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Old 07-07-2013, 20:23   #1
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better in a storm: Deshaies or Iles Saintes?

We're looking for a place to ride out 95L day after tomorrow and wondering what people's experience has been with 40-knot winds in Deshaies, Guadeloupe versus the Saintes. We're in Deshaies now, though not anchored in a place where I want to experience SE winds of that magnitude, but contemplating the moorings at Iles des Saintes.

Thoughts?

Paul
s/v Dafne
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Old 07-07-2013, 20:38   #2
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Re: better in a storm: Deshaies or Iles Saintes?

Your crazyyy!!! Deshaies??? run to pointe a pitre or better Antigua, english harbour, Deshaies is a dead trap, and isles de saintes same, sometimes this tropical systems bring violent squalls from the oposite direction, W!!! really dont be a fool and stay there, i be caught in Carriacou in a heavy 45 knts weather from the W for almost half day there, not funy.... Antigua or St Marteen before the weather start to deteriorate!!!! My opinion...
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Old 07-07-2013, 20:54   #3
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Re: better in a storm: Deshaies or Iles Saintes?

Hi Paul.

I do wonder what you are doing in the hurricane season in a haurricane area.
What do you want us to say?

Stay there and die?

I think you need to take a better look at what you are doing. TRhere is another trocpical wave immediately after this one. So its not one to be avoided, its a whole season.

Think about it.
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Old 07-07-2013, 21:07   #4
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Re: better in a storm: Deshaies or Iles Saintes?

You have tomorrow 15 to 20 from the east and no heavy rain, make you a favor and get out of the W coast of Guadeloupe, 95l is nothing right now, tomorrow can be depresion and later in the afternoon TS , not sure wich island is at risk right now, but if TS warnings are isued you better be tucked in a Hurricane Hole or safe spot, English Harbour have a good record and is very secure in heavy winds, you have mangroves there , is a short jump from Deshaies in one tack....
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:33   #5
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Re: better in a storm: Deshaies or Iles Saintes?

I may have been a bit melodramatic in my previous post... I think last night I was hit over the head by a grape...

Anyways..... Deshies get katabatic winds off the hills in front of it and I dont know how safe it is in high winds.

If you look at this mornings satellite pic you will see that the blob is quite significantly large and looking like a hurricane in everything except eye and wind speed... but that could change in the twinkle of an eye.

It does look like its going south of Deshies but you will still cop it.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:50   #6
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Re: better in a storm: Deshaies or Iles Saintes?

I agree about the Catabatic winds in Deshaies - it really blows in that anchorage and I've watched boats re-anchor a couple of times there due to issues holding. I would take the 5-6 hour run to Falmouth or English Harbours in Antigua (English if you can find room in the inner harbour). Those are some of the best protected harbours in the whole caribbean.

I've been in the Saintes during a couple of storms and they are not really comfortable. You'll be protected from the brunt of the storm but the swell and surge can be nasty. Particularly the moorings close to the docks that are wonderful in calm weather are very nasty during periods of big seas, the little mooring area off Ilet a Cabrit is actually quite a bit better.

If you really wish to stay in French waters then head into the PaP marina or anchorage, although that is a longer trip than hopping to Antigua.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:03   #7
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Re: better in a storm: Deshaies or Iles Saintes?

Ride it out inside of English Harbor behind the Dockyard... tie yourself to the mangroves.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:15   #8
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Re: better in a storm: Deshaies or Iles Saintes?

Or hide in the Rivere Salee. Lots of mangroves (and bugs!) Closer than English Harbour too.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:44   #9
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Re: better in a storm: Deshaies or Iles Saintes?

I dont know how easy it is to get into English Harbour because there is a new no anchoring area along the western side.

The chart below shows where the restricted area is.

So Freemans bay is still OK but gets a bit of swell in there in a storm.

Behind the dockyard is very tight, but is the best place.

Plenty of mangroves... but I read a while ago that the area is designated for boats pre-registered. But I dont think that would be in effect for this TS, or in effect at all. Perhaps someone else knows?

(And for Arndt: -5 points for spelling! A Katabatic wind, from the Greek word katabatikos meaning "going downhill", is the technical name for a drainage wind, a wind that carries high density air from a higher elevation down a slope under the force of gravity. )
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:31   #10
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Re: better in a storm: Deshaies or Iles Saintes?

Ordinance Bay would be the place...
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Old 08-07-2013, 14:31   #11
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Re: better in a storm: Deshaies or Iles Saintes?

Hope you are in English Harbor or Rivere Salee, I agree with all the above. I was blown on to the reef in just a little Squall winds 60-100 knots in Deshaies. Lucky the anchor caught first.
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Old 09-07-2013, 19:15   #12
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Thanks everyone for your opinions and experience. We decided to wait it out in Deshaies along with about a dozen other boats. Most were French, knew Deshaies well and claimed that it was the best place around. We anchored in the southern part of the harbor, not far from the breakwater, in about 20 feet of water, with two anchors. Chantal, of course, went flying by mostly to the south and didn't pack much punch. We had half a day of 25-30 knot winds, with a few 40 knot gusts, all from the east and southeast. I'm tempted to say that the high mountains really broke the winds of the storm rather than amplified them, as they normally do to the trades. But who knows. In this limited experience Deshaies proved itself a decent anchorage, though for anything stronger I would have beat feet back to Antigua.

Note, we did consider the mangroves on the north side of the island at the entrance to the Riviere Salee, which is only a 3-hour motor from here, but dismissed them for two reasons. One, its extremely flat in that area with little wind protection. Secondly, the Riviere Salee is closed, so we would have been forced back around afterwards. Still, had the forecast been more dire we probably would have considered that more seriously.
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Old 09-07-2013, 20:07   #13
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Re: better in a storm: Deshaies or Iles Saintes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulbennett View Post
Thanks everyone for your opinions and experience. We decided to wait it out in Deshaies along with about a dozen other boats. Most were French, knew Deshaies well and claimed that it was the best place around.
I am happy for you that all went well.

However, that does not make you correct for trusting the French when it comes to anchoring...

Mark
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Old 09-07-2013, 20:11   #14
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Re: better in a storm: Deshaies or Iles Saintes?

I found the holding terrible in the Saintes...
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Old 09-07-2013, 20:46   #15
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Re: better in a storm: Deshaies or Iles Saintes?

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
However, that does not make you correct for trusting the French when it comes to anchoring...
LOL thats every funny!

At least you were a short dinghy ride from that patisserie. Damn its neen months since I have eaten good bread.
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