We enjoyed St. Lucia very much from what we saw of it. We cleared customs on 24th March with a three day clearance for the country, in Margiot Bay. This is a little nook of a bay half way up the west coast. There is a sheltered hurricane whole lined with mangroves protected by a sand spit and set back between tall cliffs. The place has been very much developed into an expensive and squeaky clean marina. We anchored off before the sand spit. We managed to find a scruffy shack selling good and cheap food for lunch though. This is where Admiral Barrington is reputed to have hidden his fleet of British war ships, unseen from the sea and protected by the palm lined spit in the late 1700s.
Next day we sailed down the coast 3 miles to a beach we had read had some good snorkelling spots. It was a beautiful place. The reef we snorkelled on was brilliant. Clouds of Sargent fish ( yellow and black stripy ones) swam up to me, and the corrals were large and developed. There were some big bowls and tubular mustard coloured columns. There was also a wreck there which had been sunk on purpose as a dive spot. We took the dingy over to it and tied it on a buoy. The deck level of the big frater was 10 meters down but with fins on and by pulling ourselves down along the rope which was connected to the buoy (our dingy was tied to) we could get down to it. It was eery and had quite a lot of growth on it with some big corals on the bow. Very dramatic.
We then headed 10 miles up the coast to Rodney Bay in the north and anchored off Pigeon island for the night.
On 26th March we took some busses down the island to Soufriere which is the town just to the north of the impressive Pitons: the islands’ most striking geographical aspect, which have even lent their name to the local beer. We took a bus first to the capital, Castries then another to Soufriere. We went there as much for the bus ride as the destination, as we had seen this side of the island from the boat and we could see the road twisted and dipped trough the trees and hills, it looked beautiful. It was a stunning trip. The island is thickly wooded, it looked like jungle as we drove through, but glimpses out showed dramatic views of the steep raveens and hills. The further south we went the further we got from the built up and developed north. The villages were beautiful, colourful and old. Soufriere was lovely, we spent some time wandering the streets. We decided to take a boat trip round to the beach between the Pitons. The Pitons are two steep individual conical peaks. Petit Piton rises to 743m and Gros Piton to 777m, dropping to sea level between. We chartered a super fast speed boat and blasted round there in minutes from the town, it was a thrill, had a drink at the 5 star hotel at the bottom of the peaks and zipped back then back up to Rodney Bay before dark.
We left the following morning for Martinique where we are now. We arrive in the afternoon at St. Anne in the south and went ashore. Felt rather disorientated as we stepped ashore into a little French village. Martinique is actually a part of France, so we are using our rusty french and spending Euros. C’est tres jollie!