Wednesday, 11 June 2014

St.Lucia

We had a good sail to Saint Lucia. In fact we sailed all the way in to Rodney Bay Harbour a very wide anchorage which was surprisingly free of boats. Put the yellow flag up and decided we would wait till morning to check it. John went into customs the next morning,it was blowing quite hard again and by the time he got onto dry land in the marina he was soaked. Our small dinghy has no keel and in any sort of wind it is a bugger to steer....John had a few attempts to get anywhere close to the dinghy dock and those having a morning coffee in one of the caf├ęs were treated to some early morning entertainment! At customs John was behind a local who was having a conversation with the customs officer about the mango season. ' it's not like the old times' he said 'when your mum would purge you before the season with senna and then again at the end of season as well!' The customs guy smiled at John and said ...' We don't do that now' Phew that's a relief!!
Back at the boat we met Gregory the local fruit and veg man who visits the boats in his boat which is like nothing you've ever seen before! It is stuffed full of fruit and veg and the roof has branches of trees that promise protection from the sun. It is so low in the water I thought he was bound to sink! I gave Gregory a list of what I wanted the following day and he was there efficient and effective!
We stayed at Rodney Bay for a few days it is a big wide anchorage but the place itself is all centred around the marina and a few all inclusive hotels ...lacking in a bit of character. When we were coming into the Bay we heard a conversation between a boat .. Nightwatch .. and what sounded like the coastguard. They had lost power as the alternator had broken and could not sail as they had managed to pick up a net around the prop. We were three hours out at the time and too far away to offer assistance but we told those on board that we would monitor them and if they needed help when we got there we would offer it. We were the only ones that did and whilst Ralph and Mary on board Nightwatch managed to cut free the net and sail in it was disappointing that no one else offered them help.
We caught up with them  the next day and took them for a beer. They managed to sort out their problems and were very grateful for our offer of help. I would like to think that if we needed help other yachties would help .
 

                                            Gregory the fruit and veg man

We sailed onto the Pitons after four days in Rodney Bay. These are very impressive rocks that tower over the anchorage in Soufriere. It is a marine park and so you have to pick up a mooring buoy. Inevitably a boat boy came out to meet us and assist and he originally took us over to the side of the Bay where the bat caves are. It is quite secluded and you are very close to the shore we asked him to take us over the other side of the Bay closer to the Pitons. Both John and I were a little apprehensive about security in Soufriere the moorings are monitored by the SMMA and if you have any problems you are meant to  call them up on Channel 16 but I have my doubts.
We asked Claude the boat boy to take us ashore the next to save us taking the dinghy and we had a good meal at the Hummingbird Restaurant on the beach. The people in the village seemed friendly enough and slowly I began to feel more at ease but we decided to sail overnight to Bequia and let slip our lines at midnight that evening.

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