St Lucia is our next stop down the Windward Island chain. An independent island-state, St Lucia was once a French colony and much of its heritage is from the time when large estates were run by plantation owners of French origin whose descendants still live here. After the French Revolution, many Royalists on the island were executed and the slaves freed, but then Napoleon came to power and reestablished slavery…
When the British invaded the island in 1803 St Lucia became a British colony. In the mid-twentieth century, Saint Lucia joined the West Indies Federation (1958–1962) when the colony was dissolved. In 1967, Saint Lucia became one of the six members of the West Indies Associated States, with internal self-government.In 1979 St Lucia became fully independent.
Rodney Bay is less than 25 NM south from St Anne in Martinique. We arrive there after a nice short sail and not one but two dorados at the end of our fishing poles. Dorados, or maj-maji are often swimming around in schools and often if you have two fishing lines out you catch two fishes at the same time, like we did.
There is some happy panic for a few moments aboard fata Morgana, Ivo reeling in one line, me pulling the other, Maya running around helping, bringing things, releasing the sheets, trying to slow down the boat. But it’s all worth it!
We have the tastiest fish for supper that evening, grilled on the BBQ, in the company of our friends Mel and Caryn, watching the most beautiful sunset at Rodney Bay, better than any TV show. And another fish in the fridge.
We spend a few lazy days in St Lucia. It’s a beautiful lush tropical island with some dramatic looking hills and mountain peaks.
Rodney Bay is a popular port of entry for yachts in St Lucia and the most comfortable and safe anchorage in the country, even though in St Lucia it is always a good idea to lock your boat and to pull up you dinghy or kayak at night, as theft is unfortunately a common occurrence. Here we meet the fruit guy and the basket guy coming right up to our boat to offer their merchandise.
We end up giving the basket man, John Marley, the fish heads and middle bones which he uses to make soup for himself and the dog.
From here we take the bus to the capital Castries, a 20 minute ride. This is the biggest city in St Lucia and it has some nice colonial buildings which house duty-free shopping malls visited by thousands of tourists who arrive here daily by big cruise ships.
We also take a much longer and hip-hoppier bus ride to the town of Soufriere further south. I ride next to a magical Rasta herbal doctor, who shows me his certificate of competence, and tells me all about his history and how he got his supernatural healing powers as a kid, when he used to live with his grandma. He was ill, lying in bed, feeling very down, when suddenly hundreds of angels appeared all around his bed. They were in the form of bees. The master-angel, tallest of them all, spoke to him and granted him healing powers. Today Ras Bico can cure anything. With coconuts and green oranges he can terminate your diabetes. With his plants, herbs, and special prayers he can heal your cancer, rheumatism, hypertension, and inflammation. „Ganja is my best herb, man“, told me Ras Bico that day on the bus to Soufriere.
Once the capital of the island-state, Soufriere is today a very quiet town with a small deep anchorage populated by fishing boats. We heard that this anchorage is unsafe, many boats got boarded at night and robbed.
Yet, this is a place with a stunning view attracting a lot of tourists. Just south of the town are the two pitons: Petit Piton and Gros Pitons, two mountainous volcanic plugs.
A volcanic plug is a volcanic landform created when magma hardens within a vent on an active volcano causing an extreme build-up of pressure. With time, erosion removes the surrounding rock while the erosion-resistant plug remains, which results in an upstanding landform. There are many such volcanic plugs all over the world and they are all very beautiful.
The ones in St Lucia, Petit (little) Piton and Gros (big)Piton are standing like perfect cones, especially the little one, covered in lush green tropical vegetation. We walk around farmlands at the foot of the pitons, and we try some strange new fruits, like plums, only sweeter.
After a few days, we are ready to sail to Grenada, where Ivo and Mel are planing to install some big solar panels on S/V Passages.
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