03/17/2011, Rodney Bay, St. Lucia!
We disconnected from the mooring this green day in a fabulously verdant spot here at Marigot Bay. We are having a very laid back, non-alcoholic version of St. Patty's Day! Hope everybody is celebrating the luck of the Irish, in your green way!
We only have a short distance to go before we arrive at Rodney Bay to clear out of St. Lucia.
We successfully visited Pigeon Island and Barbara, the owner of Jam de Bois and we met Barbara and Bob, SV Crusader, Eunice and Derek of Nottingham and Alice and Alyn on SV Moody Blue there! Jam de Bois is an artsy restaurant and bar, tucked into the end of Pigeon Island, in the park that was once the home of Josset Legh. Very special woman.
We got a visit from Gregory the veggie vendor, pictured here who was very entertaining and nostalgic from 2 years ago and we managed to lighten his boat by buying lots of his delectable wares grown right here on island, including the thing he called a hybrid, mango and melon...darn thing never got ripe!
I got a haircut from Collette, after eavesdropping on April and Deb, which is our radio entertainment should we find the time to get bored...NOT! April giggled when I called to say I was listening, 'because everybody does it' she exclaimed.
We spotted our friends on the gaff schooner, Rebecca, heading for Antigua's Classic Regatta and got invited to tea, so properly English! We're moving right along with Martintique in our sights, literally, and the spot we plan to drop the hook next!
The now famous St. Lucia Jazz Fest in May is going to have to proceed without us however will they?
Dudley and Bec
S/V Altair skype name: dbaltair
skype #: 305.600.2308
03/16/2011, Babaneau and Chassin Gorges
We called and it's a go! We are heading to the Rain Forest at Babaneau and Chassin! We are taking the "Gondola' thru the canopy and I can't wait to share the beauty from such a delightful vantage point. We had a great guide too, Jessame. At every level the Tram rose, we were treated to different flora and the fauna that came with it! How special!
The next time, if there is a next time (maybe Dominica), we will do the zip lines. These 'zipper' dare devils shared the rain forest with us and we heard the squeels all morning long!
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.
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.
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
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