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Altair's Cruz Nuz
cruising, vb, kroozing, working on your boat in exotic locations around the Caribbean....Dudley and Becca
Three hours to go 7.5nm...
Becca
03/11/2011, Marigot Bay, St. Lucia

We left late, slugs that we are...11:15 when we let the mooring line free! The seas and the wind are still out of the north but it's an hour and a half at most to get to Marigot Bay so we can tough it out for that short a distance.

Really, three hours is ridiculous!!! We thought we do the 'cruiser's thing', anchor and enjoy the freedom of paying noone or any biz. We knew ahead of time there isn't a lot of room for many boats and after 15: we were calling Marigot Bay Marina! We took another mooring! This time it comes with the bennies of fast internet wifi service, showers, laundry and a grocery store right on the property. Can we say "Very posh, very pricey"?
Again, we said we were not going to stay and before you know it six days have come and gone! We hiked, we trekked to Castries for new "LIME" cell phone service, farmers markets, and new friends, shucks!

We have sure changed neighborhoods and the caliber of our new neighbors has increased as well.




Soufriere, Alive with a Special Strain of Adrenaline!
Becca
03/09/2011, Big, Lush and Flavorful...St. Lucia!

We thought that Soufriere was going to be a sleepy little town where we could relax and just chill. NOT...this place is pumped up on some special kind of adrenalin that won't let them relax either. We've been privy to these islanders and how hard they work, how hard life is here for them...but this is NUTS. This town, Baron Village actually, was the hardest hit from hurricane Tomas. You can see the landslides where people lost their lives, homes and that road that used to wrap around this side of Petite Piton. We know all too well about hurricanes in Miami. It brings people and towns together and creates a better world in the long run. They just seem filled with an urgency that only a storm instigate.

We were tired yesterday when we arrived...but the activity was just too intense, I couldn't nap let alone sleep. We weren't planning to stay either. We didn't put up the connector (that magnificent piece of canvas that connects the dodger and the bimini and gives us a huge shade tree), but we're leaving, right? The tour boats, the fishing boats, the dive boats, the catamarans for touring too. All packed and taking multiple trips a day! The perogues, 20-30 at least, selling fish, bread, veggies, jewelry, carvings, fuel among everything else we MIGHT need, flying by every five minutes, at least. Can you say WAKES? We were all over the place with the willawaws too. One minute we were tugging on our mooring strings, the next we were doing 360s having no idea which way we would be facing.

We stayed for just a couple of days...got some hiking in, made some new friends, got some rotis, some fresh Tuna and a wood carving for our friend Karen who's coming to visit.

It is time to find a quieter place...after all my man is looking for peace, not more of the daily energy he's subjected to by yours truly.


This view is WORTH sharing!!!!
Becca
03/08/2011, The Pitons, Petit Piton rising to 2500' and Gross Piton maxing out at

As usual...can't stop the shutter-bugging! These two peaks, Petit Piton and Gros Piton, are the most recognizable sights in the Caribbean! We are just one bay north of the magnificent moorings between these two volcanic masterpieces! This was the last shot before entering Soufriere where we can see only the Petite Piton. Like you can see the difference in 100'... you can when you are between the two and see that one is tall and pointy and the other is spread out and tall. My pix can't even come close to the striking beauty of these mega hunka lava rocks.

Dudley and Bec


Billy and Claudius, our boat boys!
Becca
03/08/2011, Approaching St. Lucia's lee coast, ala the Pitons!

It's 6:20a, AST, being greeted by one of the most breathtaking scenes in the Caribbean...the Pitons! This is Billy and Claudius and they came way out here to greet us too. We are an hour away from where we enter Soufriere Bay, on the lee coast of St. Lucia. The 'boys' are wanting to help us with a mooring but we are tired, can't see them very well other than they are very young and the circular motions they are both making can only mean one thing. They are brave too, coming our here in an inflatible with an outboard engine that is coverless. They are persistent too. We are planning to use our beautiful new windlass to put the anchor down and decided this would be the time to pull out the guide book for Soufriere Bay! We didn't look at water depth, only customs and immigration office locations when checking out our next stop. We are here to tell ya that the water is 60-160' deep and the whole area is a park and strongly enforced! No anchoring...we're taking a mooring.

