13 50 8N 61 03 8W
This is our second visit to the Pitons since we arrived in St Lucia, it is such a stunning area and the coastline is a protected marine park where you can pick up a mooring buoy for very little money and have your own peace of paradise.
After the first visit with Graham and Sue, where they left us to return home, we went back to Rodney Bay to welcome in our Aussie friends Steve and Angela on their yacht Pannikin, they have completed the main ARC and after 22 days at sea we surprised them as they crossed the finish line just before midnight, we crept up on them in our dinghy and blasted our fog horn! It was great to see them arrive safely, and we caught up with them the following day for a few beers and tales of life at sea.
We spent last week doing a few jobs whilst anchored in Rodney Bay, fixing our ancient fridge for the second time, and repairing the hole in our dinghy caused by a sharp metal object on a pontoon in Martinique. We had a dramatic race to get back to the boat and haul up the 15HP outboard before we sank! This is the third time we have patched the tear, which is very close to the seam, the other two leaking so we have been everywhere with our foot pump re-inflating every half hour or so! Anyway, we bought a couple of different glues that promise the earth from the local hardware store, and fingers crossed we won’t sink again!
So we returned to the Pitons with Steve and Angela ready for Christmas, and what an amazing spot we were given by the lovely Bennie, a local businessman who can arrange just about anything you need and he sends out Shane to attach you to a buoy (you are bombarded by boat boys all wanting to attach you for a tip, we mention Bennie’s name and they soon leave you alone!). Bennie also owns Harmony’s Bar and Restaurant right on the beach in front of us, he certainly is the main man around here!
We are on a mooring buoy right underneath Petit Piton, and although we are sitting in some 30 metres of water, this soon shelves to reef and rocks over which we have had the most spectacular snorkelling. There are thousands of species of fish and coral here, trumpet fish 2 or 3 feet long some with yellow trumpets and some blue, angel fish, tropical fish of all colours and sizes, sea snakes and sea urchins. Sitting on deck enjoying a beer with Steve and Angela late one afternoon we watched tuna chasing smaller fish, leaping out the water in hot pursuit (check out the photos below). Sea birds plunge into the water right next to you and catch fish. This place is awesome! We went into Soufriere just before Christmas for essential provisions (beer) and the town is very un-touristy and so lively, with loud music blaring out from street corners and lots of street sellers lining the square with their fresh produce laid out on the pavement. Vibrant colours and smiling faces, lots of skinny dogs roaming the streets and yesterday we saw a hen and her chicks walking along the pavement in the town! We also have goats on the beach, and a pretty black and white cat roaming the sand looking for crabs, we think it must belong to the restaurant.
Christmas Eve we treated ourselves to lunch in the restaurant on the beach, it had rained most of the morning and then during lunch it became pretty torrential. We were allowed to outstay our welcome on the veranda with a rum punch when the bar shut, as muddy rivers and rocks cascaded down off the mountains behind us into the sea, the turquoise blue gradually turning to muddy brown, with lightening and thunder overhead. We waited for a lull which never arrived, and then we spotted a charter boat trying to moor next to Pannikin so decided we ought to jump back in the rain filled dinghy and head back. Four drowned rats arrived back at Pannikin, and the boat had already hit Pannikin on their first attempt to pick the buoy up, luckily only a scrape on their wooden toe rail, so the boys helped them get secure on the buoy and took a line ashore to tie on to a palm tree to keep them into the swell. By the time we got back to Joy we had quite a bit of water come through the side portholes and had a mass of towels and wet clothes hanging everywhere overnight. The torrential rain and lightening continued well into the early hours, and I read on the BBC news on Boxing Day that sadly 5 people died on St Lucia in the floods and landslides so it was pretty serious flooding, the worst they had seen in a long time and we had just thought this was usual!
Christmas morning was still rainy (I forgot to mention that I have lived in my bikini the whole time, so can’t be that bad eh?)and we baked a ham Caribbean style, and then had champagne cocktails (with rum of course) and spent the afternoon on Pannikin with a great feast and great company. The floods left us with no phone or internet for a while too, so it was unfortunately hit and miss when we tried to contact family to wish them Happy Christmas.
Here are some photos, the first couple are of Marigot Bay as we were moored a couple of boats away from Simon Cowell’s superyacht Slipstream, and then the Botanical Gardens, Volcano and Sulphur Springs at Soufriere and the Pitons, St Lucia, and our Christmas mooring. Oh, and us receiving first place award for Leg 1 (in our category) at Cape Verdes. Enjoy!