Christmas on St Lucia
The weather pattern at the moment is that we have a few very windy days followed by some with less wind. So having spent the windy ones around Martinique we were ready to move. St Lucia was the easiest, as with the wind just aft of the beam we could make a relatively fast passage down to Rodney Bay. With four people to share the costs we went into the marina for a couple of nights, this gives us access to power and water and also avoids the long dinghy trip in from the bay.
On Thursday we did the walk out to Pigeon Island through Gros Islet, the local town and along the beach past the resorts, where we were clearly instructed to walk on the beach not to enter the resort! Martinique was only just visible from the top but we could see the few boats heading up that way. While have a drink in the café it started to rain, this turned into a torrential downpour. This was not going to stop quickly so we ended up staying for lunch and when after about two hours it had still not stopped we decided it was time to move. Other people had stripped down to swimwear or donned plastic binliners donated by the Cafe staff but Adrian had brought some plastic bag cagoules he had got free from open top bus tours in UK. At the entrance gate we arranged a taxi for the return to the marina as it was still raining. This is definitely the heaviest rain we have seen while over here.
Ascending Pigeon Island
Now that we are on the lee side of the island our sailing is relatively sheltered so on Friday we moved on to The Pitons picking up the same mooring we had used previously. This mooring is very close to another one and last time we were here we had swung very close to a boat on that mooring but had been quite safe. This time the ranger put a 46 foot catamaran and a monohull alongside it on the mooring, he assured us it was safe but after some very near misses as we swung the crews on the other boats took anchors out over their sterns to hold them away from us and in toward the beach. They left early the next day. At the first opportunity we moved to another mooring.
The snorkelling here is good and gave Helen and Adrian an introduction to what to expect on the reefs and then in the afternoon they attempted to walk to Tet Paul nature trail, a visit we had made by car when we were first here. Unfortunately the trail was not clear and they returned muddy and tired.
Christmas in Soufriere
Christmas Day we moved up to Soufriere and the Bat cave moorings for more snorkelling, a walk ashore through the town, and a wonderful meal on board. The town was relatively quiet with little open but the boat boys were still about and took a bit of convincing that we didn’t need any taxi tours or lifts ashore though we did do business with the fruit seller.
Ornate balconies and colourful houses in Soufriere
Boxing day was a bit more lively in town, we walked up to the Botanical Gardens , Diamond Falls and the Baths. This time we had a soak in the mineral baths alleged to cure all ills and make you appear 10 years younger. On the walk back we were accompanied by one of the gardeners from the botanical gardens who chatted and gave us an insight into the area. All in all a very pleasant way to spent the morning. We had lunch in a rather touristy restaurant in town overlooking the bay. While here Royal Clipper sailed in, this is the largest sailing cruise ship in the world, and Sarah’s cousin Maggie and partner Paul were on board. Try as hard as she could Sarah was unable to get a message to them so it wasn’t until the next day that Maggie discovered how close we had been.
Royal Clipper sails away
We are now up in Marigot after a good days sailing and had a meal out last night at Chateau Mygo, interesting that they had a different menu outside from inside and items we had thought of buying were either not available or could be provided at a different price. Service was slow as we have come to expect but we had a good evening.