We arrived late on Lucia Day. Before we are docked in Rodney Bay Marina, a reception committee welcome us with a big fruit basket and fresh rum punch for immediate drinking 🙂 We stay up late, sitting in the cockpit with our rum punch and the champagne we have put in the fridge for this occasion, not each day you have sailed over an ocean.
The next day we sleep until nine, by then it is too hot to stay in bed. Breakfast as usual and after that the check-in procedure with customs, immigration, health, and the marina with payment in advance for the whole time you plan to stay. They often have discounts if you stay longer and pay everything in advance.
We have registered all details of the boat and the crew in a system called Sailclear and it shall facilitate check-in and check-out in the countries that have joined the system. Saint Lucia belongs to them, but unfortunately, the internet does not work at customs when we have to check-in, so we have to fill in all the information by hand on a form in four copies.
We are also contacted by several people who offer services to clean the boat, wash our laundry, take care of rubbish, sell vegetables and fish, sell guided excursions, etc. Each contact begins with ”Hi guys, how are you today?” or the like, this goes on the first day, and then they know what we need help with and what not. It seems that these persons have some kind of deal with the marina to allow them to work on boats. We hire Kennedy to clean the hull and remove rust from the guardrail, he does a good job and Sally is shining again.
We also make 2 excursions on the island, a short excursion around Rodney Bay and a day excursion with volcano visit, mud bath and waterfall together with people we know from the Swedish boats Flying Penguin, Helga and Cross Ocean. At every viewpoint where the bus stops, there are vendors of souvenirs, beer, and water. Most sellers respect if you do not want to buy, but some are very contentious.
We also asked the driver to take us to a good local restaurant for lunch. He drives us to Soufriere, a small town at The Pitons where we have lunch on the upper store of a 2-story house overlooking the sea. It’s hot inside, the food is OK and the beer is pretty cold.
We visit an active volcano where it bubbles up hot sulfur-emitting gases in hot springs.
In the same area as the gas bubbling, there is a hot spring where you can smear yourself in dark or light clay and then rinse off in poles with warm volcanic water. Nice and the skin gets properly scrubbed.
The last goal of the tour is a waterfall with a small pole where you can swim. It’s calm and peaceful here, we are by ourselves when we get there. Water with over 10 m of fall height hits hard and you can only hope that no stone will come loose when standing there with water spraying around your head.
We have chosen to stay for the price-giving ceremony on December 22, so we have plenty of time to take it easy. One Friday night we visit the township north of Rodney Bay, they have street parties every Friday with BBQ, bars, and music. What a street party it is, reggae music roaring out of the walls of big stage speakers, street grills with fish, chicken or pig, bars with all (im)possible drinks, and people selling ”white or green” to our young people, they don’t ask us.
It is an experience, even if the food did not meet the expectations we received when marketed as ”the world’s best fish”.
We were awarded a prize for 10th place in the estimated time in our group of about 40 boats, hence the joy 🙂
The next day we leave Rodney Bay and sail south, more on that in the next blog.