We stopped at St Lucia, thereby making our landfall in the Caribbean. What a wonderful experience.
We went alongside at the Moorings base in Marigot Cove on the north western side of the island. For us, that is the cheapest place, as we are part of the company personnel, if only for the delivery of our boat.
However, it is not cheap in general terms. The cove is so secluded and protected, I think the inhabitants will read about hurricanes in the news. This cove is almost a fjord, having only the smallest of flat ground along the sides, with quite steep cliffs surrounding the cove of about three quarters of a mile in length and less than two hundred odd yards across. Long and narrow.
There are at least three beach- or waterfront restaurants within shouting distance of each other. Which includes crossing the water. I know about the shouting distance, because the ferrymen crack jokes and keep conversations going across the cove. Think of the quaint Caribbean accents and dialect, complete with laughter in the distance and you will get the picture.
Add at least three ferry services to help carry people to and from the various beach bars and restaurants and you have a merry time.
The ferry services are free. Sort of. Some are attached to a specific restaurant and patrons are carried for free. All other passengers have to pay.
Being newcomers, it boggled our minds for a while to figure out which is the ferry attached to the beach bar we wanted to go to. If you call the wrong ferry, you have to pay, instead of getting transported for free.
And the beer is cold. I had one, which did not touch sides. A month at sea does that. Then I had another one. After that one, I had several more at a leisurely pace. It is exceedingly hot in this neck of the woods, and steamingly so in the cove, with almost no wind. Which means you work up a thirst very fast. Luckily, the waterside restaurants have large open verandas with proper shade, so it is quite cool there.
The stop was for the crew to get medication which had run out on the crossing. Long voyages are clearly not for everyone. So I relaxed in the shade. No need for any shopping, which was a blessing. This provided a golden opportunity for me to really have a proper island experience. Relaxing in the shade, sipping languidly at a cold beer, watching small ripples on the water. The boats on their mooring buoys only bobbing from the wake of passing ferries. Chilled out living par excellence.
Sight-seeing fell off the bottom of my last reserve list of things to do on St Lucia. There is only one thing.
Perhaps, some day, I shall be able to have a proper holiday in these parts.
At present we are motor-sailing along the coast of Martinique, having left the paradise that is called St Lucia at around eight this morning. We are about 200 odd nautical miles from St Maarten, our next planned stop. Back to the grindstone for another two days. Some shopping, essential maintenance and repairs, Cleaning. Then an overnight sail to Tortola to end off the voyage and hand over the boat.
Already one starts feeling the pain of pulling roots after the long voyage.
This boating life grows on you.
Authored by Johan Zietsman
Last updated on 2013-11-05