Rodney Bay Marina
01 July 2007 | Saint Lucia
Today we were off to Saint Lucia. There were two places in the eastern Caribbean that I really wanted to see since early in our trip. One was Montserrat and the other was Saint Lucia. Montserrat has the erupting volcano and Saint Lucia has the Pitons. The Pitons are incredibly picturesque, rising straight out of the ocean, both steep and tall. There is a bay between the two peaks that looks just magnificent, at least on the post card.
We started to get the boat in order at 8AM and by 8:30 we had rousted Fred to help us get off of the dock. Le Ponton is a stern to deal and you need to pick up a mooring buoy in front of your slot and back onto the dock. No problem except that the buoy has no painter (so that it wont foul boats going on and off the dock) and so you need to tie onto the ring. This is tricky with 5 feet of freeboard and even more so when you don't have a line long enough to loop through. The buoys are set pretty far off so that they can accommodate yachts quite a bit longer than ours.
Fred took the Red Baron (their RIB dinghy with slight red canvas covers) out and untied us. We thanked him and waved goodbye for the time being. I'm not sure but I'm pretty sure that he went back to Kelp Fiction and made a latte. Kelp Fiction is equipped with an industrial quality espresso maker that can only be described as sick. I really want one. You can totally taste the quality difference between a cheap machine that doesn't circulate the water and keep it at the exact right temperature and Fred's unit.
But I digress.
It was going to be another breezy day so we motored out of the harbor to figure out what was happening. Twenty-six knots apparent. That will be one reef in the main thank you. So off we sailed with the wind ripping 25 or so forty degrees off to port. I started to think at this point that my port sheets were really not getting any work. We have been sailing south to southeast since we started, I can't remember the last time we were on Starboard tack.
The seas were six to eight but we were making good time at about eight knots speed over ground. It was a bit bumpy but not really bad at all. Hideko get seas sick pretty easy and she forgot to take her medicine this morning so she stayed top side for the whole run.
I had told Thomas that we would be arriving in the bay at about noon and to look for a large white catamaran. We almost made it. My watch read 12:30 by the time we had the main down and were motoring toward the channel into the lagoon. We decided to make Rodney Bay Marina our first stop to simplify clearing in and getting our friend aboard.
We were looking for any of the Mac Kenzies along the beach as we approached the channel that takes you from Rodney Bay to the Lagoon where the marina is situated. Just as the beach disappeared behind the buildings along the channel I saw Thomas jog up. We were relieved because we had no real way to contact them since we didn't know where they were staying. We shouted our slip out to Thomas and he gave us the high sign. It was great to see him.
We had hailed the marina as we approached and they gave us the quarantine slip. It was the weekend and we were coming in just before 13:00. They all leave at 13:00. I asked if they could hook us up with power before they went home. "That is not possible", came the response. Water? Nope. How 'bout a hand with the lines. Sorry. The service at this marina is good but don't ask them to stay 3 minutes after closing.
We docked in 20 knots of wind with some line handling help from a couple of cruisers who happened to be walking by. I went bow in to face the wind. That was a bad call. It made getting on and off the boat a lot of work the way the dock was set up.
By the time we had the boat in order Thomas, Emily, Kory, Maddy and Sammy had arrived. It was great to see our friends after almost a year away from the US. There was no hope of clearing in, or doing anything else really, so we got the Mac clan settled. Out boat has a lot of free board so it was kind of fun piling everyone on board. We tossed the luggage into the tramps from the dock, fortunately without incident.
After we hoisted everyone up at the shrouds, we showed our guests to their cabins, stowed gear, gave the obligatory marine sanitation device demonstration and covered safety items and boat rules. Rule one on our boat is that everyone must have fun. This rule was broken a few times by the young ones during the trip, consequently dragging their parents into violation, but these infractions were generally short lived.
After a bit of reunioning we over to Scuttlebutts. Scuttlebutts has a swimming pool (don't want to get into the lagoon water) which the kids enjoyed and good burgers. We discussed possible cruising plans for their stay. Option one was chill out in Saint Lucia and spend most of the time on anchor, sailing in small hops down the island and back. Option two was a more aggressive cruising plan, making good multi-hour sails each day and trekking through Saint Lucia, the Grenadines and ending up in Grenada. Option two was not very popular. We began promptly by lounging in the swings at Scuttlebutts.