Dramas in Rodney Bay, St Lucia

Imagine Of Falmouth Online Log
Jon Constantine
Thu 4 Jun 2009 15:00
Thurs 4th June 09 to Tues 9th June 09

In contrast to the weather yesterday, we've woken up to a very squally morning.  As we were leaving, a Dutch registered boat called Nunki came into the bay.  We've previously seen them in Sint Maarten and also Nevis but only spoken a few words to the couple on board.  We know they are heading for Grenada as we'd told them about the haul out facilities there so no doubt we'll see them again.  We sailed out of Anse Mitan under a reefed mainsail, unfurling the headsail when further out to sea.  We are expecting rain and reasonably strong winds but hopefully these winds will be on our beam.  And they were - yippee.  The winds were pretty moderate most of the way but picked up in a big way as we came into Rodney Bay.  Nothing we can't handle and we're here now.  We furled the headsail away, dropped the main and found a good spot to anchor.  Well we didn't find the good spot straight away. It took a couple of 'drop and drags' before we finally found some nice sand for the anchor to bury itself into.

We spent a busy 5 days here doing all sorts of chores and catching up with emails.  We've run out of, or getting very low on, pretty much everything and the boat inside looks like a bomb has hit it! 

So ashore we go on day 1 to do the checking-in formalities, drop the laundry off (no self service but just a wash as it's cheaper and I can dry all the clothes on the boat) and get the cooking gas bottles re-filled.  Over the next few days we went to the supermarket for food and beer and to the chandlers for the BBQ gas.  While in the chandlers we also bought some more fishing lures plus The Cruisers Handbook of Fishing!  We caught one edible fish in January and nothing else since the beginning of our cruising season back in November last year.  Admittedly we haven't had the rod out much while in the Leeward islands because of the Ciguatera issues but even so, we expected to get a bit more action than we've had!  We've ended up buying some fresh Mahi Mahi steaks from the local fisherman here instead.  It's good and cheap but it's not the same as catching your own!  The fisherman also kindly let us fill our jerry cans with water for nothing.  Bless 'em.  I think it helped that we'd bought some of their fish and also some fuel. 
The Marina here charges you for water but they'd only sell us a minimum of 100 gallons.  We only wanted about 20 gallons.  Miserable beggars!  I think they've got a bit 'up themselves' since upgrading the Marina and are now only interested in dealing with big mega yachts and not us little cruisers.

Astarté is anchored a few boats in front of us so we invited Mike & Barbara over to ours for sundowners and snacks.  Another great evening in good company.

We had a bit of a drama later in the week when a rusty old, half-submerged platform, came floating out into the bay towards the anchored boats.   Barbara alerted all the boats on the VHF but I think we were the only ones with the radio on as no one seemed to move.  We jumped in our dinghy but then were also joined by Richard from the yacht Marie Galante, in his dinghy and Marty from a motor yacht, in his. Between the three of us we started nudging the platform back to the beach, quite successfully albeit very slowly.  Then, some complete... how can I say this politely?.....I can't so lets just say..... some Texan chap  also came over to help in his dinghy.  First off he managed to get a rope he was trying to tie to the platform, wrapped round his own outboard propeller.  Doh!  When he'd undone this he tied the rope to the platform and then proceeded to try and tow the thing from a corner causing it to turn, swing back on itself and to hit the anchor chain of Marie Galante, luckily missing the boat itself.  Aargh!  Looking back, I was terribly polite really.  I kept saying,  'Sir, please don't do that, we need to push it'  but he just ignored me. Well, that was it.  I untied his rope, dropped it back into his dinghy and got the other two guys to bring their dinghies around next to ours, to continue pushing the platform, away from Marie Galante this time, and again towards the shore.  Mr Texan stormed off most upset, back to his boat, but not before he'd crashed into Richard's dinghy at high speed!  Oh dear!  Well, we finally managed to push the platform up onto the beach and Jon secured it with rope around a rock.  Success!  Mike and Barbara on Astarté were in absolutely hysterics over my dealings with Mr Texan and on our way back to our respective boats they produced a beer for each of us.  They said we all deserved them for our efforts - hot thirsty work being heroes - and for the entertainment provided.  We aim to please!!  They said to come back to them later  for sundowners as the couple from Nunki were coming over too.  Finally, we got to properly meet Mr & Mrs Nunki - aka Carl and Gertrude.