We blew it out on our first day in Nevis. We went to the Double Deuce to see Mark and Lyndeta and watch some Sunday NFL playoffs. After numerous rum punches, Caribs, ribs, burgers, etc., we headed back to the boat exhausted and all conked out by 9:00 p.m. We slept the sleep of the innocent.
When we woke up the next morning, we were unhappily surprised to find our boat to be dirtier than usual. Upon further inspection, we discovered it was downright filthy, covered in black and gray mud, soot and ash. It looked like God flicked an enormous cigarette directly on us. We then learned that during the night, Monseratt’s Soufreire Hills volcano exploded and sent a huge cloud of ash our way (30+ miles away). There was a film of ash on everything, including inside of our cabins as we slept with the hatches open to catch the cool breeze. Adding water to it seemed to only make it worse, turning dry dusty ashes to soupy mud. Even worse, they anticipated the volcano to continue to spew and the winds would keep bringing that messy residue our way.
We decided to leave Nevis (even though we really would have loved to stay longer) and get away from the mess. Unfortunately, to truly get away from it required us to sail all through the day and night (18 hours) to Isle des Saintes. On the way, we sailed right past Monseratt and actually witness the volcano explode again! It was a bit nerve-racking as we were trying to outrun another ash cloud. We missed this one and were sure glad we left when we did. It was a great day for motoring, as the winds were light and on our nose the entire time. We averaged 6 knots and saw several pods of whales swimming along the way. We came into the harbor at Bourg de Saintes at 3:30 in the morning with no moon to help light our way. It was frustrating as we were all exhausted and having a hard time seeing where it was safe to drop our anchor. We did it though!
In the morning, we moved to a better spot in the anchorage and spent most of the day cleaning up the boat. After all of that work, it was time for Ti Punches and French pastries. We are still pretty worn out from two back to back days of sailing and one over-nighter. Looks like we will be staying here for a while.