The passage down was a little choppy and we had to use sail and motor to give us some extra push as we had a vet inspection booked for 2pm at the dingy dock. Needless to say our promptness was a waste of time since the vet hadn’t bothered to turn up and none of the phone numbers for him would work either. The marina office managed to get through on a random number and he appeared some 90mins late leaving me (23 weeks pregnant) & Scrumpy to frazzle to death in the height of the midday sun on the dingy. Luckily I am used to Caribbean inefficiency and came prepared with an umbrella for shade & a big bottle of cold water to keep us hydrated.
We spent a few days getting the boat clean and tidy for the anticipated arrival of our visitors, with new bedding in the forward cabin and some cushions donated by Tina on Magic it was looking lovely. We checked into the marina for a night so that Nick & Catherine could jump on board with all their bags and took advantage of the shore power by doing lots of loads of washing in our camping washing machine. It uses quite a bit of water and it doesn’t spin dry the clothes but it certainly makes life a little easier.
Nick and Catherine arrived with shed loads of supplies that Simon had ordered online and some much needed maternity bras for me. Lacey non-fitting fancy bras, Cows udders and 30 degree heat is not a great combination! It was great to see them both and we couldn’t wait to give them a taster of boat life and show them around the island. Unfortunately the first couple of days they brought the British weather with them and then some. I thought I had experienced torrential rain in the Caribbean but this was something else, the entire lagoon around the marina turned to thick brown liquid full of debris carried from the Mountains in the down pour.
It was currently the elections here and appears to be a big deal, the day before there had been huge loud parties with opposite supporters singing and dancing against each other. Much more fun than our pompous boring elections, I doubt it will be like this back home with the BREXIT referendum that is coming up. All the locals told us that the rain was here to wash away the devil as a new victor had just been voted in which hasn’t happened for 20 years. People in the West Indies are very superstitious.
Nick & Catherines Holiday
Nick and Catherine spend 10 days with us on board and we took them to all our favourite spots on this green mountainous and luscious little island. Saint Lucia is only _____so each anchorage/stop is only a short sail making it ideal for visitors.
We took them to the quaint and hidden cove of Marigot Bay, showing them the super yachts in the little marina and the free pool tables in the relaxing Doolittles bar and restaurant. They snorkelled and spent the night in Anse Cochon a tiny little deserted and peaceful bay. This was one of our much loved places and when we woke in the morning we all (including Super Scrumps) swam ashore and frolicked in the beautifully clear water and soft sand on the shore before swimming back, making it one of my favourite mornings.
We anchored between the huge, famous and breathe taking Pitons, which Nick and Catherine hiked up. I’m now too fat and pregnant so had no choice but to lay around the boat! In the evening we were treated to an amazing luxurious and very expensive dinner at the exclusive Sugar Beach Resort.
Tudor Rose took a short stop at the Bat Cave in Soufriere, a cliff face with a sheer drop into clear blue water and we swam to a slit in the rock where thousands of bats were hanging upside down making a horrendous racket. Just around the corner we spent the night at Anse Chastanet an anchorage we had missed on our previous visit and was another private hotel resort. The quiet anchorage slightly away from the hotel had a long pier dingy dock which lead to a beaten path underneath another sheer rock face. To the right of the path was a secluded bit beach and to the left of it the hotel resort. Leaving Nick and Catherine to make dinner Simon and I took spoilt ScrumpDogMillionaire ashore for a walk in the last of the daylight. The secluded beach had scattered palms with neat piles of smooth round rocks built up around the bottom of each and some rustic luxury sunbeds and umbrellas and a bar made from giant stems of bamboo. It had been pruned by the hotel but still had a natural untouched feel to it. Set behind the beach was a forest walk leading through a jungle rain forest and some giant fallen rocks strewn along the shore where the sea met the sand. It was literally a Caribbean picture postcard.
Simon and I picked up some ripe mangoes, juicy and warm that had recently fallen from one of the giant trees. Eating them under a palm and watching the sun begin set I felt this truly was paradise and at the point Anse Chastanet became one of my most cherished of memories.
With Nick and Catherine leaving in a few days we headed back up North stopping again in Marigot Bay for a Saturday night game of scrabble, which Simon obviously won. Then reaching Rodney Bay again where Rick and Helen were staying on their Catamaran Symmetry (the Canadians we met at the BBQ in Antigua). Helen had made us the cutest patchwork quilt for the baby and a skull headband for Simon as he has been stealing mine to keep his beach babe locks out of his eyes when sailing!
All of us went out for an epic curry Sunday at Spice of India which was recommended to us by Nick & Terysa on Ruby Rose and cost us 9 days worth of food shopping budget (ouch!).
Everyone apart from pregnant and incapable me had fun wake boarding off the back of Rick’s dingy and his 40 horse power outboard, unlike our inflatable piece of shite that has to be pumped up 6 times a day with its snail pace 2.5 horse power engine! Ending N & C’s stay with a good old-fashioned beach BBQ on their last night, followed by an episode of Season 6 Game of Thrones.
We loved having them on board and they have been our most easy going guests settling into boat routine like ducks to water. We loved taking them around Saint Lucia and it has been like a holiday for us too. Experiencing it for a second time after seeing many more of the other islands and discovering even more wonder has evoked a deeper love of the island for me. Being our first stop it will always be a special place but it really is one of the most beautiful in the Eastern Caribbean.
Now with only 6 and half weeks before our flights home to England, we need to make it 200 nautical miles back up to Antigua, where Tudor Rose will lifted out and kept on the hard for hurricane season. Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe are all on the way so will my ever-growing baby bump making it difficult to stay comfortable we will make our way up stopping along the way. I can’t mentally cope with any long epic over night passages, however with the wind coming from the East heading back up North should be more comfortable than heading South. Our bed is on the Portside so this also means there’s no danger of me rolling out of bed when we keel over!
Dominica is meant to be one of the most unspoilt and known as the Nature Island of the Caribbean with nine active volcanoes, hot springs, rainforest, coastal woodland, cloud forest and endless cascades and waterfalls, and we are yet to discover We are really looking forward to spending some exploring but not as much as meeting our the tiny little life we created in only 14 weeks.