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Date: 06 Jul 2007 14:30:48
Title: St Lucia tour

Hello Friends                        "13:50.4N 61:03.9W"
 
Karla and Andreas joined us on schedule at the weekend and we've had an initial quick look at St Lucia.
 
Rodney Bay in the north of the island is a lagoon which has been dredged and opened to the sea, making a very safe harbour with a large marina. It is the Caribbean landfall of the ARC, the transat rally which departed the Canaries the day after we left Tenerife.
 
There are a fair number of "boat boys" ie. boys of any age trying to sell anything from laundry to fruit & veg to ... well almost anything. The best approach is to deal with one of them and then tell the others that you have a deal with that one, then they leave you alone. The most persistent one was 'coconut man' a rasta that seemed very taken with Karla!
 
We spent the weekend in the marina for convenience and then anchored outside in the bay, once home to the British Fleet in the days when we used to play ducks & drakes with the French here. We managed to outrun this pirate ship and escape !
 
 
We decided to head south to the Pitons and in fact we'll probably zig zag up & down St Lucia for a few days as it is not a big island and travelling just from bay to bay is hardly worth setting the sails.
 
The Pitons are home to several upmarket resorts (which seemed to have very low occupancy) and are the most dramatic scenery in St Lucia. Here are Andreas and Karla, getting into the Caribbean mood as we approch the Pitons.
 
 
(Bloggers who remember June 2006 will appreciate that we have put Andreas on a high-calorie diet immediately!)
 
Yesterday we took a tour around the area near the Pitons. This is a little touristy, so the locals are used to being able to rip-off cruise ship passengers and you have to be careful to negotiate in advance of the contract. Nevertheless, we had a good tour, starting at 0700 with an hour and a half hiking in the rainforest before it became too hot.
 
Most of the forest is abandoned and quickly reverted to Jungle. We walked past coffee trees, which George has harvested in the hope of roasting some of our own; also plenty of coconut, mangoes, breadfruit, grapefruit (sampled and delicious) and lime. Parrots wheeled overhead as we walked in the shade uner the trees.
 
Here is the intrepid George being guided by Marlan.
 
 
We visited the "drive-in volcano" which is a series of sulphur springs, with smelly, bubbling mud coming up from the depths and also the more aesthetically pleasing hot water springs, which we had to ourselves and enjoyed first a warm up in the hot pool and then a cool down in the cool pool.
 
 
We're off up to Castries (the capital) today to buy a football for the kids in Anse La Raye where we're planning to anchor tonight for the Friday Fish Fest.
 
but you'll have to wait for next week's exciting episode for the full report...
 
Here's us last night under the Pitons, as you can see, it's not too crowded at this time of year.
 
 
Best Wishes
 
George & Michael
 

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