06 July 2007 | Saint Lucia
When you live on a boat you investigate the weather with interest each day. We listen to Chris Parker on the SSB (8.127MHz in these parts) at 7AM and pull down NOAA reports and spot forecasts pretty much every day. Especially during hurricane season. Extra-especially when we're in the corridor. Super-extra-especially when we have friends aboard. Way-super-extra-especially when there's a closed low pressure system east of us. The day the MacKenzies landed was the day we had our first concerning low pressure system of the season. Odds are good that anything looking ominous will not develop. Odds are also good that if it does develop it will go north of the area. Even though the chances of a problem developing are slim, the consequences are significant. Given the situation we decided to stay within a short sail of Rodney Bay until the wave coming our way gave up its formation or passed. The Rodney Bay lagoon is about as protected as you can get.
After a quick morning update it looked like the low pressure system in the coming wave was likely to flatten out but it was still possible for us to end up with gale or storm force winds. The crew discussed matters and decided to return to Rodney Bay and monitor the situation. We could then stay in the beautiful bay or pop into the marina is things were looking messy.
I had really wanted to sit in between the two Pitons if just for a moment before we left. Everyone was up for a little tour so we cruised through the Jalousie Cove area. The anchorage here is a bit open but there's a very nice beach and the views are spectacular. After motoring about a bit we set the sails and prepared to beat our way up the coast to Rodney Bay.
There are two pirate (type) ships based in Rodney Bay that do day charters. The kids, Sammy especially, were really interested in them. On the way up the coast we passed by one of them underway. It was fun to see and old square rigger sailing down the coast of Saint Lucia.
Things were not particularly smooth on the way back north. The wind was up and so were the seas. A green tint began to appear on some of the complexions aboard. Hideko had a line out to break things up and all of the kids were very excited to catch a fish. It was slow going up the coast and I was trying not to get too carried away due to the tender crew. Hideko was getting depressed as we closed on Rodney Bay because she hadn't even gotten a nibble on her line.
Then, almost on cue, Kory chummed the waters. Moments later, with Kory now sound and hale, Hideko's line started to run. Hideko and the kids reeled in a feisty Little Tunny. Regardless of the name it was pretty good sized. We'd never caught one of these before and we had to use the fish ID card to figure out if we should eat it or throw it back. It wasn't on the excellent list but it was on the eat-it list so we did.
Fishing was all well and good but catching a fish seemed to be a bit less popular. Thinking it was tuna family I tried to cook it like tuna. Turns out is was mackerel family and not amiable to being cooked like a tuna. It wasn't bad but not great either.
We anchored off the main beach in Rodney Bay a bit south of the primary anchorage. After lunch we got out the bongo (10 foot diameter inner-tube with a big trampoline on top) and tied it to the boat on a long painter. The kids went nuts, bouncing and diving for a while. Kory finished his third confined water SCUBA dive later in the afternoon while the girls went to the beach for a snorkel. Sammy seemed to be very happy playing at the water margin and Maddy was doing some impressive snorkeling. We all stayed out on the beach until the sun was going down to make the most of our last day outside the marina.