07 April 2017 | Rodney Bay St. Lucia
Guest Blogger, Jen
I’m pretty sure Amanda thought I would say ‘no’. This last week has been heaped with adventure and new experiences:
Arriving is just the beginning Our driver got us to the marina in one piece. A couple of detours - scenic vista, hot island bread, back to the hot island bread place because he dropped money, chasing down the other driver that picked up his money…
St. Anne’s was our first stop after leaving St. Lucia. As we sat in the cafe Sunday morning, feasting on pastries and checking email / catching up on Facebook (hey, you grab wifi when you can), Amanda noticed a picture of Vanessa holding a mahi mahi and hijacked Greg’s newsfeed to ask ‘when do we get to see you again?’. Turns out, Francois and Vanessa were on their way to St. Anne and found themselves anchored next to us. The next morning in Marin we met up with fellow cruisers Barb and Winston (former Coloradans on their boat My Island Girl) and their friends Lu and Sheila, and shared a morning beverage break while swapping stories. Next we loaded up on supplies (read: goodies from the patisserie, groceries, boat fixing supplies and more goodies from the patisserie), we got to have dinner with Francois and Vanessa, sampling Vanessa’s catch. Chantal and Marco joined also and the night went late sharing food, laughs and more stories. Our planned early morning departure departed a little later than planned.
It’s all fun and games until someone sits on the bananas: After St. Anne, we sailed on to Grande Anse d’Arlet where we anchored to ride out the impending North Swells. Lots and lots of swells. Like the kind that knock a slightly over-confident newbie off the ladder and onto a batch of bananas sitting on the counter. On the bright side - Greg now had a good reason to make banana bread.
Wednesday, still besieged by swells, we rented a car and drove up to St. Pierre, toured the ruins left by the volcanic eruption of 1902, found a wonderful cascade hike, and discovered parts of Martinique not usually seen by tourists, as we tried to avoid traffic in Fort de France. We also discovered that there was a gasoline strike, and only 8 gas stations on the entire island were open - and then only for emergency vehicles. Thursday’s excursion to find gasoline before we returned the rental car landed us at an amazing patisserie, wishing we had interchangeable stomachs so that when one got too full, we could switch it out for an empty one.
With the swells still swelling, we sailed to Les Anses d’Arlet for a calmer bay and snorkeling! And turtles! And more turtles! (Though not while snorkeling, unfortunately.) And a meet up with Barb, Winston, Lu and Sheila again who were anchored in the same cove.
The Three Day Tour. I find it amazing that out of an entire ocean, we catch sight of Why Knot IV and Invictus (Francois & Vanessa, and Chantal & Marco, respectively) heading out on their three day sail to Bon Aire. A quick call to wish them a bon voyage, and we continued on to St. Lucia. A few big swells, and quite a bit of heeling, underscored what true adventurers the cruisers are.
A huge thank you. Seriously, this is not something that I would have ever thought to experience. And what an experience it has been. Sleeping sideways on a bed so that the swells rocked me head to toe, not side to side; motoring over to say ‘hi’ to a neighboring boat; finding new friends around the corner; seeing lion fish, Sargent Majors and sea turtles somewhere other than an aquarium - not my usual scene. Your heart cannot be heavy on the sea, and the drunk guy on the plane ride over was right - it was truly a wonderful time.