Friday, October 21, 2016

Saint Lucia here we come

Leaving Bequia

So at 3am we left Bequia  and sailed up the coast of St Vincent and then across the channel to St Lucia and up its coast til we got to Rodney Bay. We arrived at Rodney Bay mid morning. We anchored off of Reduit beach and rested after a long passage! We enjoy Rodney bay and especially like the IMG marina there, this trip we learned that the marina was offering a slip for 35 bucks a day so we took advantage of the cheap price and spent a few days in luxury! This was especially handy since we were picking up a  motor for the water maker that  replaced one that had failed a few weeks before! Regis electronics at the marina is a spectra dealer as well as a great place for Raymarine and most any other electronics problems to be fixed. We also were having a problem with our VHF radio so  they came out and diagnosed the problem and fixed it! Hurah! We decided to do a tour of the island we visited the Pitons the pointed mountains jutting straight out of the ocean, which are the signature image of the island! On the way we stopped for some cassava bread which is a yummy treat made from the cassava root and is more like thick tortilla than bread. On the trip we got a chance to see many of the sights and small towns on the island including Soufriere  the fishing village nestled between the Pitons! We also stopped at a plantation and did a tour of it and the coco growing process as well as coconut harvesting etc.
     So after getting all the issues off our checklist and touring the island again by bus, we made plans to make our way to our first French island of this trip... Martinique!

Back in France Martinique that is!
We always look forward to making landfall on a French island, the bread, the pastries, the wine, the topless beaches, and Martinique is our favorite of the French islands. On the way down we skipped La Marin and St Anne on the far south end of the island because its so far east on a trip south. On the way north its much easier to sail to St Anne so we headed there first and we were rewarded with a tremendous visit. St Anne is a charming French fishing village with  beautiful clear water over sand. The village has a great bakery, a wonderful fish market, and a charming church as well a a great dinghy dock neat shops and a passable grocery! After we explored the village we next took the dink  the 2 miles up the harbor to La Marin and the amazing ships stores and restaurants that surround the harbor. We shopped and ate and shopped some more then made the trip back to St Anne by dinghy.
    Eventually it was time to move further north and our target this time was the Fort Defrance area but unlike our trip down we decided not to anchor at Fort Defrance but across the harbor at Anse Mitan. We decided this because of the added protection it afforded us from swell and waves, as well as the proximity to the bakeries and beach! We also knew we could take a ferry over to fort Defrance for a nominal fee to shop and explore there also! Anse Mitan was a great decision, the anchorage was calm, the snorkeling around the three artificial lagoons that were remnants of a destroyed resort were great for snorkeling on the rocks that made up the wave barriers.

     It wasn't long till it was time to move again and with a favorable weather forecast we made our way to St Pierre the original capital of Martinique. It was the capital until the volcano that looms over the town erupted and destroyed most of the town back in the 1800s. Its a good place to clear out of the country and makes for a good day or two of exploring the ruins of the town. Stocked up on Baguette's and cheese and prepared for the next leg of the journey this time to Dominica!
View from the road on our island tour of St Lucia

Cassava bread roadside bakery

Anse La Raye a village just before the Pitons

Another view from the road on our tour

Posing in front of the Pitons

Donkey power for the sugar cane presser, he gets some raw sugar cane after a trip around

Anita posing at the Plantation

Rolling the raw coco logs

We walked the Nature trail above the Pitons to get the best view

Looking down on the anchorage between the Pitons

Coconut husking

Anita in fromt of the truck that was used back in the day to bring fruit to the market and people too!

Our guide doing his thing
Our intrepid group at the Pitons

Also visited the largest drive in volcano in the world here in St Lucia, can you say sulphur

Anse Mitan in Martinique
Our Group at the plantation in St Lucia

The lagoons at Anse Mitan

Having lunch at Anse Mitan

Another view of the beach at Anse Mitan