Anecdote

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Anecdote

Message par Charles le Sam 26 Avr - 18:40

Vous savez tous qu'il nous arrive souvent des anecdotes intéressantes en voilier. Permettez-moi d'en partager une avec vous. C'est arrivé à notre dernier voyage dans le sud il y a quelques semaines en location sans capitaine, la première fois où nous partions ma blonde et moi sans invités et sans les enfants pour la première fois depuis leur naissance (ils ont 15 et 11 ans aujourd'hui). Ce fut l'un de nos plus beaux voyages.

Ce jour-là, nous partions de Gallows Bay à St. Eustatius (ou St-Eustache ou Statia) pour aller passer la nuit au mouillage de Dieppe Bay à St. Kitts (ou St. Christopher ou St-Christophe). Comme c'était notre première escale à St. Kitts et qu'il n'y a pas de bureau de douanes à cet endroit, notre plan était de hisser notre pavillon jaune et de passer une soirée relax à bord pour repartir de là le lendemain et aller passer les douanes à Basseterre.

Il faut savoir que le mouillage de Dieppe Bay est protégé par un récif et il faut se faufiler à travers ce récif pour le rejoindre. Le Cruising Guide de Doyle fournit la carte suivante:



Le plan était de passer entre les deux récifs là où les bouées sont indiquées. Comme il y avait une houle du nord-est de 2-3 mètres, je me disais que la passe serait très facile à repérer. Or, surprise, les vagues déferlaient de façon ininterrompue sur le récif et je ne voyais pas de passe ni de bouées même après 3-4 aller-retours. J'ai donc abandonné l'idée. Par contre, ça semblait passer entre la terre et le récif et c'est ce que nous avons fait.

À partir d'ici, je vais mettre le courriel que j'avais envoyé à Chris Doyle et auquel il m'a gentiment répondu en me disant que le mouillage était effectivement jugé trop dangereux et qu'il n'était plus dans la dernière édition du guide! Mais qu'avec mon récit, il allait probablement le remettre avec des instructions différentes dans la prochaine édition. Désolé, c'est en anglais et je n'ai pas pris le temps de traduire. Modérateur, supprimez si je commets un impair. J'ai mis quelques photos de l'aventure à la fin.


Chris, 


We're just back from a sailing cruise in St. Kitts and nearby islands. I wanted to share our experience with the anchorage at Dieppe Bay, St. Kitts. I had a 2-3 year old copy of your guide on board.

Approaching from the west, we were never able to find the pass in the reef that is illustrated in the guide and on my Navionics marine charts. There was a good swell from the NE and we could see uninterrupted rollers all the way along the reef with no break where the pass should have been. In fact, if you look at an aerial photo of the area, you can see plainly that this is a single reef with no pass: https://www.google.ca/maps/@17.4199223,-62.8114076,896m/data=!3m1!1e3 . Now there does seem to be a pass to the east of the reef coming in from the northeast but it seems a little hazardous with the swells coming in through there.

So we opted instead to go (very carefully) between the island and the reef around the sandy point that you can see on the aerial photo. That area was shielded from the swell by the reef so it was easy to turn around if we found we could not pass. As we started to make our way in, three fishermen in a boat came to us and kindly offered to guide us inside. We followed them in and realized that there is a string of markers made out of plastic bottles to mark the way in (you can sort of make them out if you zoom in on the aerial photo above). The depth was never less than 12 feet. If you ask me, that is the safest way into this anchorage.

We anchored just northeast of the sandbar in very calm waters behind the reef, with fishermen fishing all around and being very nice to us, and with our Q flag raised since we had not cleared into St. Kitts yet.

Now here comes the interesting part.

We were not anchored for more than 10 minutes when a serious-looking man dressed like a police officer waved at us from the beach. Fearing I had accidentally done something wrong, I warily took the dinghy ahore to go and talk to him. He was actually a very nice Customs Officer doing his rounds and, seeing our Q flag, and he offered to drive us in his car to the customs office in Sandy Point to clear into St. Kitts. As we had just anchored and I wanted to stick around a little longer to see how the anchorage behaved, my wife went alone with him and his partner (I had stuffed my DeLorme satellite tracker in her bag to keep tabs on her ;-) ). 30 minutes later, she was back on the beach with the officer and our clearance so I took the dinghy to pick her up.

The fact that we had been able to get our clearance in this location opened up opportunities for exploring the northern part of St. Kitts, especially Mt. Liamuiga which I was hoping to hike later in our trip so I asked Delano (the officer -- Delano Levine is his full name) if he knew a guide who could show me up the mountain. He said he'd look into it and come back later with an answer. We parted ways and my wife and I went back to the boat.

About an hour later, Delano was back on the beach waving at us so I took the dinghy out once more to go talk to him. He had found a guide and said he would come the next morning to pick us up and drive us to the trailhead. The guide would cost a total of $60, a bargain compared with the ones in Basseterre who typically charge $80 per head. We had a deal. We went back to the boat and had a great night's sleep in this very calm anchorage compared to the night before in rolly Gallows Bay.


The next morning at 8am sharp, Delano is back on the beach waving at us. We take the dinghy ashore and climb into his customs officer's car to head to the mountain. Turns out our guide is Harris, Delano's brother. Harris, who's very fit, and I climb up the mountain at a good pace (75 minutes from the trailhead to the crater rim!) taking pictures along the way and admiring the beautiful rainforest. We even saw a few wild monkeys on the way. On our way down, Harris called Delano with his cell phone and Delano was waiting for us at the trailhead when we got back down. On our way to the boat, Delano took a few detours to show us some highlights of the northern part of the island, including the new Kittitian Hill resort, a sugar plantation, etc. We eventually arrived at the boat in time for lunch. I didn't want to give him any tip because he's a law officer and I feared it might be construed as a bribe but I felt bad about it so I left a few bills on the backseat of his car.

Now, for your guide, Delano told me that he patrols Dieppe Bay a few times every day and that he would provide the same services to passing cruisers that would require it. I think this makes Dieppe Bay as good a port of entry into St. Kitts as any other, with the added benefit of a very nice customs officer, proximity to the volcano and the soon-to-open Kittitian Hill resort, and local transportation offered by the customs officer.



Ce fut en fin de compte un arrêt très mémorable.


Voici le bateau au mouillage (Dufour 41). Remarquez l'eau calme autour du bateau et les déferlantes sur le récif. Nous avons passé une nuit très calme à écouter le bruit des vagues. Un de nos plus beaux mouillages à vie et nous y étions le seul bateau.



J'ai menti plus haut. Nous avons eu un visiteur après tout, mais il n'était pas trop difficile:


Harris, mon super guide, machette à la main en tout temps  Neutral :


Le fond du cratère:


La paroi du cratère:


Quelqu'un connaît le nom de cet arbre?


Le mont Liamuiga, qui culmine à 3 792 pieds, vu du mouillage:



Le coucher de soleil vu du mouillage, avec St. Eustatius à droite et St. Kitts à gauche:


Charles

Messages : 70
Date d'inscription : 02/06/2011

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Re: Anecdote

Message par marginal le Dim 27 Avr - 21:11

Génial cette place ! Et encore de belles photos !

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Date d'inscription : 02/01/2011

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