Saint Lucia, Marigot Bay Position: 13:57.956N 61:01.435W

Bill and Judy Stellin
Fri 11 Jan 2008 02:25
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 trivia.
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 all times.
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 hosed.)
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.