South the Batcave?!
28 April 2012
Saturday, April 38, 12
We up anchored and headed out along the shore of St. Lucia to explore the southern end of the island which is famed for its beauty and spectacular scenery. After a short, three hour motor sail we arrived at Soufriere, the town at the Northern base of the Pitons. A wide bay…but so deep as to be impossible to anchor here…no worries, they have moorings, and boat boys to help you pick one up. We don’t really need the help, but say yes anyway, since this is all new to us, and well – we don’t really know where we are going. By 9:30 we are tied to one of six moorings in the area called the bat cave. We cant see a cave, but we randomly see small sightseeing boats pull up to a small area ahead of us, drift for a few minutes and take pictures. Hmm – we’ll need to check that out. We jump in to snorkel and find a school of 20+ yellowtail snapper right beneath the boat, and we discover we are right on the edge of a steep drop off (our depth sounder reads 114ft!), covered with vase and fan coral. The whole edge area is very similar, and we are under cliffs that soar almost straight up and down. As we swam further up we could easily see why boats come right up to the cliffs…certainly nothing to worry about depth wise! We also saw what they were looking at. A long, slim crevasse jam packed with chittering bats! Very cool! Behind us there is a strange keyhole shaped hole in the cliff, that you can only see from certain angles…also pretty darn cool. This is a really spectacular place, with a amazing natural beauty, as the south end of the bay is anchored by Petit Piton, the sugarloaf shaped rock spearing into the sky. While most of the Caribbean is beautiful with lush green hills, and volcanic terrain, this place has a certain magic. The Pitons are so iconic, and we are captivated by them.
We met a few new boat boys here and bought carved Calabash bowls from Pascal, who carved them this afternoon, and then kayaked out to each boat in this bay, and the next to hawk his wares. Kayaked….into some fierce winds that blow down off the hills and gust thru the bays….amazing, and very friendly & charming people, making a living as they can here.
The Park ranger stopped by at sunset to collect the mooring fee. Two nights we will be staying, one here, and one in the next bay, for the princely sum of $20 US. Unbelieveable!