December 19th 2010: Our first week in St. Lucia

Enigma's Transatlantic Voyage
Manuel Ribeiro
Sun 19 Dec 2010 20:27

14:04.00N 60:57.00W

Hello readers!

Much has happened since our arrival in St. Lucia. It has been a bit of a strange transition, reconnecting back to the real world, but our stay on this dreamlike island has made it seamless. Partying, meeting new people and enjoying the St. Lucia have been the main elements of the amazing time we are having so far.

With that, here are some of the main happenings of our stay to date:

Julia has arrived! Despite having a bit of a stressful transit from one airport to another in Paris, another of the Ribeiro clan has made it. Manuel Sr. and Ze sailed across the channel to Martinique to meet Julia there on Friday evening, making it to St. Lucia the following afternoon. Everyone is very glad to have her on board and we eagerly await Catarina’s and Alberto’s arrival on Wednesday.

Another highlight of the week was the boys’ trip around the island. While Manuel Sr. and Ze were sailing, Boyan and Manel decided to stay put and spend the day driving through St. Lucia. They rented a car with a Danish friend of theirs and drove towards Soufriere – a town in the south-western part of the island next to a volcano, which suffered from an unexpected eruption 100 yrs ago, killing 30,000 people. Though the map suggested that the drive shouldn’t take more than an hour -- the pot-hole ridden roads, mountainous climbs and breathtaking views resulted in the boys taking almost 3 hours. Not that they minded, however, as they stopped many times to take pictures, bargain for souvenirs and drink coconut water while chewing on sugarcane. As a matter of fact, they ended up enjoying the ride more than the destination! The sulphur baths they had planned on visiting were fun, but the drive was unforgettable.

The prize giving ceremony was also a great time. Though Enigma returned empty handed, it was great to have all the ARC participants under one roof (safe for the 6 boats still at sea!). Lasting about 5 hours, we were entertained by creative awards, great speakers and a local dance show. We also enjoyed a good barbecue during the intermission with drinks on the house! It was a great conclusion to the transatlantic adventure. One thing that was really moving was the speech the Minister of Tourism gave about Hurricane Thomas, which hit this island as recently as November. He spoke passionately on the resilience of the people in recovering from a disaster that saw 3 years worth of rain in 24 hours and 12 people killed. We wish the people of St. Lucia all the best in their speedy recovery.

And, finally, we say goodbye to another one of our crew members today. Provided that the snow in Gatwick subsides, Ze’s flight back home leaves tonight. We are crossing our fingers. So this is to you, Ze. It has been a pleasure having you on board with us. Your help with the boat’s navigation and your sense of humour throughout the trip were an essential part of the great times we had. We wish you the best and hope to see you soon.

In the next few days, we look to sail around St. Lucia until Catarina and Alberto’s arrival. Christmas is coming up, and we’ll be celebrating in the Grenadines, either in Tobago Cays or in Bequia, as we continue exploring the Caribbean.


Enjoy your Sunday,

The Enigma Crew.

JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image

JPEG image