New Year in St Lucia!

Magnetic Attraction
Roger and Margaret Pratt
Thu 2 Jan 2014 14:29

1 January 2014 – at anchor, Rodney Bay, St Lucia



After the fun and high jinks in the Fort de France anchorage overnight, there was a sluggish start.  Almost out of water, the first task was to motor round to Les Tourelles, where the fuel and water dock was said to be.  But there wasn’t anything that looked remotely suitable, so Roger decided the watermaker needed exercise, and we set off towards St Lucia at about 9.30.  It was all very interesting – with a close fetch, and usual winds of 15-25 knots and a relatively flat sea, both of us definitely felt that we needed to regain our sea legs!  Signe and Henrik, setting off from St Anne’s at about the same time both felt the same.  It was fortunate that it was a day sail only.

St Lucia is in sight of Martinique and we arrived at about 2.30pm.  Rodney Bay is a great anchorage, breezy and fresh.  The customs and immigration offices are based in the marina, in the Rodney Bay Lagoon, which means a dinghy ride in.  Clearance was straightforward: multi-part stationery with carbon which we filled in then customs  (blue) first (two people, wearing shirts with “Customs and Excise” embroidered on;) then passport control (yellow) where we got a stamp; and finally port control (green) where we just left the form as the officer wasn’t there.  He pursued us later for the entry fee of 40EC dollars – about £10.

We were then free to enter.  Everything was closing up for the bank holidays, but we got 500EC Dollars from the hole in the wall.  Then on to pontoon C23 where Henrik and Signe were moored next to Aliena II – a Swedish boat that we last saw in Oeiras.  We all went out together for dinner at 8pm – with Ulrich, who sailed with the Atlantic Odyssey in the boat next smallest to Capibara – a Hanse 34.  Capibara’s outboard is hors de combat so Roger towed their dinghy across to the beach strip.  It was fun in the pitch black.

But where to eat?  It was late and there was no room at the inns!  Henrik, resourceful to the end, blagged his way past the security guard at the KokoKabana resort and persuaded the maître d’ to let us have the residents set meal.  What an inspired choice!  The food was exquisite and the band excellent.   All the waiters sashayed about to the beat, and guests joined in.  Big personalities – all speaking English!  (Although I have to say that I’ve been well in the groove in France and am having to think to get back to English.  It won’t last.)

After supper we all joined the crowds moving owards the beach and the fireworks at midnight.  It was all very relaxed and friendly but all of a sudden Henrik felt nervous that it could turn ugly.  None of the others felt it – but we turned back and saw the new year in with champagne and After Eight mints on the marina pontoon.  What a great day!