Crew deserts Stream in search of the perfect sunset.

Darrell Jackson and Sarah Barnes
Sun 11 May 2014 18:40
Tuesday 6th May 2014
After a leisurely start we sailed back north from Soufriere to Rodney Bay, with Julie helming again, while Simon took pictures. The wind was gusty but Julie has developed her skill on the helm and coped well with the variable conditions, which is lucky as she refused to let anyone else have a go! We decided to anchor near Pigeon Island in very strong winds, which took a few attempts. After lunch and a nap it was into the water for a swim and snorkel around the reef, which is made more pleasant by the bubbles of gas that escape from the sea bottom and look like pearls as they float to the surface. The only thing to mar the experience were the people on jet skis from the Sandals Resort, who zoomed in amongst the anchored boats paying no heed to the danger they pose to swimmers.
Just before sunset we were able to watch another wedding in Paradise, or Sandals hotel on the beach, while we drank our sundowners. Unfortunately, Pigeon Island was in the way and the crew were disappointed that the record of fantastic sunsets was marred. As we were eating supper in the cockpit several yachts came into anchor, allowing the crew to check their sailing lights knowledge. Darrell likes to test his crew before they leave! It also provides entertainment for the crew.

Wednesday 7th May
After breakfast we dinghied to Pigeon Island to climb up to the fortification and signal station. Darrell decided that due to a sore back he would stay in the bar while the crew exercised. The National Park on Pigeon Island was completing it preparations for a weekend of jazz, the culmination of the St Lucia Jazz Festival. It is a great site for an open air concert with a natural amphitheatre. They have made the most of the old buildings and ruins from the British Naval fortifications, turning them into VIP areas and bars. A huge stage was set up and we were impressed by the workers high vis jackets and hard hats, along with flip flops or bare feet!
We hiked up the to hills taking in the dramatic views of Rodney Bay, Martinique and the rest of St Lucia, then it was down to the bar to meet Darrell for a refreshing drink. Sarah and Darrell caught up on wifi, while Simon and Julie shopped for souvenirs, then we all had a pleasant lunch before heading back to Stream.
Darrell had booked us a 'slip' in the marina so we headed into the marina to the very loud music on Reduit Beach hotel, that drove us all mad. Luckily we couldn't hear it in the marina! We looked quite professional as we berthed. Next to us was Sparrow, a small English yacht that we keep bumping into throughout our trip. (Not literally, bumping just being anchored near!) so we caught up on their exploits before heading off for a drink. An afternoon of sorting out the boat and crew was required, before heading across the lagoon for Tapas. Due to being in the marina we missed the sunset. However, Simon has managed to photograph a series of fantastic ones over the two weeks on Stream. We all enjoyed a super final meal with Julie and Simon in a restaurant that had the usual cat wandering around trying its luck with the diners.

Thursday 8th May
After a leisurely breakfast and wifi, we cleaned the boat and sorted the crew who were leaving Stream to go to a posh hotel to recover from the strenuous two weeks with Darrell and Sarah. (This seems to becoming a pattern with some of our guests, I am not sure what we do to them!)
We waved them off in their taxi and then Darrell went to complete the exit routine with customs, the same form as on arrival needed to be filled in, but at least they didn't find any reason to charge us to leave. Customs and Immigration on St Lucia is still is hand written in big ledgers. Meanwhile Sarah spent ages filling the water tanks. Due to the lack of rain St Lucia has a water shortage and the pressure in the marina was little more than a dribble, so filling a tank took an age.
While preparing the boat we had lots of offers of assistance, but they were disappointed to learn that we were not there long enough for them to work on the boat. But we were given the tip of using vinegar in the rinsing water to get the 'bloom' off the hull!
We were finally ready to leave just after 1pm and stopped at the fuel berth on the way into the bay to anchor again near Pigeon Island. Unfortunately to hear the DJ on Reduit beach in full flow until 3.30 am! So much for a quiet night! At least this time we anchored first attempt and in a position where we had a perfect sunset, but Simon and Julie missed it and the green flash that accompanied it. It was strange only having only us on the boat for the first time in over a month. It has been a hectic but fantastic time with our guests. But now it's a two man crew that will complete the adventure as we head down to Grenada.

Friday 9th May
Up at 5 am after very little sleep. The day started badly with the generator deciding to die on us. Meaning that Darrell didn't get his much needed coffee with breakfast and spent the day pondering what could be the matter with it. But it did mean we could start our sail to St Vincent nice and early!