Wednesday, June 25, 2008

St. Lucia---"The Helen of the West Indies"

The incredible thick lush vegetation, dramatic volcanic mountains and the fertile fields earned St. Lucia the name “Helen of the West Indies” as it was compared to Helen of Troy. St. Lucia is an English speaking island; a mix of British, French, African and Indian peoples. The EC (Eastern Caribbean dollar) is used here. Agriculture primarily Bananas is St. Lucia’s largest source of income along with tourism. A tropical rain forest covers the central part of the island. St. Lucia is approximately 25 miles long and 13 miles wide.

Gregory stopping by to see if we need any fresh fruit and vegetables. He blows his conch shell to let us know he is by the boat.

Sparkle Laundry also stop by on a regular basis. They pick up and drop off which makes it very convenient.

Sunday June 15th. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

It’s been great seeing so many old and new friends again here in St. Lucia. The days have flown by. We hiked up both peaks of the Pigeon Island National Park with Derek and Cathy (Idyll Island). We enjoyed seeing the remnants of Admiral Rodney's naval station. We have read that St. Lucia changed hands fourteen times between the French and the English.

Sundowners with old and new friends:
foreground--Wendy and her husband Jim to her left (Merengue), then me, then Pat & Carol (Song Bird) Randy and Derek (Idyll Island)...oops I guess Cathy (Idyll Island) took the picture for me.

We took our dinghies up onto the beach for our rendezvous.

Oh Oh; Pat and Carol had to retrieve their dinghy that was floating away.

We helped Wendy (Merengue) celebrate her Birthday Friday night.
Guest of honour Wendy and her hubby Jim
Cathy (Idyll Island)
Carol (Song Bird)
Pat and Carol
Gilles-- Phoenix III
and Gervais--La Bete
Val and Lloyd (Puddle Jumper)
Derek & Cathy --Idyll Island
Manon--La Bete
and Mary France--Phoenix III
On Friday while we were in town we had some of our strongest winds in the Bay, up to 35 knots. This caused six boats to drag. Thank goodness Rand was so persistent in getting the anchor set well. Saturday was a one day good weather window, but we decided to stay put until we can have at least a couple of good days to get us to Bequia. The run to Bequia is a good 60 nm missing St. Vincent. It has been strongly recommended to miss St. Vincent both from the cruising guides and people we have met as it is not a “safe” island.

Tuesday June 17th.

We’ve returned to Customs and Immigration to request an extension on our Cruising Permit for an additional two weeks. Unfortunately the winds and seas seem to be getting worse instead of better.

We have been doing a few tasks the last couple of days. Randy has started to refinish the teak outside while I have been cleaning the fridge and doing the odd tasks inside. We have both have made time enjoying reading and just plain “vegging”. We did take a bus into Castries and did some exploring. We were amazed at all the new building along the waterfront. Back at the boat we did a bit of reading and found out enormous fires had destroyed the town twice. The bus system is reasonable and covers the whole island. Mini air conditioned vans are used. They line up by area and we only had to wait maybe 3 minutes before one headed back to Rodney Bay.

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