Fiu in Adriatic
St Lucia - Thursday May 13 to Wednesday May 19, 2004
On Thursday May 13 we left Martinique and crossed the channel to St Lucia with perfect sailing conditions. Upon arrival we went into Rodney bay marina – anchored up there – and managed to clear in just before customs & immigration closed. Paid 65EC$ (~20 US$) for clearance – this is for a cruising permit and customs clearance.
Sailed back up along the coast and stopped at Castries so that Sonny could go ashore and check out the taxis for the next morning when he would be leaving for the airport. The fresh food market was just there and they returned with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. And a huge local straw hat for Ivo!
We thought we would go and anchor up outside Castries harbour just south of the bay where there is a Sandals resort. However, at about 1am after having been rolled about a lot, we decided this was too awful a place – also at the hotel every guest thought he had talent as a karaoke singer and this was really getting to us because we wanted to tell them that talent was non existant! So off we went in the middle of the night (again?) and entered Castries harbour to anchor there. That was ok too, expect here the locals had their karaoke going on – or jump up as it’s called but luckily that stopped at about 2am. At least we got a few hours sleep until 5am when we had to get up and get ready to take Sonny ashore for his taxi.
And a straw hat for me. The most expensive food item we saw on the market were tomatoes at 5 or 6 $EC for just 4 or 5. Ivo also bought a machete – called here a cutlass – an old word surviving from the piracy days.
By then the weather was beginning to seriously close down – a dull and grey morning.
We returned to the boat and sailed around to Rodney Bay – after a few hours of trying our hand at some more fishing. Managed eventually to anchor up at Rodney Bay just after lunch and could get started to clean up the boat and also prepare for a meal with our newfound Danish/English friends from Jennifer. Made cucumber yogurt salad, a green salad with lettuce, potatoes, eggs, olives, etc and then cheese and a lovely fruit salad with fruit from our shopping in Castries: Mango, guava, banana, grapefruit, oranges, hmmm!
Curiously, just before we left Rodney Bay another boat made contact with us – Mounja – an Austrian couple who had met Fiu in Punat, Croatia last year. They came across for a coffee and a chat. They will be on their way up to Le Marin to drop off some friends of theirs before heading back down to Grenada where they will outhaul the boat for the hurricane season.
By now the weather really has turned wet – nonstop rain and gray skies day after day from about the 16th May until our arrival in Tobago Cays on May 21. Well at least we got some clothes washed and plenty of fresh water showers!
We didn’t do much for a couple of days – other than Ivo trying to fix the salt water pump which has been on the blink for a while now (still is as I am writing on Sunday May 23) and trying to finish his monthly article for More, the Croatian sailing magazine.
Eventually rain or no rain we decide to leave St Lucia on the Tuesday May 18. We start off with reasonable weather, at least no rain and a fair wind. However, after a couple of hours we are lying 3 miles or so off the Pitons with no wind. Round and round we turn, reluctant to turn the engine on. Trolling two fishing lines behind us mean that they eventually get caught under the rudder and Ivo has to dive into the water to untangle – no way will I do that – too scared of sharks. It’s getting late and becoming obvious that we’ll not make it across the channel to St Vincent in daylight so we decide to try for Vieux Fort at the South Eastern corner of St Lucia. This is S Lucia’s banana terminal.
Well we make it with pretty good winds – yes just around the corner from the Pitons, plenty of wind from the East. So sailing at 7 – 9knts, we arrive at Vieux Fort in the dark and anchor up in the SE corner of the bay next to one other yacht. Not many boats come here, it’s out of the way from the route between St Lucia and St Vincent & the Grenadines. A fairly deep anchorage – 8 m and quite windy. No rain though that night – first time in a long, long time, it seems. Next morning, an early start to go across to Bequia in the St Vincent Grenadines.
But first a little trip across the harbour to have a closer look at the village. This results in our first rather abrupt stop against a reef. Nothing serious, but a bit of a scare. The keel has some scrapes about 20-30 cm from the bottom. Well, with that we decide to quickly set sail and start our day’s sail.
Next - Grenadines