We are in awe of the terrain! The last time we explored here was two years ago on our way south to Grenada! We are also relieved that our first night sail on this journey north, was whale free, no containers bobbing just under the surface to do unthinkable damage...sans sailing and the only thing that didn't go as planned was that Dudley didn't sleep well. Actually it's two things, we always plan to sail. So much for our on 2/off 2 hour watch routine. I on the other hand can probably sleep through a hurricane...!

It was actually a pretty uneventful night, really! We still have a leak we've been chasing during this entire adventure, and the latest saltwater intrusion is the anti-siphon device which has a crack and threatens to spew more salt water where we don't want it!

This is new territory and we're excited to check it out! Tomorrow!

Dudley and Bec

Goodbye Bequia...
Becca
03/07/2011, Tudi's Home...NW corner, looking South @ Admiralty Bay, Bequia!

We were not pulling the anchor up until 6p tonight for our first over nighter in 2 years! I talked Dudley into letting me go for one last hike, we'd eat a late, late lunch, a big one...somewhere, and then head out after the 2 hours it takes to turn the houseboat in a sailing machine.

I hiked to the ruins of the Fort on the NW corner of Admiralty bay, sat and chilled for a few minutes and began my trek back down the mountain. I said hello to a woman on her porch with the spectacular view and shared my gratitude for having us in their country! We became instant friends. Tudi lives in St. Croix and here in Bequia, and her kids are both in the National Guard. She is a very proud woman and was not shy about telling me so either. Tudi and her granddaughter pictured here, entertained me, gave me some fish she just cooked and some bread she cooked earlier! After I emoted that my man was going to send out a search party, she reminded me that I was bringing him home a freshly cooked lunch! I cannot believe how much love is available when you give it too! The only concern I had now was the dog population that will surely be my traveling mates back down that 'hill'.

My honey and I discussed walking the wharf and going for a short dive before jumping in action...getting the boat ready for the 60 mile, 12 hour journey to St. Lucia! We did not get that dive in and we did not leave a 5p like my captain wanted! We left just before sunset and it was a beautiful send off for our first over nighter in a very long time. We are rusty, that's for sure!

What about those whales which are running right now? Don't worry...be happy!

Bec


We SQUEEZED in a hike to Friendship Bay!
Becca
03/06/2011, Port Elizabeth to West Cay...Bequia!

All I have to say is "I did not try to wear my man out!" We hiked for 5 hours...over to Friendship Bay and to the Whaling Capital of the West Indies. We met a local fisherman, "Duncan"; another multi-generational historian; Audie Bandana, pictured here, at his"Cultural Park" created wholely by his hand; the Church we were drawn to and sat in for a service and gave a donation; the Whaling Lodge (which turned out to be a private home, says Dudley) and the Whaling Museum, narrated by a real live whaler, Mr. Austin. What a spectacular day! Thanks Universe, thanks honey for taking such an ambitious hike with me! The guidebook says "Local buses can be useful for getting around the island, especially if you are going down to La Pompe or Paget Farm, both of which can seem like a never-ending walk. Just watch for one and stick out your arm". When I read this for Dudley, he had that wide eyed deer in the headlights look..."right?" We did get a bus back to Port Elizabeth, where our dingy was tied...not a bit too soon I might add.

We make it back, just in time to get our laundry, which was delivered to another Altair with Susan and Paul on board. These were not our friends from the Bahamas, three years ago, Jill and Mike, from the UK. Life could not be better in Altair's waterworld!

We will leave sometime around 5-6p tomorrow! It's a 12 hour passage, so we will take heed of the weather sites. We are looking at taking advantage of the easterly winds and waves...passing St. Vincent on her windward coast... then... around midnight, when the winds are predicted to go NE, have a beam reach to View Fort, the southern tip of St. Lucia!

More tomorrow when we know more!

Bec

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