Christmas ? what's that ?

Fri 28 Dec 2007 23:07
13.51N 61.03W
Christmas ?  What's that ?
We left Rodney Bay marina on Sunday 23 December, sailing at about 5kts on very smooth seas on a broad reach down to Marigot Bay.  That's an inlet rather like a Norwegian fjord - a valley with deep water, but a small palm-fringed beach in the middle.  We were led to a mooring in the middle of the bay opposite the small collection of shops and restaurants. Nishi went ashore to investigate the restaurants whilst Syd and Annabel motored off in the dinghy in search of a nice place to swim; they went out of the bay round to the next sandy beach which was very steep with a lagoon behind and had a nice swim but didn't like to stay as dusk was coming on and the lagoon would generate lots of nasty biting flies.
We'd heard that Chateau Mygo restaurant was a good mix of East Indian and Carribbean food but we weren't very impressed by the portion sizes and needed a pizza(which was particularly good) instead of desert!  The 2for1 cocktails were good too!
In spite of being in the middle of the bay opposite the small jetty where the cross-bay ferry was landing, it was a quiet night until 7am when we were awoken by the sound of a large anchor being lowered.  We looked out to see a huge motor cruiser, probably 140ft long, looming over us !!  Later on we learnt that they'd gently pushed us round on our mooring with their tenders so that they could get in to the dock !
24 & 25 December
It was a bit hot and there wasn't much choice of restaurants so we changed our original plan of staying there for Christmas and moved on down to Soufiere, stopping at a bay called Anse Couchon(not shown on all charts) for a lovely swim and lunch. The restaurants at Soufiere were supposed to be good and we found several other boats we knew, including one with some youngsters on it, with whom Nishi socialised that night.  We were anchored right up near the beach, with a line ashore round a tree, so to get ashore we just pulled the dinghy along the line.That bit of the beach was a bit smelly, but the swimming offshore was good and there was a terrific 'Bounty Moment' when the moon came up behind the palm trees.
On Christmas Day Syd and Annabel went for a nice walk up a very, very steep little road on one side of the bay, whilst Nishi recovered from the night before and joined the beach crowd of other crews and local children.
We had our Christmas meal in the evening at one of the restaurants but although the food was fine, the service was bad and the meal was as expensive as it would have been in the UK.  So after a few bad experiences we're going to usually cook for ourselves unless we're sure a restaurant is worth it !
26 December
We moved on by motoring 15mins round the corner to another bay between the Pitons.  We were lucky to pick up a mooring buoy in deep clear water near the quiet bouldered beach and Syd and Annabel enjoyed a good but windy swim.  Then we went ashore to explore, finding a smart resort beach, hotel, and chalets but shocked ourselves by having a beer - 15USD for 3 halves !!!  We'd read that there was another hotel/restaurant with a particularly good view nearby, so as we could see it on the hillside we set off to walk there and see if it would be nice for Nishi's last night meal.  All the way up the road through the hotel grounds people stopped us saying what a long walk it would be and how steep the hills are.  They certainly were - wouldn't have liked to drive and even Syd said he would have struggled to cycle up them !!  Having gone up one, and halfway down another we realised we'd have to go up another to get to that restaurant, and gave up.  There was however a great view over the bay and Pitons coming down again.  We booked at the only restaurant in the bay that didn't seem to be really attached to the hotel complex as they were also having a cabaret that evening.  The food was fine, the service good and the show an excellent take-off of 60's pop stars, done by locals, who'd come and talked to each table before the show - we correctly guessed that the lad who talked to us was always the female lead !! 
So we've learnt another thing about restaurants - when we're not expecting much they're much better than we expect !  As long as the guidebook we're using is consistent, we should be able to judge what we'll like in the future.
27 December
Somewhere in the last few days the generator has stopped working again, so we decided to go back to Rodney Bay and get the engineer we had before to have another look at it as we thought he was quite good.  Unfortunately this meant Nishi had to get an earlier and more expensive taxi to the airport, than in Vieux Fort, where we were planning to go, and Syd and Annabel's plan to get to Barbados (c. 100miles to the south east of St Lucia) for New Year might not be achievable.  But we need the generator to charge the batteries efficiently and use the water maker, both of which we will need more in the coming months as there we won't be in marinas with electricity and water supplies.
28 Dec 07