Sunday, December 8, 2013

“Oh Christmas Winds, Oh Christmas Winds…”

Route from Martinique to les Saintes

Motivator subscribes to weather guru Chris Parker’s email service for forecast information as do a lot of cruisers in the Bahamas and Caribbean.  Unfortunately, sometimes Chris has bad news for us:

Some folks may call them the "Christmas Winds". Whatever you may
choose to call them...strong Trades, driven by a persistently-tight
wind-gradient arrive in E Caribbean as FrontalTROF settles S-ward
along N Parts of E Caribbean about tomorow night...and gradually
shifting S to S Parts of E Caribbean by late Sun8-Mon9.

Although we may see an occasional 24-36 <with> interval of slight
moderation (down to ENE@20-25/8'...for instance about Wed11 as a
ColdFRONT presses S&E in W Atlantic)...except for such brief intervals
of slightly-less-bad conditions, I see no break to strong Trades in
the next few weeks.
                                                              Chris Parker @:                                                                                                                     

He went on to say if you need to get somewhere, go now!

Fort de France, Martinique

I pulled Pollie out of the Fort de France’s dress shops, and we headed north. It was our fourth time in Fort de France enjoying the shopping and the feel of a French island city.  The crossing between Martinique to Dominique was easy, even when we were not in the lee of the islands.

Approaching Dominique

At Portsmouth, Dominique we did a touch-‘n-go.  We put up the Q-flag and did not go ashore.  We had hoped to spend some time there, but given the option of being stuck in Portsmouth or Terre-de-Haut for two weeks, we picked Terre-de-Haute. 

 Indian River, Dominique

Dominique is a very scenic island and the government is promoting ecotourism, but it is a very poor country.  It is hard for us to overlook the rampant poverty and enjoy the scenery.  We did get to visit briefly with our friend Martin and give him a donation of T-shirts he can distribute. 


Just twenty-one nautical miles away in les Saintes, Terre-de-Haute the situation is just the opposite.  It is a very popular tourist destination with clean streets and restaurants serving great French food. 

 But damn, more dress shops.

Motivator’s route into les Saintes

We managed to tuck in close to Terre-de-Haut in the lee of the island and take a mooring ball.  As I type this posting, the wind is at about 20 knots with gusts much higher.  As long as there is some northerly component to the wind, swells will wrap around the island making for some uncomfortable roll action.  By Wednesday the Christmas winds should be out of the east.

Please sing to the tune of Oh Christmas Tree:

Oh Christmas winds, Oh Christmas winds!
How ever keen your presence
Oh Christmas winds, Oh Christmas winds,
How ever keen your presence

You blow and blow us to and fro,
The white caps froth, palm fronds fly off.
Oh Christmas winds, Oh Christmas winds
How ever keen your presence.

Oh Christmas winds, Oh Christmas winds
How ever keen your presence.
Sea water sprays. Are nerves are frayed.
The dinghies swing.  The halyards ring.

Oh Christmas winds, Oh Christmas winds
How ever keen your presence.
                                    By: Pollie Howland

No comments:

Post a Comment