Location: Pigeon Island, Guadeloupe

This morning we had an MTE lab ashore, inspecting the first and second place finishers of the Route du Rhum race. The 100 ft trimarans are massive; it’s hard to imagine solo sailing them all the way from France- and yet that was just done! The MTE lab developed into some much-needed shore time for some. Following our time ashore, we raised sails and left Point-a-Pitre for Ilets a Goyaves (Pigeon Island). As we followed the channel markers out of the bay, we were treated to the magnificent sight of four dolphins riding in the waves off of our bow. It was a complete distraction from our gathering in the cockpit, but no one regrets the beauty of our marine companions. As we motored along the southern coast of Guadeloupe, heading west towards the leeward side, we met head-on with the fourth-place finisher of the Route du Rhum. This trimaran had a mini armada of motorboats and news boats surrounding it. It was quite a spectacle. Since we were in no rush to continue to Pigeon Island, we turned broadside and then turned around completely, so we were nearly following the mini armada. We must’ve been quite a sight since two of the news boats detached themselves from the racer to come and circle us. They took pictures and even had a video camera out! After leaving the fleet, we continued onwards. After a short time, we cut the motor, hove to and took an open ocean shower for the first time. No anchor dropped, which meant we had to stick close to the boat. We are now only a couple of hours out from our destination and are relaxing on deck or down below. Besides the hum of the engine, it’s one of the most peaceful nights so far.

We have officially begun our final third of the semester; time has flown by so fast. It seems that it was just last week we were in Les Saintes, just south of Guadeloupe. Truth is, we were there all the way back on Day 15! It feels weird to finally be back in relatively familiar waters.