Restaurant in little fishing/tourist village of St. Francois, Guadeloupe

It is now Thursday, January 4th, and We have been here in Marina Bas du Fort since Sunday – after our overnight sail from Nevis. Amazing how the days fly by. We have spent most of our time on the boat – waiting for the Amel mechanics to come over and do the work that needs to be done. Monday was a holiday here so nothing was open (except a few restaurants). On Tuesday, a repair person came over in the morning so we could go over our “to fix” list with him. He left at 10:00 a.m. saying he would be back after lunch to start the work. At about 3:00 P.M. he popped by again ( guess it was a good lunch) – and spent 10 minutes on the boat, before leaving again, promising he would come by again the next day. Needless to say, much of the next day was spent with the same kind of service. Fred of Fred Marine was more timely, and arrived to fix our shaft brake problem at the arranged time. He said that the drive shaft was not properly aligned since the original installation, resulting in our brake shoes wearing out by the wobbly flywheel. He assures us the problem is now fixed. Amazingly enough, it is now Thursday, and most everything IS done. How can that be? The French eat fattening food, smoke cigarettes, work from 10:00 to 12:00 and then from 3:00 to 5:30, and still manage to be thin, beautiful and successful. Hmmmmmm, maybe there is a lesson there for us. Anyway, for those of you who are interested, but primarily for Mark and my records, here is what we had fixed while in Guadeloupe:

Replaced shaft brake-shoes (Machoire de frein) on Hurth transmission connected to the Yanmar engine

Replaced seals on bow-thruster and filled it with fresh lubrication oil

Fixed deck light on mast

Replaced outhaul line on main boom

Replaced defective windlass switch

Bought new zinc anodes, extra brake shoes, an extra windlass switch, new shroud covers, extra windlass boots, and a few other spare parts

Fixed corian countertop

In between our waiting, I have been reading Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” – don’t know how I missed reading it when I was young. What a beautiful book. Mark is switching between reading “Marine Diesel Engines”, New Yorker magazines, and doing some important office work.

I am getting lots of opportunity to practice my French – very fun for me. Amazing what you can do when you need to – there is really very little English spoken here.

We have nice boat neighbors here too – all middle aged semi or fully retired people, just kind of hanging around enjoying life. We were invited to a small wine and cheese party last night with an interesting group of yachties- including an extremely British couple ( she was very much into royalty gossip – he, as the owner of a couple of radio stations in England was up on all the music fads), and another couple – one of whom was a teacher here . He was extremely smart and articulate and opinionated and talkative. It made for some interesting discussions – until the topic turned too much to religion and politics, and we decided it was time to go to sleep.

Love to everyone…….