We were really looking forward to Dominica. It was the island we really wanted to spend a good amount of time at. I had some misconceptions, though. For instance, I thought it was a Spanish-speaking island nestled in among French speaking islands. I didn’t hear any Spanish being spoken, so I asked what the official language was. English. The British colonized Dominica. We heard how friendly Dominicans were and how they prided themselves on being welcoming. With the PAYS organization controlling the boat boy situation, the island is much more cruiser friendly than it was five years ago, according to Wildcat. Back then the boat boys were very aggressive and even fought over the incoming boats. So in that sense, yes, the island is friendly. But we heard so many stories of islanders being rude, aggressive, and judgmental to our cruiser friends and other travelers we met (some staying on the island). We really only had one person aggressively asking us for money, clothes, or to buy his fruit or “postcard” drawing of our boat (Local Dude). So we did not personally have a negative experience, but I had high expectations (even thinking this may be my paradise) that were just not met. Dominica is a nice island, we enjoyed our time there, and we would come back to see the parts we missed this time, but it is not our paradise. And so our search continues.
We set sail for Martinique to make a short one night stop in St Pierre. Our friends on Slow Flight and Blue Moon also left for Martinique and we all met up to go to dinner. Being a French Island, the shops and restaurants were all closed in middle of the day. We walked around the cute little town to spend time until the restaurants reopened. The buildings seemed like a mix of old and new with brick, rock, and brightly painted buildings.
After two hours of strolling through town, a restaurant finally opened. We enjoyed visiting with Brita and Jason on Blue Moon (pictured) and Steve on Slow Flight, but they decided to stay and hike the volcano in the morning. Dave and I weighed anchor again and headed for St Lucia.
Wildcat was already at the Rodney Bay Marina when we arrived and they told us about the mooring balls in the lagoon. So we called up the marina on the VHF and asked if there were any available. We were given our choice and left to our own devices to pick one up, no simple task. These moorings are just buoys with a steel ring on top that you have to feed your lines through. Considering I am on the bow, at least 6 feet above the water surface, this may have proved impossible. But a friendly local witnessing our plight came over and assisted. Thank goodness! Otherwise we may have had to drop anchor to deploy the dinghy to pick up the ball and have to raise the anchor again, since anchoring is not allowed in the lagoon. The next day Slow Flight came in to join us in the lagoon, so Dave and I hopped in the dinghy to give him a hand mooring. Blue Moon is in a hurry to get to Grenada, so they didn’t stop. I found Rodney Bay Lagoon beautiful, quiet, and convenient. We even had boat side service for fruit if we wanted it from the Flag Man. Haha! Can you believe that thing?!
I am not going to do St Lucia justice. We really enjoyed our time in Rodney Bay, but we didn’t see much of it. This time was all about hanging out with the other cruisers – Wildcat, Slow Flight, Slow Dancing, and Echo. Therefore, we saw restaurants, bars, ice cream parlors, and the grocery store.
We also hosted happy hour on our boat with Wildcat, Slow Flight, and Slow Dancing.
Beyond that, we hiked to Fort Rodney with Slow Flight and Wildcat. Dave and Steve tried to go on another hike, but they didn’t find any good trails. So, for now, Rodney Bay, St Lucia = good eating and lots of happy hour fun!