Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wendy's Birthday and St. Lucia to the Grenadines

Wendy's Birthday - June 13th

What a difference a year makes! Not in my figure which doesn't improve with age! But in the fun you can have on your birthday. Last year on my birthday we were motoring to Big Ambergris Cay in the Turks & Caicos when our fresh water pump blew. Suddenly we were without an engine! I don't think I'll ever forget that birthday. Two days later we headed to the Dominican Republic under sail only, a difficult trip that took 58 hours.
A year later we are in St. Lucia along with lots of friends we've made along the way. Jim invited them to join us for happy hour at Iguana's Bar where cocktails turned into dinner and birthday cake. A special thanks to my friends Pat & Carol for surprising me with the cake. Yum!!!
Here we are having a drink before our friends arrive.
Lynn (High States), Wendy, Marie France (PhoenixIII) and Manon (Le Bete).

Gilles (Phoenix III), Randy (High States), Gervais (Le Bete) and Pat (Songbird).

Derek and Kathy (S/V Idyll Island) with Wendy.

Wendy with Val and Lloyd (Puddle Jumper).

Another Happy Hour, this one at Spinnaker's Bar with Carol and Pat.

Jim, Carol and Pat on our hike to the ruins of the old fort above Rodney Bay.

Sailing from Rodney Bay south to Soufriere. We're heading toward the Pitons, one of the most beautiful spots in the Caribbean.

St. Lucia has it's "Boat Boys" too. Here's Eddie talking with Pat and Carol after he showed us to the moorings.

Just "limin" and enjoying the view.

Merengue at anchor under the Pitons.

This seemed to be the common theme as we toured the island, so much so that they put it on a sign.

They paved paradise!!! We vacationed in St. Lucia 20 years ago and this hot water falls was pristine then, falling into a beautiful grotto where you could swim. I guess they thought the tourists would like it better if they created a series of cement pools. What a shame!
Now, before you start to think we didn't like St. Lucia, that's not true. St. Lucia is wonderful. But we knew there would be change and there certainly is. Many more hotels, tourists and all the trappings that go with it. We were glad to see that the government has established national park space to preserve much of the natural beauty of the island.

Here's the new "cement pond" Jethro!

The town of Soufriere.

The waterfront in Soufriere with a group of students taking a break for lunch.

We left St. Lucia at 4:30 a.m. for the 55 mile sail past St. Vincent to Bequia in the Grenadines. We had lots of wind (except in the lee of St. Vincent where the wind died completely) and made the trip in just over 10 hours. It was great sailing!
We decided to skip St. Vincent because of all the reports we'd heard about crime and the boat boys who were described to us as aggressive and intimidating. With so many beautiful places to visit, who needs that! St. Vincent really needs to get a handle on the situation if they want yachts to visit. We talked to dozens of cruisers and didn't find any who planned on stopping there.

Here's Jim raising the courtesy flag for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
A view of Admiralty Bay in Bequia (pronounced Beck-way). We are anchored in 8 feet of crystal clear water, perfect for swimming right from the boat. It's beautiful!
How's this for ingenuity! He's using a garbage bag for a sail. And what a fitting name for his boat!
How's this for a cool picture of Jim getting ready to set the hook. Pat on Songbird was snorkling with his underwater camera when we came in to anchor.

The end of another great day as we head home in our faithful dinghy. It's kind of like having a little compact car. It doesn't have great pick-up and there isn't much cargo space but it'll get you where you need to go.