Sunday, May 16, 2010


Vieux (pronounced ‘View’) Fort, at the southern tip of St. Lucia, is a bustling commercial port and an active fishing centre. Container ships and local fishing boats outnumber the cruisers at anchor. We stopped in Vieux Fort to check in with Customs and Immigration, expecting to stay a day or two, but the authentic flavour of the town grew on us. We stayed a week and it wasn’t long enough.

The main north-south street is colourful and lined with shops.
Entrepreneurs set up their wares in front of the busiest stores.
We saw several cobblers working curbside.
The locals must walk as much as we do.

We ventured up into the hillside neighbourhoods several times.
On one return walk we had to stop for a drink.
No. I mean we really had to. Pat, the elderly local owner of the bar, thought I must be a fine Irish lass since I was named after him. He poured me a stiff rum drink to toast our mutual names and Geoff had a Piton, the St. Lucian beer.

At the other end of St. Lucia, a mere 35 miles away, the scenery and ambiance in Rodney Bay is much more than just an island apart from Vieux Fort – from third world to tourist town.
Rodney Bay is over a mile wide.
The Pigeon Island anchorage with its forest of masts is at the north end of the bay.
We anchored off Reduit Beach at the south end of Rodney Bay.

Two major events, the St. Lucia Jazz Festival and the ICC World Twenty20 Cricket championship, made for a full house on both sides of the anchorage.

The Rodney Bay Marina in the lagoon had hundreds of boats on the docks and it wasn’t close to being full. Their web site gives you a better idea of the marina's size.
There’s a free dinghy dock and the grounds are beautifully kept. Among the mature trees and the new plantings, we tiptoed past this guy one day.
We’re not sure if he was left over from the night before or if he just knew how to relax – anywhere, anytime. No high blood pressure allowed.

Rodney Bay Village is the tourist mecca of St. Lucia. We walked around to Reduit Beach Road that runs behind the hotel complexes lining the beach.
Tourists seem to need a wide range of restaurants, bars, and boutiques, plus tours and rental cars.

Occasionally we walk-the-walk even if we don’t partake.

Ever seen such a pretty Scotiabank?
 As colourful as EC dollars.

 And if the residential properties are any measure, there’s a lot of money at this north end of St. Lucia. Check this one out. Majestic from the water -

- and just as impressive from streetside.

A little different from our beach house although we do have a bigger backyard.

Between gatherings with some of our Grenada cruising buddies and cricket matches, three weeks slipped away. One of the cricket games Geoff attended was Pakistan vs Australia. Leading up to the national anthems, every player was escorted onto the field by a young local boy.
Wonderful to see an effort made to get kids excited about the game.

Geoff watched the game from ‘the hill’.

Several well-lubricated locals wanted to take our Australian flag walkabout.

Geoff wasn’t sure they’d find their way back to him, so they settled for a photograph.

Memories of hockey, anyone?

Okay. They don’t call it a Zamboni, but this machine rolls out the pitch, smoothing it for the second half of the game.

On off cricket days, we took the bus into Castries, the capital of St. Lucia. The population of the island is about 160,000 and a third of the people live in and around the capital. The city has burned down twice, most recently in 1949. The rebuilding has resulted in an odd blend of architecture - modern and old Creole-style.
The tour operators and taxi drivers are a bit intense here in Castries, the most insistent we’ve run into, but as we wandered further into the city we found new shoes for the captain and a craft store with beads for me. The simple pleasures. It’s all good.

Sunsets are a glorious way to end the day and a fitting way to end this blog entry since St. Lucian sunsets are, quite simply, the best.
These two sunset pictures were taken by Len on S/V Scallywag in Vieux Fort.
We also credit Len with our header picture. Just beautiful. Thank you Len.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful life you are leading! Just discovered your blog - and am becoming a new follower. Love all of the pictures and the story of your journey