Life was sweet in Marigot, St Lucia. Rodney Bay was excellent for boat work, shopping, socializing with other cruisers, and washing and detailing the boat. Marigot was not. Marigot had a quiet marina in a very protected lagoon. By picking up a mooring ball that belongs to the marina, we had privileges at the Capella Marina and Resort — like use of the pool and gym, free wifi, trash disposal (not always easy in the islands), and perusal of the shops and restaurants. Stopping in Marigot was like going on retreat.
The lagoon was surrounded by hills that blocked the wind, leaving the water calm and the boat as still as it would be at dock. In fact, it is so protected it is considered a hurricane hole. It was very warm, though, without the breeze going through. This was why the pool was so appreciated. As we enjoyed the refreshingly cool pool water, we were given complimentary passionfruit juice. Nice. As we sat around the pool visiting with Vanessa and Francois and Jacquie and Dave from Tempo, we were given complimentary appetizers that were delicious. We ordered drinks and decided to stay and relax a while.
Back on the boat we pondered what to do. We relaxed in the hammock, worked on blogs, baked, and tidied up the boat. The biggest question was where to eat dinner. The first night we ate at Doolittles, where everything but the steak was delicious. The meat just fell off the bones on my baby back ribs. Yum! The second night we ate at the Indian/Chinese fusion restaurant. Another delicious meal. We ordered extra spicy and that is exactly what we got! Whew! Even the Chinese dishes were spicy, more in the Szechuan style. Good for us, not so much for Eric on Indigo, but he lived to eat another meal.
We enjoyed cocktails aboard Tempo and watched as the police boat cruised around and checked out Livin’ Life. Hey! She was just sitting there minding her own business. All the trouble was over on Tempo! Look at the outboards on that police boat. They intend to catch anything they give chase to! As planned, Indigo, Why Knot IV, and Livin’ Life headed out the next morning to go to the Pitons. Tempo must not have gotten their fill of baguettes yet, as they decided to go back north to Martinique.
There was no mistaking when we approached the Pitons. They monopolized the skyline as well as any tower in New York. We had heard about the boat boys being problematic in south St Lucia. We were ‘greeted’ by the first one when we were still several miles from Soufriere. A boat kept aiming to cross in front of me. I’d alter course to avoid it and it altered course to stay in front of me. After trying to avoid them several times, I went inside and grabbed our can of wasp spray. Why wasp spray? Because it shoots 22 feet! Our arsenal of potential weapons includes a flare gun, wasp spray, kitchen knives, and anything we can throw. We chose not to bring any kind of arms onboard. We figure even if we did and brought a pistol to a gunfight we would lose. So what’s the point? Anyway, Dave asked me why I did that. Knowing I was likely overreacting, I told him no particular reason. Of course he popped right up to see what was going on. My reasoning was that if they wanted to talk to us, they would pull alongside or come up behind us, but it looked like they were trying to get us to stop.
They ended up circling us and coming up besides us and asking if we needed a ball. Dave told them no thanks, that we were okay. After a few attempts at convincing them we didn’t need them, they just slowed down and we left them in the distance. See? I’m paranoid. As we neared the next bay south of Soufriere, another boat boy came to offer us their services. Three boats came within minutes of each other so they were busy and didn’t make a fuss at us.
Why Knot IV was first to arrive and they informed us that there were a few mooring balls left. Indigo was just ahead of us and a power yacht came hustling by us to make sure they got there first. Oh boy. Sometimes 6 knots feels slower than a crawl. But Francois and Vanessa saw what was happening and jumped in their dinghy to snag us a mooring ball. Again, it’s good to have friends!
Dave dove on our mooring to look for any potential weaknesses in the line and saw two baby squid. As he neared them, he frightened them and they turned transparent in an attempt to disappear from sight. I was cooking and couldn’t dive at the moment, so he caught one in a bucket to show me. It was so ugly it was cute. I have too big a heart to keep the squid in the bucket for long, so I released it within 2 minutes. In the meantime, I shot a video of it because you couldn’t tell what it was by the still shots. I don’t know why I put my finger in the water — I didn’t intend to touch it –but the result was amazing. Mom, if you watch the video, turn down the volume.
What an outstanding anchorage! the water was protected and calm, but a breeze could blow through the cleavage between the Pitons. And the view! It just couldn’t be beat. Petit Piton doesn’t look that big in the picture, but look at the size compared to the large catamaran in the distance just below it. Petit Piton stands 743 meters (2,437 feet) and Gross Piton is 771 meters (2,529 feet) — and that’s the one these crazy people wanted to hike to the top of, Gros Piton. On a three mile trail! Talk about steep! More power to them. I stayed on the boat and cooked lunch for when they returned.
We saw a very small green flash, which I was too late to photograph. Why Knot IV looked so peaceful in the fading light.
When I dove under the boat, the squid were gone, not surprising after we disturbed them. All I saw were a lot of small fish using us for shelter and these guys hanging onto the line. I tried to video them but the current was too strong. I find these shells on the beach and now I can see what they look like alive. They put the hairy-like things out to catch food and then pull them in. It was cool to watch, but not as interesting as the squid.
We had visitors at night, too. As soon as we turned on the underwater lights, these needle fish showed up. These fish are everywhere in the Caribbean. We usually see them jumping out of the water in front of our dinghy at night when I shine the spotlight on the water. At first there were just a few.
Then more and more arrived. It looked like they came and ate the tiny organisms and fish that were attracted to the light. Unlike the squid video, here comes a zen moment. Mom, you can turn the sound back up.
This video shows how curious they were (or hungry) and how fast. When startled they swim so fast you could hardly see them. The only downside of the anchorage was the boat boys. Our entire stay there we were asked to buy fish (US$250 for one small tuna!) or bread (US$40 for four small “baguettes”), to take our garbage, or anything else they could think of to completely rip us off. It was rather annoying, but no one made us feel unsafe. All the same, we either raised our dinghy at night or locked it up. Better safe than sorry. It’s sad that they are treating the cruisers this way. We are more than happy to contribute to the local economy, if given a fair price, but there was nothing fair happening there.