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Haul out time in Guadeloupe

Haul out time in Guadeloupe

Our short time in Dominica came to an end. We had scheduled to meet Teulu Tribe before reaching mainland Guadeloupe, and needed to get going ASAP!

The small islands to the south of Guadeloupe, known as Les Saintes would be where we meet Teulu. They are a breathtakingly beautiful and unspoiled archipelago. Comprising two main islands, Terre-de-Haut and Terre-de-Bas, and several smaller islets, these tiny islands are renowned for their stunning beaches, turquoise waters, and colorful Creole-style homes.

We managed to anchor right next to Teulu in the bay, although the anchoring situation was rather confusing. You are anchoring in around 17m of depth, and the winds and tides swirl around the islands so boats can often end up pointing in all different directions. We were right on the edge of the island and were often 90 degrees to Teulu. Getting the anchor back up from a depth of nearly 20m was very hard work!

Having chatted with them over the past few months via Instagram but only just managing to cross paths, and only for one evening, we crammed lots of boat and adventure chat in.

The next morning we set off before dawn to Point-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, despite knowing we were on some sort of “waiting list” for getting hauled out, no one had told us what to expect, so we wanted to get there in plenty of time.

Arriving at the marina we first tried to contact them via VHF, but struggled to communicate with whoever was on the other end and ended up mooring at the fuel dock. At the fuel dock, we used the phone to call the marina office to ask what we needed to do and where we needed to go. There was lots of confusion about who we were and if we could get hauled out for some time.

Eventually, they told us to go and speak to the manager of the boatyard, so we hopped in the dinghy and headed over. He let us know that we needed to get some paperwork from the marina (including checking in) before he could haul us out, but that he might be able to haul us out in the afternoon! 👌

We chased the paperwork around for a little while, returning with the needed forms before lunch, and he let us moor up near the boat yard alongside some other boats to wait for our haul out.

Hannah Penn looking rather small next to a very big cat

After lunch they were ready and we managed to get hauled out around 3 pm.

It was slightly nerve-wracking doing this in a foreign country with French as the first language, as neither of us really speaks French, and you always worry about communication going wrong.

We really should have done all of the lines ourselves for getting into the bay to get hauled out as one of the guys on land really made a meal of our plan.

Once in the haul-out area, the straps went in the wrong places a few times despite trying to guide the crane operator to the right place, but eventually, we were lifted!

Next was the worryingly rocky journey to the other edge of the yard where we would be for the coming week or so.

And touchdown! After getting them to alter one of the keel wood supports (which to start with we were hanging off the side of) all was good.

We hired a petrol pressure washer from a tool shop in the boat yard and got to work blasting off all growth. As we knew we were hauling out we had let this build up a little more than in previous months.

Tada, clean boat!

And you can really see where we have been wearing through the anti-foul on the bow. In total this section probably had 6-8 coats of anti-foul in June 2022.

We checked into an Airbnb, and the rest of our land activities will be in a future post!