La Aventura with Patti & James

06 July 2018 | Faial Island –Atlantic Portugal
24 June 2018 | National Holiday day in Faial
22 June 2018 | afternoon whale watching boat trip
20 June 2018 | an enjoyable day trip to another island.
19 June 2018 | Fabulous Faial. – Azorean Island
18 June 2018 | Faial Island – Horta Harbour - Mid Atlantic
29 May 2018 | Mid Atlantic - in the middle of nowhere
26 May 2018 | the cruising yachtsman’s haven
25 May 2018 | party day in Hamilton
10 May 2018 | Vero Beach/Ft Pierce –road trip to Jacksonville.
12 April 2018 | Vibeke onboard
17 March 2018 | lovely to return to Belize and Mexico and meet up with sailing friends along the way
24 January 2018 | I have become so interested in Guatemala textiles
17 January 2018 | So great to catchup with so many friends and our families
01 November 2017 | what a wonderful Guatemalan fiesta to experience
29 October 2017 | Volcanic crater
28 October 2017 | Antiqua - Guatemala

CRICKET COMBINED WITH GOOD SAILING

04 April 2012 | USVI; BVI; ST LUCIA
HOT AND HUMID

MARCH
We spent from 1st to 8th in HONEYMOON BAY –USVI – it’s so lovely here I didn’t think we would ever leave. It’s a great safe anchorage and so close to the Offshore Marine office to be able to hang-out with good friends Sue & Abrie. We also caught up with Richard, Penny & Libby on Wild Bird whilst they were also anchored in the bay. We enjoyed their company for a lovely day on the beach – entertained by the antics of the crew from one of the cruise ships, the odd beer and a few games of table tennis in the beach pavilion. Marion & Bruce from Memory also came to the Monday Night beach movie. On Friday 9th after filling with fuel and water from the nearby Crown Bay Marine we had a lovely afternoon sail over to St John, for an evening of splendid isolation – or the closest we will get it, with just 2 other boats. We took up a National Park buoy in- GREAT LAMESHUR BAY Lat 18.18.99N Long 64.43.361W with distant drums as our evening background music. We had an early start on Saturday 10th to get to Norman Island before all the day tripper arrived. We put on our wet suits so we could enjoy the good snorkelling in the 3 ‘pirate’ caves for as long as possible. A lovely chance to see some tropical fish, corals and deep, shallow caves. We motor-sailed across to ROAD TOWN – TORTOLA BVI Lat 18.25.14N Long 64.36.78W to check- into the BVI. We will have to get into the swing of doing this admin stuff on Monday to Friday as we were charged an overtime/ weekend fee in addition to the check-in charges, and their ‘service’ was not very efficient or organised. We anchored off Road Town, but the shoreline was unimpressive. We had an enforced stay in Road Town until Thursday 15th. We needed an essential small hose for the engine and had to pay $50US for a part that would cost under £10 in the UK. During our stay the island had a public holiday for Commonwealth Day – we have spent most of our lives in a Commonwealth country and have never had a public holiday to celebrate – but this is the Caribbean- less work more play! During this enforced stay, we could sail but only had the use of one engine – so we ventured carefully out across Francis Drake Passage to PETER ISLAND-LITTLE HARBOUR 18.21.32N/ 64.36.04W. We had to tie back to the shore (Turkish style) and really enjoyed an afternoon swim and evening looking back on Tortola & St John. The anchorage in Road Town was good for us. The large Marina complex was just a short dingy ride away for Wi-Fi and the well stocked Supermarket & chandlery a short walk. We even found a $4US laundry in the opposite marina. On Friday 16th with both engines all OK we checked-out from the BVI via a very laid back customs official – they are just not at all organised- this time they couldn’t find the receipt book for the $1.00 fee and the immigration lady said curtly ’ you may leave’! We had a great tacking sail east along Francis Drake Passage to finally anchor off Salt Island Lat 18.22.433N Long64.31.887W. We swam ashore, and while snorkelling saw loads of conch. It was another splendid isolation evening alone here, anchored looking back on Tortola & Virgin Gorda. At 1st light on Saturday 17th we set off for the 380 mile sail direct to St Lucia. Under full main, cutter and genoa plus Henry Hydrovane doing all the work we bypassed all the Leeward Islands (will visit them next season) – and only had one cruise ship and one other ship come up on the AIS for company during the whole trip. A great sail – we arrived after one long tack, with just a few quick tacks into the Rodney Bay anchorage on Tuesday 20th.

