St Lucia - Rodney Bay

SV Meshugga
Nicholas & Deidre Mace
Sat 25 May 2019 19:30
14:4.6N 60:57.49W

Our LPG Propane Gas tanks were perilously low, and Martinique do not fill none EU tanks - so despite hearing many stories concerning safety issues of dinghy and onboard thefts we decided to stop at St Lucia as it is the closest island which could fill our gas tanks.

We are also running low on diesel and the price in Le Marin is EU1.34/litre, (USD $1.60) whilst St Lucia offer Duty Free fuel at USD$0.92/litre. When you’re filling up with 1200 litres, it’s a no brainer as to where to fill up.

Rodney Bay is the most northern bay on the west side of St Lucia which is a Customs entry point and home to IGY Marina, the home of the ARC (Atlantic Rally Crossing), and the guide books say could fill gas tanks.

We were pleasantly surprised to find about 20 cruising yachts anchored in the large bay, about 10 on the north side of the bay opposite the village of Ile Gros, and 10 on the south side abeam Reduit Beach. Both anchorages had reports of thefts averaging one per month, and the yachts all anchored relatively close together - safety in numbers and each keeping an eye on each other’s yachts for any suspicious activity. Most thefts were of dinghies/outboards and loose items in the cockpits. The motto here is “Lock it or Loose it”. And the obvious - to not carry anything of value on your person ashore.

Our first night was worrying, and for the first time, I think ever, slept with all hatches locked, and all doors locked - as we’d read of nighttime boarding, for theft.

Next day after Nicholas had been ashore to clear in, we safely locked up Meshugga, and went ashore.

We found the Marina to be a security gated enclave of stores, restaurants, boutiques with obvious security everywhere. We got our propane gas tanks filled bizarrely at Suds Laundry, visited the chandlery Island Water World and the Supermarket inside the Marina complex.

We decided - how bad can things be - we’re from Africa you know, - so we ventured out of the marina complex to a huge hardware store called Stanleys, across the road. Cars stopped to allow us to cross the road, people said Hi.....

Returning to Meshugga we found her safe. Later we used our small dinghy with the 2.3Hp Motor to go ashore on Reduit Beach to the St Lucia Yacht Club where we met other Cruisers and locals. Cold beers, island cuisine, good Wi-Fi, interesting conversation, with Meshugga and the anchorage directly in front of us. Things kept looking better than we expected.

St Lucia Yacht Club

JPEG image

View from inside out to the anchorage

JPEG image

Stunning sunsets, yachts in the Reduit Beach anchorage

JPEG image

View across to Pigeon Island and yachts anchorage abeam Ile Gros village. Our trusty small dinghy up on the beach.

JPEG image

Royal Cape Yacht Club burgee inside the club

JPEG image

We spent a week in Rodney Bay. The inner lagoon has various dinghy docks, one being close to two huge Malls, with a good hundred stores - mainly clothes, but other stuff too. Restaurants everywhere.

Of interest, on Friday night we went to Ile Gros Jump Up Night, where the main streets in the village are blocked to traffic and vendors put out street bars and bbqs, with tables in the street, and Caribbean music blares out a full volume. There were a good number of tourists, but the crowds were mostly locals. We had excellent fresh Dorado and Marlin BBQ’d washed down with local Piton beer. As advised we kept to the well lit areas with lots of people and had a fun night.

Regret no photos of this night - I was too concerned to take a bag or my iPhone with ....but it would have been fine.

We needed a cleaning product for our Teak decks. I have been systematically cleaning the decks with the High Pressure hose, and was almost out of the cleaning product. I ‘d not found it at either the Island Water World or Stanleys, and was told that there was another large hardware store called Sunbuilt, and it was ‘just down the road’ from the Mall. So off I went.

I walked ‘just down the road’ and found a different, small hardware store and he assured me that Sunbuilt was ‘just down the road’. An hour later and 3 hardware stores later, all not stocking the product, I found Sunbuilt. It think I must have walked at last 3kms in the hot midday sun, over a huge hill.

Some of my views walking to Sunbuilt

JPEG image

JPEG image

I found the product, and armed with my purchase stood outside Sunbuilt. Hot and tired I contemplated the walk back...........I’d noticed that the local busses looked just like our local taxis in South Africa, so I went to the nearest bus stop and almost immediately one arrived. I peered in and much to my relief it was filled with women. I jumped in, and for EC$1.50 (about R7.50), 10 minutes later arrived at the Mall, and a 2 minute walk to the dinghy dock.

Despite all the reports on Noonsite, we were glad we’d stopped at St Lucia. Granted, that because of the poverty, theft and security we decided to not tour the island - but our stay in Rodney Bay was extremely pleasant.

Take Care

Deidre Mace
SV Meshugga
E: Deidre {CHANGE TO AT} Mace {DOT} co {DOT} za
C: +1 754 213 7663
Sent from my iPad