Magic's Adventure

21 April 2009 | Georgetown
17 April 2009 | Mayaguana
11 November 2008 | St Croix
07 November 2008 | St Croix
22 October 2008 | St Croix
21 September 2008 | St Croix
15 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
15 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
14 September 2008 | Chaguaramas Bay, Trinidad
07 September 2008 | Scotland Bay, Trinidad
21 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
09 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
06 August 2008 | Clarkes Court Bay, Grenada
06 June 2008 | Bequia
05 June 2008 | Bequia
02 June 2008 | Bequia
28 May 2008 | Bequia
27 May 2008 | Bequia
26 May 2008 | Bequia
25 May 2008 | Guadaloupe

St. Lucia

02 June 2008 | Bequia
We hauled anchor at 6am on Sunday, May 25th and steered a course for St. Lucia. We had a wonderful sail; a beam reach with 17kts of wind and seas in the 4ft range. We hand steered all the way, partly for the sheer joy of finally being able to sail our boat, and partly because the race with Daniell Storey was on!

It is said that if you get two sailboats travelling in the same direction at the same time, irrespective of the circumstances you will have yourself a race. This is certainly turning out to be true for Magic and Daniell Storey, a 40ft Island Packet. The boats, having very similar length and displacement, are so closely matched for speed that only good sail trim, tactics and sheer luck separate them on any passage. Both Dave & Michelle and Dave & I have enjoyed these mini-regattas and the good natured fun involved. And this one was no exception. Again, with nothing separating the competitors we approached Rodney Bay, St. Lucia at around 9am. By 9.30am we were safely anchored and ready to take a look at our new location.

Our main reason for coming to Rodney Bay was to collect mail that had been sent to the marina for us. It was also an area where we could top up on fresh produce, and if we needed to, fuel and water. The north of St. Lucia is pretty, but it is in the south, with the rainforest and pitons, where the real beauty of this island can be found. We had therefore intended to spend only a short time in Rodney Bay so that we could move on to the Pitons. As it turned out, the weather again had a say in our plans and we had to stay longer than anticipated to allow the winds to die down. We spent the time doing work on Magic, we took a 30 minute local bus ride into Castries, the capital of St. Lucia, where we wandered around the town and bought produce at the vegetable market, and we played Sequence and Mexican Train dominoes with Daniell Storey and Sojourn. There are worse ways of spending a few weather bound-days!

After 4 days in Rodney Bay the weather calmed down enough for us to head for the Pitons. At 8am we took Magic into the marina to top up with water, and by 10am we were heading out of the bay. We had another really nice sail. At Martinique we had finally started to head south down the island chain rather than east and directly into the prevailing wind. At last we were really sailing our boat and we were thrilled. By 1pm we had picked up a mooring just off the pitons and were taking in the awe inspiring view.

The Pitons is a National Park and we had heard that the diving in the area was stunning, so we were eager to get in the water. Once everyone (Magic, Daniell Storey & Sojourn) was settled on their mooring we got our snorkelling gear together, jumped in the dinghies and rode a little way to see what was below the surface of the water surrounding Gros Piton. We had great expectations of our snorkel, and although I don't think we could actually say that we were disappointed, we were deflated. The underwater scenery was good, but we had certainly had better. Large boulders littered the sea bed. There were some soft corals and sponges and certainly plenty of fish life, but it still was not what we expected. The most interesting part for me anyway, was the ten minutes or so I 'sat' and watched twelve Reef Squid in one long line, largest first, move from one boulder to the next. I was smack in the middle of their intended route and the 'leader' would approach me and then back away, approach a little closer and then back away, all the time watching me out of the corner of his eye. Eventually he plucked up enough courage and the whole group passed directly beneath me and hurried away. The colours of the squid as they passed in and out of the sunshine and shade equalled the best of any rainbow. Translucent pinks and blues, purples and iridescent green to pale shades of brown and olive. I was fascinated. After a while I left the squid in peace and as I was now feeling a little chilled, made my way back to the dinghy.

Back on the boats later that evening we were visited by the park wardens, Lewis and Paul, who came to collect the mooring fee. We knew that we could not dive in the Pitons without an official dive guide so we asked the wardens for a recommendation. We were pleasantly surprised when they offered to take us diving themselves the following morning. In addition to Daniell Storey and Sojourn, we had met up with another couple of boats we knew in the area and so early the following morning Dave & I, Dave & Michelle (Daniell Storey), Tom & Rose (Sojourn), Britt & Terri (Sea Otter) and John (Livin' the Dream) joined us in the 'urge to submerge'. Ann, John's wife, decided to stay above the water.

We loaded the gear into the ranger's boat, but were a little disconcerted when we arrived at the same area we had snorkelled the previous afternoon. "We were here yesterday, there isn't really anything to see. Can't we go somewhere else?" Dave pointed out our concern to Lewis. "Trust me. You didn't see anything when you snorkelled. You'll love this". Well, he was the expert. We geared up and got into the water.

Boy, was he right! We had a fantastic dive. The scenery was every bit as stunning as we have seen anywhere. There were multi-coloured corals and soft corals, sponges, sea fans, turtles and fish, fish, fish. It was beautiful as we hope you will see from the wonderful photos taken by Dave (Daniell Storey) which we have taken the liberty of posting on this site. All too soon it was time to surface, but this is one dive that will stay in our memories for a very long time.

And the day wasn't over yet. We had been told that we absolutely had, without fail, to have lunch at the Dasheen Restaurant. Part of the well known Ladera Resort, the restaurant and bar are perched on the edge of a cliff between the two pitons and overlooking the Gros Piton. The views are incredible and even the food is very good! Another treat!

After our spectacular lunch our taxi took us into the town of Soufiere so that we could check out at customs and immigration. It was 30th May already and the 'official' start of hurricane season was just around the corner. We wanted to be in a position where we would have a maximum passage of 24 hours to reach secure cover if we had to run for it. We needed to be in The Grenadines.
Vessel Name: Magic
Vessel Make/Model: Baba 40
Hailing Port: Ipswich
Crew: David & Donna Glessing