ST LUCIA RODNEY BAY – LAT 14.04.817N LONG 60.57.477W – now in the Windward Islands. Our arrival visibility was terrible, we could only see the island 15miles out. We decided to chill out for the day and enjoy a swim and take in all the activities and lovely wide bay view of Rodney Bay. The weather was hot and humid with low clouds – certainty we had left the clear blue skies behind. Thankfully we had good internet access at the anchorage from one of the resort complexes that line the bay, and the marina was just a short dingy ride away. Wednesday 21st was a shore day around the town, marina & shops. After an efficient Check-in with Customs and Immigration, a quick look around the impressive marina complex and a visit to the Bank as we now have Eastern Caribbean Dollars as our currency, we felt we had arrived in another country. The Rodney Bay marina complex is a very good standard, and we made good use of their Wi-Fi service for Skype, internet and James downloads. The large supermarket complex has a dedicated dingy dock just a short ride from the marina complex. We headed off to the cricket ground – just a short walk from the marina to the local bus pickup stop – we queued up with all the locals to purchase our match tickets for 3 days. We met up with Rupert on Thursday 22nd to deliver our drinks shipment and baby buggy from Francis. Francis is a local St Lucian who now lives and works in the USVI for Offshore. Rupert is a lovely man and keen to show us his home, have a cold beer and a chat. Friday 23rd was a One Day International, and a great day out. We packed our picnic, dressed up in our Ozzie gear and took our flags. We had shady stand tickets, right at the top of the Gros Inlet stand with a great overall view. The majority of the crowd were locals with a few groups of Ozzies. They were easy to pick out in the crowd as they were also dressed-up and with their flags. It was a great feeling to be here to support our country whilst in another country. The St Lucians are laidback, smiley, & happy, friendly people who also enjoyed their sporting day out. St Lucia won a great match, so there was a wonderful atmosphere. After a long, hot day it was great to get back to the boat for a late afternoon swim before heading off to Gros Inlet for an evening out, which is just a short walk from the marina complex. Gros Inlet Township is a very basic shanty fishing village and Friday night is party night. We wandered the streets, some areas with more tourists than locals. We had BBQ Conch cooked over coals in a basic chicken wire basket with cold Piton Beers at the Fishermans ‘restaurant’ with loads of locals. The Bob Marley music, basic environment and BBQ smells were a real local experience. We then moved on to have fish and meat pastries at the local bakery and then a mixed plate meal of breadfruit pudding, rice and beans, corn, fried fish & BBQ chicken from one of the stalls along the main street. The people watching was interesting – both local stoned rustas, and tourists enjoying the street party. In true West Indies style, the drinks flowed from stalls and the music was on full blast. All in all - and great day out. James was able to find a bar in the Marina complex on Saturday 24th to watch the Arsenal V Aston Villa game, whilst I happily had internet access in the marina complex, before food shopping and then back to the boat for the afternoon to cool off at anchor. Our 2nd day at the cricket on Sunday 25th. Our stand seats for today were opposite the ground from the previous game, but in the hot sun for the morning. The stand was full to overflowing. The locals were out in full voice and force. Australia won today’s One Day International. It was a long day and we only just made it back to the boat just before dark, as the match-day was interrupted by rain and because there were so many people attending the journey back top Rodney Bar was slow and a bit chaotic. Monday 26th was a cricket lay-day so we had a chance to meet up with Rupert again. The T20 match on Tuesday 27th started at 2pm – so after an early lunch on the boat we took our drinks and snacks to the cricket. Our seats were near Rupert, so it was a good chance to enjoy the day with him, and Australia’s win. As the game was just 40 overs and just a short break at team changeover