29 December 2014 | Soufriere, St. Lucia
We arrived in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia after a couple of hours of fast sailing from Martinique. Here we met with our friends from Miss Behaving and another boat with kids that we had met in the Lanzarote, Hapa Na Sasa. Together, we celebrated Christmas with Jerk Chicken and Rum Punches - lots of both :-)
We continued our R&R time with our friends, taking a hike here, kayaking on the bay, swimming around, exploding water balloons at each other, etc. Roan rigged his sailing dinghy, Plastiki, which was an instant success with kids and grown-ups alike. He had had no chance to use Plastiki since we left the Med so he spent several days sailing with the other kids. Also visiting Miss Behaving was a 13-year old girl, Jemima, who races dinghies. Soon, Roan and Jemima hatched a plan to sail south along the coast of St. Lucia in Plastiki while the rest of the fleet; Por Dos, Miss Behaving and Hapa Na Sasa, followed them. The rendezvous was going to be in Marigot Bay, eight miles south of Rodney Bay; an easy downwind sail. Marigot Bay is famous for being the place where the musical Dr. Dolittle was filmed many years ago.
Roan and Jemima had a great time and would have arrived at Marigot Bay ahead of the fleet if they had not missed the bay and spent the last 30 min sailing back upwind to the bay. The experience was so successful that 12-year old Hayley from Miss Behaving joined Jemima and Roan for the second leg, a 12 mile down wind run to Soufrieres and the Pitons. With three of them, the dinghy was lower in the water and some of the waves were burying Plastiki completely, they had to bail constantly. After we arrived, we radioed them to offer a tow with the outboard but they were having great fun and refused with a resounding NO in triplicate. Nervous-Nellie mum (aka me) would ping their waterproof VHF radio every few minutes. I could get their GPS position on our chart plotter that way and relaxed as they were making good way. They arrived at Soufrieres about one hour after us, wet but happy, in time for dinner.
The moorings in Soufrieres were all taken so with the help of Captain Bob, a local guide and water-taxi driver, we dropped anchor and stern-tied to a palm tree. Next day, we went for an organized tour to look at the Pitons, Botanic Gardens and Sulphur Springs, an odorous reminder that St. Lucia is also a volcanic island like the rest of the Windward and Leeward Islands.
After a couple of days in Soufrieres, we sailed to the next country/group of islands St. Vincent and The Grenadines. We bypassed St. Vincent and went directly to Admiralty Bay on Bequia Island. The trip was 53 miles. We did it in 6 hours. It felt like we were flying, overtaking other boats right and left - one of the most enjoyable sails for our beloved and highly competitive captain. Anchoring in Admiralty Bay was more trying. It took us few times until we got the anchor to hold. Mark dove to check the anchor - success! We had managed to drop it in a nice sandy spot and the shaft was happily buried. This is a bay famous for boats dragging at anchor, and, sure enough, we saw one boat with no one on board dragging at high speed while several cruisers were racing to help in their dinghies. Miss Behaving decided to leave for a different island as their anchor was slowly dragging a couple of feet each day. However, we decided to stay an extra night and watch the surprisingly large New Year’s Eve fireworks.