night stay! 

We used our main and jib, sailing the entire way with a SOG of ~5.5kn. It was quite a treat considering our original plan was just a short motor. ⛵️

We approached Saint Kitts as the sun was setting and dropped our anchor just before dark. 

We settled at the base of a large mountain covered in lush greenery. There were only two other boats around, a yacht and a fellow sailing catamaran. The downside: it reeked of burning garbage. We could see the fire ashore, and the wind was blowing the stench directly into the anchorage. We cooked ourselves some dinner and poured each other a glass of whiskey, cheersing to a day well spent. The fire stopped just before we went to bed, and we had a fresh, steady breeze throughout the night. 

We left first thing in the morning. With hurricane season upon us and the deadline set by our insurance to be in Grenada rapidly approaching, we wanted to get down to Guadeloupe. It was a bit rough leaving the anchorage, we were motoring directly into 25kn of wind and 4ft seas, but we hoped things would flatten out once we reached deeper water. 

Despite our high hopes (and 2-3ft following seas in the forecast), we were met with 6ft waves coming from two different directions across our bow, resulting in a pretty miserable day. It was nothing we, or the boat, couldn’t handle; it just wasn’t fun. We were able to sail, but the wind was forcing us in a different direction than we had planned again! So, we went with it. We dropped anchor in Montserrat later that afternoon in a beautiful, serene anchorage flanked by limestone cliffs. It smelled better here.

We were exhausted, so we had an early dinner, watched the sunset, and went straight to sleep. 

We left again the following day. We found ourselves bopping around in 6ft+ seas and 30kn winds. We laughed at our complaints from the previous day, as this was much worse.😅 We got the sails up, but Ray had to hand steer to guide us over the waves in the least offending way. I didn’t even bother to pick up a camera. We pulled into the closest destination we could: Antigua. We arrived too late in the day to check into the country, so we anchored in an empty cove. Although the past couple of days had been rough sailing, I’ve really enjoyed the empty anchorages we’ve found; those are few and far between in the US/British Virgin Islands!

Saturday morning, we moved over to Jolly Harbor and went to shore to check-in. Customs and Immigration was a lengthy process but very organized. There was no line, and all the agents were incredibly helpful! Jolly Harbour is usually packed, but since it’s officially off-season here, it’s just us and four other boats. Once we cleared in, we walked around in search of brunch. Most restaurants were closed, but we found a tiny cafe and grabbed some food. I saw a breakfast roti on the menu, which I had never seen before. It was a typical roti skin filled with spiced eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese, and peppers. It was delicious! 

After brunch, we went home, finished editing, and posted our latest YouTube video. We rinsed the salt off the boat from our bumpy passages and cleaned the interior. We checked the weather forecast this morning, and it’s looking like we’ll be hanging out in Antigua for a while, so today, we’re going to research what to see/do around here! 

Overall, this wasn’t the week we had planned, but it was a good week nonetheless. ❤️

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