the game finished early enough for us to take a walk around the Reduit Beach area in the late afternoon light. It gets dark here by 6.30pm – just like Queensland in the summer. We were hoping to find somewhere with atmosphere and not expensive for dinner, but alas it was not found in this very touristy area - so we had an enjoyable chicken dinner in the mall. Laundry and odd jobs day on Wednesday 28th, and we were able to spend the afternoon in marina bar to watch AC Milan V Barcelona in Champions League game 0-0 result. Laundry day (again) and good shopping on Thursday 29th. The 2 loads dried quickly in the stiff breeze and sunshine. Our laundry total cost 100ec $40 (£26) was expensive for the 4 loads over 2 days, but necessary. We are leaving St Lucia tomorrow after 10 every enjoyable days and will return at the end of April. This anchorage at Rodney Bay has been good for us – with the marina & supermarket both a close dingy ride away. Good Wi-Fi available whilst on the boat from Bay Island Resort and all the marina facilities – bar for sport TV, chandlery, rubbish, and laundry and we were able to top-up with water via the jerry can from a tap near the marina supermarket. The cricket ground was just a short walk to catch the local bus, & Gros Inlet for Friday night ‘jump-up’ right ahead of us. The weather has been hot and humid - not the clear blue skies we had in the US & BVI’s. We upped anchor and set off again to further explore St Lucia on Friday 30th. With gusts of up to 20 knots off the steep mountain side we were gliding down the coast with a reefed main & genoa. We decided to give the main port of Castries a miss as it looked very busy with a large cruise ship in the harbour, so we headed a little further south to Anse La Raye for our lunch stop. There was a large swell coming into the small fishing harbour and we decided that landing the dingy to go ashore for their Friday Night Fish Feast would be far too tricky and dangerous – so after lunch we headed back north to Marigot Bay. A large triple master clipper was just heading off as we made our way in, a lovely sight. We found laid mooring balls only available in the inner harbour, so anchored in the entrance channel just outside the fairway. The inner resort area had a Moorings Charter Base and the usual tourist shops. The little sandy beach area with coconut palms looked inviting so we enjoyed an afternoon swim and sunset drinks on the sand spit. During dinner we commented that we had not been anchored this close to shore for a very long time and that the birds might keep us awake – well a BAT visit in the early hours did! (but that’s another long story for another day Marigot Bay is a pretty spot, but after the BAT incident we were keen to move on, so it was just a short geona only sail further down the coast to the fishing village of Soufriere on Saturday 31st. We knew that we would need to take-up a mooring ball as we were planning to stay the night in the Marine Park, but what we were not prepared for was the harassment from the ‘boat boys’ to assist us. James advised them all that we were more than capable of picking up a mooring line ourselves and DID NOT require assistance. Initially we took up a buoy close to the town, but were told by 2 different guys that it was a private mooring, so we moved to the north to the Bat Cave area. We had more harassment and intimidation from a few young lads when we went into the dingy dock telling us we must make a payment for them to ‘protect’ and make sure our dingy was ’safe’! We agreed a price of 10EC – just so we could have an hour walk of the town! The town was very basic and poor – the fishing side looked very shanty town stuff. The view of the magnificent Twin Pitons from the Bat Cave mooring was spectacular, but the water was very dirty and not at all inviting for an afternoon swim. Also we didn’t want another Bat visitor so we moved over to the other side of the bay in a beautiful spot right beneath the first Piton of 2,460 feet where we enjoyed a quiet and enjoyable night with approx 5 other yachts. The official warden came around to collect the park fee of 40EC for 2 nights – which we felt was acceptable.

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Vessel Name: La Aventura
Crew: James & Patti

Who: James & Patti