St Lucia We Love

On the 13th January Nick Cowdrill joined Charm Offensive, he will continue on the sail back to Australia with me over the next 5/6 month. It was great to have him jump on board and see a familiar face from home. 2 days later Javier joined us and the next night Roland.

We made some nice friends in St Lucia, Nicky and Henrietta from Sydney. The next few days we showed Nick C around the island. We always like to do things the way the locals do it so we jumped in the back of Beth’s ute (pickup) and headed south to some beautiful natural waterfalls, we had lunch in Soufree, we cruised past the Pitons. The Pitons are two volcanic peaks that the island is famous for, they climb from the water’s edge right up to 900+ mtrs above sea level. You can climb them but after a massive lunch of chicken, rice, pasta and salad we opted to keep heading south to Laborie Bay. We spent the remainder of the afternoon chatting with some local guys and watching the sun go down. It was a great experience to get away from the main tourist traps and see what the island really has to offer. We can’t thank Beth enough for driving us around and Nicky for organising it. After the sun went down we headed home making one last pit stop at a bar that looks out over the city, it was Beth’s favourite spot to take people as you stand on top of the hill reflecting on life and admiring how beautiful the Caribbean is.

The following day Beth took us kitesurfing, not only is she a great tour guide but she also runs the local kitesurfing school, highly recommended, she is a fantastic teacher with so much patience. Beth is a local Olympian for St Lucia having sailed for them in the last Olympics so you’re assured she knows her stuff. After some practice with the small training kite on the beach it was time to hit the water, the best way to do this is to tie a rope to your harness and the land so you don’t go to far from the shore. Here we learnt kite control, no board yet. Beth taught us how to control the kite at its maximum height so it is stable and you can do things such as clip your feet into the board. After some practice at this you then let the rope go and drag yourself (with Beth close behind) from one side of the bay to the other, again the idea is kite control. It was such a great experience as it’s something all of us have wanted to do for years. One more lesson would have seen us on the board but unfortunately we didn’t have the time the following days as we had to get ready to leave. Roland joined us after his month trip through parts of Central America.

The next day we went to the Body Holiday Resort which is on the north side of the island This resort offers guests a one off fee for all entertainment, food and drinks you can consume. The hotel has 4 restaurants, 2 or 3 bars and all the water sports guys like us could want and need. Locals or tourists from outside the hotel are welcome to the hotel and purchase packages based on what they are interested in doing, the advantage for us however is that once you’re in no one checks what you have paid for. So like all good boys we purchased the all you can drink and eat package and made our way to the beach. After indulging in a few cocktails, beautiful local and influenced food we thought we would hit up the wake-boarding, single ski and hobicat. The day went from great to fantastic. I managed to have a fantastic fall on the single ski after trying to upstage the locals.

After a solid day of the body holiday it was again time to head home and see what everyone at the marina was up to. The next day consisted of grabbing the last few things we needed in preparation of leaving, food, filling up the water and fuel and picking up a few sails being repaired. The night however consisted of dinner and drinks at the local street market in Gros Islet. The following day we said our goodbyes to the friends we had made over the over the past month, then it was sails set and off to Martinique. Martinique was a 25nm sail North of St Lucia and a good introduction to sailing for Nick C who managed to keep everything down and really enjoyed the experience.

We dropped anchor at St Anne Bay which is on the south side of the island, a beautiful bay with crystal clear water about 5 mtrs deep. Here we had a quiet night and had a short walk around on shore.

The following day we set sail again and headed north to Fort de France, the main city of Martinique. Martinique has a population of 408,000 and is a French ruled island. It sits in the Eastern Caribbean Sea. Pierre Belain d’Esnambuc sailed into Pierre bay in 1635 after being driven from St Kitts by the English. A Beautiful island in the Caribbean where the French rule has continued to this day, the island has a strong influence from France with wonderful terraces, streets and language.Roland and I went out in search of a generator to help with our power consumption issues, I now know it’s a must have on all modern cruising boats. To Nick C and Javier’s delight Roland also purchased a brand new air conditioning unit so we are keeping cool in the cabin at all times.

So now cool and with all the power we need we set sail in search of Dominica, a short 80nm sail saw us spend about 10hrs aboard until we made it. We sailed with a rough 20kts of wind and averaged 8kts on the trip. We arrived and dropped anchor in Prince Rupert Bay late afternoon, again the clear water and perfect conditions followed us. We went ashore, had some chips and a few beers before heading back to the boat for a fantastic meal prepared by our onboard chef extraordinaire and professional sailor Javier.

From St Lucia. Posted by Nick Black on 1/19/2013 (49 items)

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