Batch 14 Fuel Treatment

So we did something absolutely insane. We didn’t mention it at the time because we knew we would be bombarded with criticism and we just didn’t want to hear it, so we kept it to ourselves. But, it looks like our insanity turned out to be a smart choice after all, and since it worked out, we are going to tell you about it.

While we were in Guadeloupe, we met a fellow boater on the docks and started chatting with him. He is Continue reading Batch 14 Fuel Treatment

Welcome to Barbuda Island, Antigua & Barbuda

Yesterday morning we were up early to get Kosmos ready to go to sea. At 0900, we went to the marina office to check out. Check out was as easy as check in. Eric filled out one form, the clerk faxed it to the officials, and minutes later the form was faxed back with stamps. Super easy.

Once we were cleared to leave, we pulled out of our slip and went around the corner to the fuel dock. We decided to load up here because Continue reading Welcome to Barbuda Island, Antigua & Barbuda

Exploring Grande Terre

We rented a car this morning and set off to explore Grande Terre. This half of Guadeloupe is low and mostly flat, a big contrast to the imposing mountains on Basse Terre. We followed the main highway east and somehow missed the exit that would take us into Gosier. According to Lonely Planet, Gosier is the main tourist area of Guadeloupe and quite built up with endless hotels. Since we had already seen a little bit of Gosier and it didn’t sound that great anyway, we decided not to backtrack.

Instead we pressed on to a town called St. Anne’s, about halfway down the southern shore. The scenery between Point a Pitre and St. Anne’s is farmland with a scattering of houses about. Most of the houses are the colorful bungalows with metal slanted roofs and gingerbread trim. These farms look more like the kind of crops that have to be planted annually, whereas on Basse Terre most of the farmland had trees/bushes that bloom year in and year out. From what we could see, St. Anne’s was tiny. Like Deshaies, it is only a few blocks big. But, it is a cute beach community nestled along a scenic bay. There were several boats anchored in the bay. The part of the bay on the outskirts of town looked to be super protected, and the boats closer in to town seemed to be rolling a lot in the swells.

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We stopped to go into a craft market on the eastern edge of town. We expected it to be Continue reading Exploring Grande Terre

Thoughts About Guadeloupe

Today was another chore day. Eric was busy all day long. As far as regular maintenance goes, he changed the oil and filter on the main engine, changed the oil and filter on the generator, cleaned the bilge, and flushed the DC water maker. He also re-organized the spare parts.

In the repairs department, he tried to fix the squeak on the anti-siphon valves by putting petroleum jelly on the valves and tightening them. Hopefully, it will work. That squeaking gets incredibly annoying.

The piece that holds one of our paravane lines in place had broken off on the passage, so he rigged a new one that seems to be holding well.

One of the reasons we haven’t anchored out here in Guadeloupe is because after the Stromboli ordeal our dinghy engine stopped working. So, Eric serviced the engine, hoping that would do the trick to get it running again. He changed the oil, drained the gas and put in clean gas, and aired out the spark plugs. Much to his surprise, once he was done, the engine started right up. Phew. We were worried we’d have to buy another one.

So, we wanted to share some of our overall impressions of Guadeloupe with you. First of all, we wanted to make something clear that we may not have before. Overall, the island of Guadeloupe is very safe. Point a Pitre does have some bad neighborhoods, but other than those few pockets, everywhere else on the island is totally safe.

The marina is by far the nicest part of Pointe a Pitre, and the locals seem to like to hang out here. We see a lot of local families strolling up and down the waterfront in the early evening. On weekends, it is jam packed. All the parking lots are full, with people getting quite inventive at creating parking spots. There is literally a line of cars as far down the road as far as we can see, all waiting to get in. The restaurants are all busy with well dressed patrons. The most packed restaurants are some of the cheaper ones, too. The bar has a parade of people going into it, most dressed to “be seen”.

That said, part of us wishes we had chosen to stay in another part of the island. First of all, this marina smells bad, particularly where we are. We are pretty sure there is a sewage outlet close to where the boat is parked as it always smells like sewage. Secondly, we like to get out and wander around town, and being on the edge of a bad neighborhood means we can’t do that. We are confined to the marina most of the time, particularly at night. And we didn’t travel all this way to stay confined in a marina.

All the restaurants we have been to in the marina and along the waterfront in other parts of the island have been fairly expensive, on par or more expensive than prices in France. We have also been to a few low budget places around the island, and even they are probably a little too expensive for someone on a shoestring budget. However, the portion sizes served here are absolutely enormous and they seem to always use high quality ingredients, so we think the food is good value for the money, particularly in the low budget places. And, except for the restaurant we ate in on the day we arrived, we have thoroughly enjoyed the food in every place we have eaten.

One of the things that has delighted us about this island is that when you ask for a bottle of water, you are almost always served a 1.5 liter bottle. Most other beverages come in 16 ounces glasses or bigger. In Europe, we often felt like we were dehydrating with their small beverage serving sizes. It is like heaven to have plentiful amounts of liquid again.

From what we have seen, restaurant workers seem to be fastidious about cleanliness around here. Every place where we could see the kitchen, people were meticulous about washing their hands and putting on gloves, as well as cleaning up food mess the instant they are done cooking. Even little crepe stands are that way.

And on a completely random topic, there is a kind of bug here that makes noise at night. These bugs sound like alarms going off. At first we did think they were alarms, and it took us a while to figure out it was a bug making the noise. Kind of odd.

Exploring Downtown Point a Pitre and Enjoying Guadeloupe’s Unique Cuisine

Yesterday we woke up feeling like zombies, not doubt still recovering from the strenuous swim the day before. Eric wasn’t feeling the greatest and Christi felt downright awful. Neither of us felt like doing anything at all. If we hadn’t already made plans, we would probably have spent the whole day watching movies.

However, we had invited a family on one of the nearby boats over for a visit in the afternoon. We had no choice but to clean and tidy for our guests. We washed the exterior and cleaned the interior. It seemed to take forever because we were moving slower than normal. We also managed to squeeze a nap in before they arrived.

We had a nice visit with the family. After they left, Christi Continue reading Exploring Downtown Point a Pitre and Enjoying Guadeloupe’s Unique Cuisine