Michael joins us in St. Lucia
We sailed from St. Anne, Martinique to St. Lucia on April 23rd to meet Michael. George left at the crazy early time of 6:30 am, always mindful of the need to arrive in time to check in. We had a beautiful sail in 14 knot winds on a beam reach.
As we made the crossing to St Lucia, a pilot whale came right alongside the boat. What a thrill to see such a massive creature feet from the cockpit on the starboard side of Ice Floe. We learned that pilot whales, actually a type of dolphin, swim alongside boats just as we have had other dolphins play in the boat’s bow wave. The pilot whale is distinguished from the more typical bottlenose dolphins both in its size and the shape of its head.
|The best shot I could get of the pilot whale that visited us|
|750 pound short fin pilot whale – photo borrowed from awesomeoean.com|
|Common Caribbean bottlenose dolphins – photo borrowed from wallpaperweb.org|
We arrived to Marigot Bay in St. Lucia early in the afternoon. As you enter the bay, the hilltops are festooned with colorful villas/homes/rentals.
Looking down on the bay in this photo borrowed from the Marigot Bay Marina and Resort, it is easy to see why this bay is popular as a hurricane hole. The beautiful sand beach peninsula leaves only a small opening to the outer harbor. An interesting fact is that French ships are known to have hidden from English ships behind the sand beach having tied palm fronds to their masts as camouflage.
|Aerial view of Marigot Bay Marina and Resort reproduced from the resort’s website|
Further out, beyond the sand beach on the left the Marigot Beach Club is situated. The beach club offers day passes and longer rental accommodations, sets up outings such as kayaking, snorkeling, diving, et al. A beach-bar restaurant named DOOlittles offers local fare and a boat shuttles between the Marigot Beach Club and the Marigot Bay Marina and Resort, as well as many additional restaurants. A wedding was held at the Marigot Beach Club while we were visiting.
|Marigot Beach Club|
|Marigot Beach Club|
As you begin to enter Marigot Bay Marina, this duo of pale blue and white buildings house the administrative offices, marina showers, the Hurricane Hole restaurant, a bank, and some living quarters. The two buildings are separated by a large courtyard with seating for the restaurant. On our first evening in the marina, George and I had dinner at the Hurricane Hole that was offering a buffet of traditional Caribbean dishes and a show featuring a very talented tenor saxophone player alternating with performances of a traditional dance troupe featuring fire, fire swallowing, and fire breathing.
|Marigot Bay Marina and Resort administrative offices, the Hurricane Hole Restaurant, et al.|
We spent most of the two days before Michael’s arrival on boat chores. However, we did allow ourselves occasions to take in the beauty and features of the Marigot Bay Marina and Resort.
Unfortunately, our application for Duhkxy to visit St. Lucia had not yet been approved so he could not leave the boat. We took this opportunity to further our efforts to make Duhkxy at ease when we had to leave him alone. Duhkxy made great strides in adjusting to our absence, remaining mostly calm, and assuming a lookout for us on the cockpit combing until our return.
|Duhkxy escaped no ones attention as he stood vigil waiting for our return.|
I took a 45 minute cab ride to the Hewanorra Airport to meet Michael – another great opportunity to see more of the island during this ride from the northwest side of St. Lucia to the southeast. We passed through banana plantations, across mountains and through the island’s rainforest. Our driver Moses was kind enough to stop at an overlook of a beautiful fishing village and at one of the many fruit and vegetable stands so I could replenish our stores. The homes and villages we saw were colorful and well maintained. We will certainly visit again for a longer time once Duhkxy’s permit is approved (spoiler alert: it was ultimately not approved this year as Duhkxy was not old enough to have some of the required tests done).
After an interminable wait at the airport, Michael finally showed up with a customs agent beside him. He quickly said “OK, they won’t let me in because of the incident in Grenada”. Before I could respond, he countered with “Nah, they just need to know where I am staying.” This is an odd question when you are staying on a boat and that is not a sufficient answer. They must have a non-moving place. The answer of the Marigot Bay Resort and Marina was sufficient to get us on our way, understanding we would be moving on from there.
Michael and Duhkxy quickly became the best of friends.
Although neither Michael nor George and I were able to enjoy the Marigot Bay Resort fully, save a couple of dips in the pool and a fabulous Indian dinner at Masala, the following pictures will give you a sense of why we aim to return next year.
In my next post, I will tell you all about Michael’s visit and our circumnavigation of Martinique.
The Marigot Bay Marina and Resort is renowned for its beauty and accoutrements. Accommodations include 915 square foot Junior suites starting at $390 per night in the off season and go up from there. HOWEVER, a slip on the dock ran us ~$40 per night and came with full access to the resort facilities, pools, spa, gardens and restaurants. What a deal! It reminded us of our great fortune staying in a marina in the heart of Paris for only 40 euro a night. We wish all marinas were so reasonable.
The resort has two large swimming pools, one with a swim up bar – by far the most popular.
Additional water features are integrated into the grounds of the resort.
|I luxuriated in the sitting area above this gorgeous dinghy doc writing my last post.|
The winding paths through the resort are bordered by beautifully designed and maintained gardens and buildings.
|Check out this pineapple. Marilla and Mitch – how is yours doing?|
|Mangos – George and I have consumed a hundred each.|