Saturday, March 10, 2007

Friday 9th March

Anse Deshaies

16 19.776 N
61 48.771 W

We had a very rude wake up this morning at just before 07.00hrs a load thump on the side of our boat had us both leaping out of bed, throwing on the nearest clothing we could find and dashing out on deck to see what had hit us. A dive boat had tied up to a mooring buoy during the previous evening and had such a short line tying it on that when the wind blew from a certain direction and the rest of the boats swung around their anchor chains it remained in a constant direction. We had quite a bit of chain out and as we swung we collided with the very front of one of the dive boat’s hulls. We fended off, hauled in some chain and then started the partially repaired motor in order to move away from the dive boat. We were astounded to find that several boats had people on deck who just watched as we swung into the dive boat – no shouts of warning or offers of help, some of them were so close themselves that they were lucky it wasn’t them. Anyway we hauled our anchor and moved well out of the way of the rest of the anchored boats and sat to make sure that we wouldn’t drift off or swing around near to anything else. Gerry decided to take a plunge and check out the anchor to make sure it was well dug in as we were now too close to the harbour rock wall, satisfied that all was OK he then took the dink into town to throw away the trash, find the internet and see if he could locate a Yanmar (our engine) dealer and hire a car for the day. Whilst he was gone I did some cleaning and polishing on the boat, it badly needs a good lean but we need a marina and running water for that. On his return Gerry had some success, he had got rid of the trash, found the internet and located the dealer and hired a car. We took the injector that we thought was the problem, our boat documents and the empty propane cylinder with us in the hope of being able to check in with customs and find somewhere that sells propane. The Yanmar dealer was located in Point Pitre about 60kms away so after checking out the customs office (no one there) we began our trip into Point Pitre. The road followed the coast line and it was a very pretty scenic drive, we passed through lots of small villages and commented that everyone seemed to have a “house cow” grazing around their property, it made me think of the one you had in Airlie Beach Mary. We arrived on the outskirts of Point Pitre and found a sign for “Marina” which we followed and then we sighted a Volvo marine engine store so Gerry went to ask where we could find the Yanmar store “Fred’s Marine”. It was at the next turning – a stone’s throw away from where we were so we drove around to the store and presented our problem to the technicians there. They had no spare new injectors but they could test the old injector and maybe rebuild it for us. There was much conversation and they said they could look at it on Monday, we must have looked agonized as they revised this when we told them where we were and that we had a hire car for the day just to do this job. The owner of the store then agreed to test it straight away and to cut a long story short using a hand pump he pumped diesel through the injector under pressure and to our dismay it appeared that nothing was wrong with the injector. The conclusion was that there may have been a speck of dirt in the injector which he had managed to dislodge. We discussed the possibility of ordering a new injector to be on the safe side but we told it could take up to a month to receive into the store. The owner then said he had an injector which he could rebuild for us – it would take a day or so, could we return on Monday – we agreed that we could and then one of the workers said that he could deliver the newly refurbished injector to Deshaies that evening so the arrangements were made to rebuild the injector that afternoon. We received instructions to collect the injector from the dive shop in Deshaise that evening and handed over somewhere close to $300 in good faith that we would receive the part later that night. Now that we had our old injector in working order Gerry was itching to get back to the boat, refit it and try it out so without any further touring of the place we headed back to Deshaies and the boat. Gerry left me in the town to try and get on the internet whilst he vanished out to the boat; unfortunately the internet café was closed as were most of the businesses in town so I was stranded until Gerry returned. I had a drink and a pastry at the boulangerie and awaited his return when we both went back out to the boat for some lunch. The injector was definitely working now so we can only conclude that there must have been some dirt which was now cleared out of the injector. As we still had the car we then took back off into town as I wanted to visit the botanic gardens and we still needed to clear customs. This time there was actually someone at the customs office though he didn’t want to clear us - telling us to return on Sunday! After a bit of discussion Gerry got him to clear us in and out as we will probably leave here Sunday morning. By now it was 16.00 hrs and I was sure that we would never get to see the botanic gardens but we drove the 2kms to the place and made our way into the ticket booth. The lady said that we had time as they were open until 18.00 hrs so we paid our fees and went in. I have to say we were very glad that we did as it was one of the most beautifully kept and organized botanic garden that I have ever been into. Mark, you would have loved the place, there were every sort of flower, plant tree etc. that exists. The one sad part was that there were cameras around the cactus plants as some very sick, sad individuals had vandalized the cactus leaves by carving their names into them, shame on them! We both enjoyed the walk through the gardens and just about made it around the entire place before it closed for the night. Then it was back into town and to a restaurant that we had picked out to try. Piano Piano was the choice and we had a very nice meal overlooking the harbour, there was live music which added to the enjoyment. After our meal it was time to return to the boat for the night



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