Soufriere and Marigot Bay
After a beautiful starlit night below the Pitons we made a short move over to Soufriere and moored in the Marine Reserve at Bat Cave. This is a short way out from the town with superb snorkelling. There are massive corals and fans as well as the expected varieties of fish, a real underwater garden. The Bat cave is a cleft in the cliff and you can hear the bats as you swim below it.
Bat cave mooring area
We went ashore and walked in to Soufriere a town we had stopped in for lunch on our island tour last winter and it was interesting to have a good look around. Of course having left our dinghy on a dock we were caught by the ‘dinghy minder’ who had looked after our dinghy while we were away and who promised to look after it again that evening when we were coming ashore for our wedding anniversary – for a fee. When we had booked our table in the restaurant we were warned not to use the dinghy dock at night due to its decrepit nature but to bring our dinghy up the beach below the restaurant. We were then warned by the local mooring man to make sure our boat was well lit with anchor and cockpit lights to deter thieves. This really made us wonder whether we should be going ashore at all. We did ask the crew of the boat moored near us to keep an eye out and returned the favour the next day. As it was all was OK and we had our meal ashore, the popular restaurant had all of two tables in use.
Hummingbird Restaurant, where we had our anniversary meal
Fishermen heading out of the bay
After two nights on the mooring we moved back up the coast to Marigot Bay. This is a natural hurricane hole, an almost totally enclosed bay, and has been developed into a resort with marina, moorings, restaurants and all you would expect. As we are paying for a mooring we are able, if we want, to make use of all their facilities including pools, spa and fitness room. The marina men take your lines and tie you to the bouys for free but boat boys still get in here and try to sell their goods and services. There is one walk from here which goes up onto the ridge to the north and gives good views over the bay so we did that yesterday. The path goes almost straight up and has ropes to help on the steepest bits. Unfortunately when we came down there was a locked gate so we had to find a way around the hillside to join our upward path and return down that. I don’t think we missed anything and our route was probably more interesting.
View from the ridge into Marigot Bay
There has been a trough of low pressure with associated rain and wind around for a few days now so we have been in the best sheltered area and when we sailed up to Rodney Bay today we realised what we had been missing. As the wind increased to 25+ knots we reefed down well and had a cracking sail. Due to the ARC finish the marina at Rodney Bay is fully booked so we would have to anchor in the bay, not a real problem but as Phil has arranged to ‘facetime’ his family tomorrow we need a good internet connection. We therefore returned to Marigot where we know we can get a good wifi signal from the mooring without having to dinghy a mile into the marina and sit in a café! All in all a fabulous days sail.
The best boat boys are brilliant salesmen they’ll charge you an arm and a leg for a hand of bananas but leave you with a smile on your face!