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St Lucia
01/18/2010, Rodney Bay

I decided not to stay in Martinique. So i left early for the ride to St. Lucia.
I am getting smarter..... left the reef in, hugged the coast and made all the easting I could before heading out to open water. Was able to make Rodney Bay with no problems. Kind of a wind tunnel here and I came in with a fierce wind and rain storm. I have not seen that kind of rain in a very long time. The boat needed it though. It was getting kind of crusty.
The bottom here is different. Hard packed sand. It only took me 6 attempts to get the anchor to stick. Lucky I put the windlass switch at the wheel. Since I am alone and the boats are pretty well packed in here, it saves on the heart attacks of my neighbors, especially when it's blowing 20 knots.
I'll be here a day or two before heading out to St Vincent and Bequia.
I need fuel, milk, bread and propane. There is a big charter fleet here and this is the place where the ARC Round the world Ralley starts so stores are plentiful.

For those of you who not on my crew/trip mailing list... lots of slots open for crew to make island hops or passagemaking north. Good deal, I supply the boat and food. You get yourself here and try to stay awake while I sleep. Contact me if your interested

01/16/2010, Fort De France Martinique

Tonight I am anchored in the harbor in Fort De France. They put the anchorage right near the ferry dock so every 45 minutes it gets a little rocky here. But, I got to tell you, the harbor actually has bouys that are as they are marked on the chart. And they are lit.... first time I've seen that down here. The city, from my vantage point looks like a pretty lively place. Not like the last 3 islands I have been to. This is supposed to be the Paris of the Caribbean. This is also where Napoleon's Josephine was born.

When I left this morning I had a gut feeling about the wind. The last 3 days, as you come to the end of the island where there is nothing but open water, the wind pipes up a little. This morning I tucked in a reef before I left. Glad I did. The wind was gusting up to 25 knots witha big ocean swell. Pretty snotty out there. I was able to do 7 to 7.5 knots about 10 degrees off the rhumb line. After I got to the next island though it slowed down a bit. Was a pretty long and hard sail.

Oh, When I was in St Maartin I learned to tell the time of day by which plane took off over head. I just noticed today that I've seen my first plane in over a week. My, how you noticed stupid things like that.

No internet that I can pick up here so I am showered and fed.....and it's time for bed a

No Burgers in Paradise
01/15/2010, Roseau

After checking out my alternator non issue - I guess it's been so long since my batteries have been fully charged I forgot what it looks like to have it only charge 15 amps. This morning it was back to charging 70 amps like normal.
I had a nice quiet sail down the coast of Dominica - a very different island than what I have seen up til now. Very picturesque. Rain forest and high peaked mountains.
I stopped in the capital city of Roseau and was able to pick up a mooring. Geez, I was just getting used to being in 45-50 feet of water. I have had chain out that hasn't seen the light of day since it came out of the box.
So, on the way in, as is the custom here, I was approached by 2 boat boys. Roots, who is mentioned in the guide books, had to get rid of one of his competitors. He did this by ramming the other guys boat. I thought he was just going to scare him and veer off, but he actually rammed him. After some words and finger pointing, the other guy left ( and at high speed). Can you imagine someone fighting over you in the 1000 Islands.
Roots helped me get the mooring, took me to the customs dock and then dropped me off in town. All for a modest fee of course. He then picked me up and dropped me back off at the boat.
I had a nice afternoon exploring the town.
One thing I have noticed on the last few islands, they only have KFC. (Kentucky Fried Chicken). Of all the franchises that they could have had, that is the only one they have.
So, I guess on this island, there are no burgers......but it is paradise all the same.
On to Fort De France in Martinique tomorrow.

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