Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
08.03.2008 80 °F
The skipper's take:
We finally made our way out of Prickly Bay 24/2/08 and went around the tip of the island to the lagoon at St. George's. The next morning we sailed for Tyrell Bay, Carriacou . Tyrell Bay is a small protected shallow anchorage with a dry dock and a few beach restaurant bars and a haven for sailing cruisers. Next morning we went up to Hillsborough to check out of Grenada at customs and search for the various offices to complete the process. Customs is in one office across town from the imagration office and neither office personnel really knows where the other one is. You'd think they would have a map already printed out to show locations or landmarks as they don't have addresses. Anyway, they make it an adventure just trying to check out.
We left the Grenada islands 26/2/08 after anchoring off Petit St. Vincent and a short cross for Clifton, Union Island to check into the Grenadines and the Tabago Cays. There is a turtle refuge here and you can swim with the hawksbill turtles. They were around the boat as we anchored and when I swam on the anchor to check it's set there were two 3' turtles and a 4' stingray hanging around the spot. The cays are surrounded by a reef so the seas are calm but breezy.
The weather was changing for the worst so we pulled up and headed for Admirlty Bay in Bequia for protection from the winds which were gusting to 30kts. Met some old friends and gathered together for a crossing when the weather cleared to check out at customs in Wallilabou where the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' was shot and sets are still standing. Stayed there one night and at sunrise we let go of our mooring and headed north along the leeward side and prepare for the blast as we head into open ocean at the top of the island. It was a little rough for the first hour and then calmed down for the next 5 till we made our waypoint about 31nm at the Pitons.
We had a good crossing up to St. Lucia and stayed our three nights at the marine park on a mooring ball off Harmony Beach. The water here is so clear you can see right down to 30' and watch the fish swim past.
We are now in Rodney Bay and have just returned to the boat after going to the GIA grocery super market and replentished our stores. Tomorrow I need to go into the lagoon for fuel to get ready for the crossing to Lemarin, Martinique on the next weather window Wednesday the 12th.
The new 123 watt solar panel is suppling the much needed extra electricity to keep the batteries pumped up with help of the wind generator and our newly rebuilt depth guage is working great with new LCD screen. Now I can actually see the depth in large clear numbers as opposed to the faded screen that gave you a reading of ( "is that 15 ft or 5 ft"?) how wonderful.
More later, C&H
N14 04.464 W060 57.402 Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
We are currently on a mooring ball in at Malagre Tout (by Soufrere) St. Lucia and tied stern to a palm tree at the base of the Piton mountains in St. Lucia. We are surrounded by palm trees, and lovely clear turqoise water, and lovely tropical plants. Started the morning by hiking to the nearby natural hot water falls which comes down from the volcano. Lounged in the pools at the bottom of the falls. Then we caught a ride to the Ladera Resort and had a fabulous lunch at their Dasheen Restaurant. I had Caribbean chicken oriental with fresh ginger and cocoanut mashed potatoes, Chuck had fresh yellow fin tuna in a fresh lime curry sauce. Without a doubt the best meal and presentation so far and it wasn't that expensive compared to US. The resort is such a wonderful place. We'd like to stay there in a room one of these days. It's the perfect peaceful gorgeous relaxing (not to mention romantic) get away.
Upon returning back to our anchorage we found the beach restaurant by our boat is busy setting up for a wedding reception on the beach later today. Looks like there will be bar b cue and live music, a big beach bonfire, flowers and dancing on into the night (we hope not too far into the night). We are in the perfect spot to be voyeurs of all the goings on, about 100 yards off the beach. And Chuck was pleased to find a stack of green bamboo poles laying there in readiness for decorations and he was able to buy a 4' section perfect for making some more bamboo glasses for our house. Next to us is moored a giant mega yacht, with a cross training exercise machine mounted on the top deck outside. Yesterday the mistress of the yacht was up exercising as she watched the sunset and the green flash. If one must exercise I can't think of a better way to do it.
All systems on the boat seem to be up and running and functioning properly. There's always a few little somethings here and there, but it wouldn't really be 'cruisng' if there wasn't. Ask any cruiser who owns their own boat, there's always something needing attention. Our new solar panel seems to really be helping our electrical needs. Chuck was able to figure out a really simple and inexpensive way to mount it as opposed to the initial $1000 estimate we got for a stainless steel mount. Meanwhile I sewed up a splash guard for the side of the boat. We'll see how well they work. I also fashioned some clear vinyl rain curtains to hang down from the bimini if it's raining and thus be able to sit in our cockpit even if it's pouring. That would be nice. They're not sturdy enough to use while underway, but good enough to use in the anchorage I hope.
While we were in Grenada we watched the lunar eclipse which lasted 3 1/2 hours (we didn/t last that long). The night before that we saw the space shuttle zooming by like a fast moving star. That was pretty awesome. Once you know where and when to look, it's unmistakeable because it's up so high and it goes so fast. It was preceeded by a stunning sunset to the east of a lavendar sky with a wide band of white clouds sitting on the horizon and the full moon rising above them. Meanwhile the local radio station was playing all steel drum music. Not just your regular variety of steel drum music, but cover tunes of various artists. I must say, I've never heard Michael Jackson's ' Thriller' played on the steel drums.
After we left Grenada we fast tracked it here to St. Lucia, and didn't linger long anywhere. In the Tobago Cays we saw at least a dozen large sea turtles swimming around our boat before we could even finish anchoring. Chuck went overboard to check out the bottom of the boat and while down there he saw 2 turtles and a sting ray all observing his activities. Can't believe how many catamarans there out these days. They outnumber the monohauls and take up twice as much space in every anchorage. In Bequia we got stuck for a few days waiting on the weather, but ran into serveral boat buddies from last year and so had a nice rendezvous and several lovely hikes, including to the turtle sancuary.
March 7, 2008
Now in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia