Sunday, June 26, 2011

St Lucia

We have been at anchor in St Lucia for a week now. The wind is howling through the rigging, gusting 30kts. The sky is overcast and grey. I can’t work out if I like this place or not. We don’t venture far here. The area of Rodney Bay is dominated by boats, marinas and tourists shops. It’s not the real St Lucia, just a sun drenched version, glitzy (for the tourists) in places and shabby in others; only today the sun has failed to come out. The beaches seem to stretch for miles and are clustered with large conspicuous hotels. On a small stretch of local beach horses roam freely. To the north is Pigeon Island although it is more of a peninsula now it has been bridged. At the top of the two steep hillocks are the remains of 18th century British forts. It’s a small but pretty place to walk around especially now with the start of rainy season, where everything is flourishing. At the bottom is a small rustic looking restaurant called Jambe de Bois where the best rotis on the island are served. We went there one rainy evening with Sam and Jon and almost enjoyed the live Jazz music that was played at deafening levels.

The great part about this week was that Mark and Liesbet on Irie arrived from Martinique for a few days so that we could all spend some time together. They arrived on Thursday, so that evening we had them and Imagine over for an impromptu BBQ aboard Alianna. The following day we all agreed that we should go to the Jump Up, a festive street party at Gros Islet that evening. Due to the recent outboard and dinghy thefts we felt it was best to leave our dinghies in the Marina and take the longer walk to Gros Islet. Though it is not that far really and it was a pleasant evening. A road is closed down and along it street vendors set up their BBQ’s, Rum shacks and other stalls. Small bars and restaurants open their doors wide to tourists and locals alike. A big stage is set up at one end of the street with a DJ or local bands all playing soca music. The food is cheap and tasty, as is the free flowing rum and beer. Chicken skewers or as Sim prefers kidney skewers with a Caribbean sauce are delicious. Johnny cakes and deep fried chicken patties, all for a pound each are so scrummy that we buy them all. People are everywhere and the place is crowded. It’s the place to be on a Friday night. After we could eat and drink no more we returned back to the boat only to have the music increase in volume after midnight and carry out across the anchorage just as though it is coming from the room next door. Its one of the disadvantages of being on a boat when sound can carry across water.

Last night we gate crashed a party at the yacht club with Sam and Jon. The DJ was playing 80’s music to his hearts content. It was hard to tear ourselves away but after a few beers we decided to leave as we didn’t need another night out. We have been waiting for the weather to be settled enough to leave St Lucia and carry on south. Tomorrow morning is looking good to go. It’s a 70 mile trip which means we must leave at 2am in the morning to make it to Bequia before dark. We won’t see Irie now until August and we won’t see Imagine until October as we all go our separate ways for a while. As I have said before this is always a sad part of cruising, when you have to part company with your friends.

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