Two days after our Atlantic crossing our daughter, Annieck arrived in Martinique. We sailed on another Saona 47 to Forte de France which was very nice! We stayed 1 night in Martinique to go back the next day to St. Lucia with the ferry. And here we learned a lesson for the next time we were travelling without the boat near us … We were not officially checked in in Martinique. Sort of forgot to do that … Annieck came via Paris and had no stamp in her passport … So buying a ferry ticket was not possible. ‘Anybody could say they were having a boat somewhere …’ We needed to show that our boat was in Rodney Bay Marina otherwise no tickets for the ferry .. Luckily Robbert made a picture of a contract which stated that our boat was there and finally we were allowed to go .. In the meantime, our crew left the boat for their own places which they had reserved already long ago. And finally, we were together again! Just the 3 of us. It had been so long since we saw Annieck. We first stayed a few days in the marina. We went to the beach, had lunch at the Naked Fisherman. Go there! Beautiful beach, great atmosphere and very good food! Did some shopping, went out for lunch and dinner. Great time!
As Annieck would only stay 2 weeks there was not so much to sail to. Besides that Annieck is getting seasick very quickly. And I needed to still chill after the crossing. So we only went to Marigot Bay where we spent Christmas. And after Christmas Annieck was flying home again. So we brought her to Martinique with EIGHT. We sailed to Le Marin from where she left and where we did some extensive provisioning. Knowing we would be back half March in The Netherlands we said our goodbyes. We will miss her … From that moment on we were together again. The captain and first mate. Let’s go and explore the Windward Islands!
My first impression that it is a very busy island. Many cars everywhere, buses, taxis etc. Also a green island. But it never gave me the feeling to be on a chill Caribbean island. The weather was nice and the people very very friendly. But not the exotic kind of feeling. We did an island tour with the family of Living Daylights. This way we saw all the highlights of St. Lucia in a day! We were lucky to have an excellent tour guide. We went to Castries first for some spectacular sights. But OMG that traffic … it was so busy on the road there.
Via Marigot Bay our next stop a banana plantation. The guide not only knew a lot about the bananas but also of all the other flowers and fruits which they were growing there. Very nice!
From the plantation you could already see the rainforest. The sky in the rainforest is cloudy and grey and you can see the rain hanging in the air. The road is very hilly and … it’s raining! It’s very very green along the way. And at some point you also drive out of the rainforest again! Very special I must say! We drove further south to Anse la Raye. It is located near Marigot Bay, and has several examples of French and English colonial architecture. The name Anse la Raye is derived from the rays that are found in the bay, the English translation means Bay of Rays. Two rivers flow into the bay, these are the Grande Rivière de l’Anse la Raye and the Petite Rivière de l’Anse la Raye. On a Friday night there is a fish fry where the local fishermen showcase their skills and where lobsters, fish and lambi (conch) are cooked and eaten. The fish fry is located on Front Street which runs parallel to the beach.
Soufriere was the next stop. Soufriere is very colourful. But also you see a lot of poor, drunk and drugs addicts … also there were not many boats in the bay at that time. Not sure why? From the small restaurant close to the water we could seethe famous Pitons from very close! It is possible to hike one of the Pitons but we did not do that. The guide knew a place where we could see the Pitons at their best! Perfect spot! .
2 More spots to go. We choose to go to the Sulphur springs. We had a tour guide explaining how they were discovered and so on. Really interesting but also really smelly!! And now it was time to have a bath ourselves … they say you’ll look 12 years younger! So definitely I would try it! But unfortunately, it did not work for me .. Anyway, it was a unique experience you do not want to miss.
To end a lovely day our last stop was at St. Lucia Distillers. Finally! The rum tasting!
I can really recommend taking an island tour. If you do and hire a taxi take an ‘official’ taxi and tourguide. An official taxi is insured if any calamity might happen. And the tourguide needs to have an official badge! There are many more things to do and see than we did. We were lucky to have a private tour guide and we could choose what we wanted to do and see. For a day the max. is about 6 sightings I believe. But there many many options to choose from! It totally depends on your personal preferences! Enjoy!