What a different environment we are in now. This
doesn't seem like we've crossed an ocean, it still seem very foreign and we have
to keep reminding ourselves, we are back in North America.
Christmas day was spent in the central city park of
Bridgetown, Barbados with about 25 other boaters, all who had just crossed the
Atlantic and were in the anchorage off the city. We organized a very
successful potluck and had a great variety of different foods. We brought
KFC chicken breasts which we sliced and they really seemed like turkey, with a
little of the Colonel's special seasoning.
The city did a nice job decorating this park with real
fraser fir trees.
Our Christmas potluck dinner
A few days later we headed for Saint Lucia where we
celebrated New Years, again with several other cruisers. Rodney Bay, where
we were, had fireworks from four different locations timed slightly different so
we could see all of them without them overlapping.
When we pulled into the Rodney Bay marina, we were almost
instantly greeted by the skippers of two different American boats.
One, Tom Andreano and his wife Pat from the s/v Lone Star, were told to watch
for us by his brother who is a member of MBYC and knew we were in the
Caribbean. What do you think are the odds of him actually running
into us. But he did and we had a nice time together on New Years Eve.
Later that night, some drunk careened off a dock with his speed boat and hit
Tom's Whitby 42 amidships and put a basket ball size hole in the hull just under
the toe rail. Neither Tom or the guy that hit him have
insurance. The hosts of the gathering that night were Myrna and Rick
on Red Leopard a 40 foot Robertson and Caine catamaran. Just the other
day, Rick stood up in his dinghy at the stern of a friends boat, hit his head on
the guys stern anchor mounted on the push pit, fell overboard and as he pulled
the kill switch on his outboard, the prop raked up his arm and side.
Luckily, he didn't need stitches but he is badly bruised.
Our luck ran out also with our dinghy. It is a Zodiac
which was a worthless piece of you know what from day one. All the glued
seams that hold the floor to the tubes have parted. I had the whole thing
re-glued in Turkey and have spent at least $200 on glue kits myself, all to
no avail. While we were using it the other day the floor started to come
out again and that was it.
To my amazement, the chandlery, Island World Boating in
Rodney Bay Marina had one dinghy in stock and it was as close to what we were
looking for as one could hope for, so we bit the bullet and bought it. It
is a Mercury, made of Hypalon rubber instead of PVC like the Zodiac. I
left the old one with the dealer who will try to sell it for me. I
re-glued the floor and for the time being it is holding so maybe we will get
lucky and get something for it.
This is Judy and my first time in the Caribbean, so
describing the sights is probably like preaching to the choir. For you long
suffering readers of these musings, I will spare you the sight seeing
I don't know exactly what I expected of this part of the
world, but so far nothing has really impressed me. The scenery is stunning but
it is offset by the distinctly unfriendly nature of many of the native
islanders. They are unsmiling, unhelpful, downright rude and their are a
fair number of cheats and thief's among them. Everything must be locked at
The average man or woman on the street is delightful, but
the shopkeepers, officials, clerks, other service type people are so off-putting
as to spoil the entire experience here.
The other night, our Aussie friends Barry and Robyn on
Shamara asked us to have dinner with them in a nice restaurant here in Marigot
Bay. This was a very expensive place, much to the surprise and dismay of
both of us. We felt uncomfortable just leaving when we saw the prices, so
we stayed and had a wonderful, but pricey meal, even by US standards.
When we were done, and lingering a bit over coffee, one of the waiters came over
to our table and asked us to leave so the only other couple in the whole place
waiting for dinner could have our table. Our bill came to $250 USD for the
four of us, and this yahoo had the gall to ask us to give our table up for a
couple. We did of course, but needless to say I will never go back to the
Rainforest Cafe in Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia, West Indies. (That was
just for the reader who may wander into this bay and feel like getting
At anchor in Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia.
Anchored between the Piton mountains in a very beautiful
part of the island. We went ashore to see a botanical garden with some
very different plants flowers from what we see in Michigan.
Looks like wax, but it is a real live flower.
Part of the Gardens, owned by a private person who opens
them up to the public for a small fee.
All this water comes from constant rain. It rains
here four or five times a day, every day and night. It is almost
impossible to keep the boat dry because as soon as we open the ports and hatches
to get some air, it rains. The sky is blue everywhere, the sun is
shinning, but one cloud over us is dumping a shower. Sometimes with a
beautiful rainbow like the one below in Marigot Bay.
Regular shower in Saint Lucia. Both ends of the rainbow
were visible in the bay.
Speaking about prices, Europe with a 40% premium of the
Euro over the dollar seems like bargain city.
These prices are astronomical. The real surprise is
in the supermarkets and fresh markets. Virtually all the food, fresh,
frozen, canned, boxed is imported from the US and at least twice the price it
would be in the States. Only about a handfull of things are grown here and
they are mostly potatoes. I counted 16 little dead shrived up grapes in a
package that was marked $6.95. That comes to 43 cents a
grape. Most vegetables and fruits are non existent here.
Lemons are almost impossible to find. Eggs are only available on certain
days, and no one knows which day that will be. I don't know how the local
people can pay these prices.
Actually they probably don't, because they mostly eat
rice, starchy potatoes and meat that would only be sent to the rendering plants
anywhere else in the world. We were in a store today provisioning and saw,
pig snouts, cow hoofs, tripe, goat necks, virtually everything anyone in
the US would throw out, in the frozen food section. It came from countries
all over the world. It's almost like it is being dumped here.
I suppose if that is all I had to eat everyday, I would
have a s----- disposition also.
Tomorrow, we will check out of this country and head for
Bequia, south of here on our way to Trinidad for Carnival on Feb. 1st.
Lets hope we find some happy people.