Monday, June 20, 2016

St Lucia - Marigot Bay

We departed Martinique the next morning and headed to St. Lucia...out last stop here in the French West Indies. We were sad to bid adieu to Martinique and it's languid French lifestyle, but we had to press onward and seek out our next locale...
We pulled into the marina in Marigot Bay, St. Lucia 4 hours later and arrived around lunchtime. (amid smooth seas, yeah!!) 
It looked really quaint and had some fun things to explore. Marigot Bay is located just south of the capital of Castries. This bay has been described by American novelist James Michener as the most beautiful bay in the world. I don't know if I'd agree with that big of a statement, but it certainly is charming & beautiful. It's not a swimming bay however...

This is the center of the marina...a few shops and a restaurant. 
Anyone need a haircut at the local red, white & blue barbershop?
The view behind us as we cruise into the marina...
Our slip awaits...
Quite a large vintage yacht next to us...
Part of the fun pulling into various marinas and traveling around is seeing unique vessels. I often have fun googling' some background on them and seeing what their history is, or who the owner is. This one launched in 2005 to great acclaim — a gorgeous, 228-foot yacht rebuilt from the remains of a dilapidated commercial ship. She was among the first crewed yachts to offer true-luxury accommodations for oversize groups, taking 26 guests during a time when it was virtually unheard of to welcome more than 12. Sherakhan’s 18-person sun-deck hot tub fast became the stuff of legendary cocktail parties, and her two-story formal dining room remains among the most impressive spaces in yachting. Did I mention the onboard spa? She was one of the first charter yachts to have one of those too. 

This was their shore boat / dingy... gotta LOVE a vintage Riva... My fave!

Here is the Capella Resort we will be docked at for the rest of our stay. How great is this?! 
Nothing like a marina resort with full amenities & a pool! 
That will help beat this sweltering heat & humidity.
First stop...the local ice cream shop. Brad & Kevin had to supervise each others' taste testing.
Next up was a little cruise across the bay on a water taxi. 
Our driver didn't have a line at his dock while another water taxi service had a long line. Who knew the long line was the FREE ride? 
No wonder that had a longer line.
Gael surveyed the scene...
Here's the tiny island we were headed to...It sure looked fun.
We bid adieu to our water taxi. 
And headed out to see what this little island had in store for us...
Great scenery. 
It was too hot to kayak, but sure looked great on this beach.
There were some locals hanging out when we arrived who were super aggressive. 
They really hustle you and try to get whatever they can. 
Poverty is still quite prevalent in these islands.
We headed over to JJ's Mangrove Restaurant for a cocktail...
Then we got some chairs that we had to pay $20.00 for each dilapidated 
lounge chair in order to enjoy the beach. 
We felt robbed by the! And they attempted to charge us twice. 
Brad took care of that silliness. Bam!
After a drink and an attempt at swimming in the bay (not hospitable for this) 
we headed back and waited for our water taxi once again...
He sure liked to take his time... No rushing around this island.
The local banana delivery man..
Cocoa is their main export here and 90% of cocoa grown on the island goes to Hershey's. 
There are also 60 different varieties of mangoes here. Mama mia! 

We the headed back to our mighty Incognito and AIR CONDITIONING! Woohooo!!
This marina was gorgeous and out of a movie. This had to be the hidden gem of St. Lucia.
They had a wonderful poolside deck for boat guests.
Brad and I found a happy spot to chill...
The dingy dock wasn't too shabby either.
Goats were everywhere..usually munching away.
We hired a driver from the resort the next evening and took an hour and a half drive...
to a "special" resort that evening for dinner. 
We saw a few of the sights en route... 

I tried hard to get a photo of this woman in her traditional outfit, 
but we were going a tad too fast for my nimble fingers.
Love the creativity!
Cruising through town...
Our captain Bish had been here years back and highly recommended this resort for dinner. 
 It really was like driving the road to Hana in Hawaii! 
The rainforest is so lush it looked like we were on the set of Jurassic park.
Switchbacks the whole way. Luckily we all made it without a case of vomitosis and arrived famished.

The infamous Peton mountains came into our view...
The Pitons are two mountainous volcanic plugs, volcanic spires, located in Saint Lucia. The Gros Piton is 2,530 ft high, and the Petit Piton 2,438 ft high; they are linked by the Piton Mitan ridge. The Pitons are a World Heritage Site  (7,190 acres) in size and located near the town of Soufrière. They are popular with climbers & hikers alike. 
 They were absolutely SPECTACULAR at sunset.
And we finally arrived to our dining destination...

We couldn't get over the views at their Dashenee restaurant overlooking the jungle & the sea...
Gorgeous scenery!
After dinner, I of course had to celebrate Brad's birthday once again...
It was a great dinner and everyone fell asleep en route home. 

Now, some of you may be all this travel always "sunshine & rainbows"? Well, truth be told, this occurred the night we were at this was about an hour away from our marina;

 On the evening of March 2, 2016, returning from dinner ashore at 10 PM, on the SMMA dock that serves the Hummingbird and Still Resorts at Soufriere, St. Lucia, a party of 7 cruisers, accompanied by the Still Resort security guard, were robbed by 3 masked attackers who had a gun, a machete and a club. The security guard was knocked down. The robbers demanded money at gunpoint. 

They were given wallets and a camera. One woman’s purse was cut off her shoulder with the machete. Her husband was struck on the head with the blunt side of the machete. When the group came into the dock originally, they declined the dinghy watching “service” of some teenagers. The teens were quite unhappy about it and threatened to return with a machete. The cruisers departed St. Lucia immediately. The Still Resort staff has kept the victims advised after making a report to the Royal St. Lucia Police, who are investigating. The camera and wallets (containing only ID) have been recovered. We subscribed to a Caribbean Safety & Security website, so we consistently received alerts. I will say however, that St Lucia is a hotspot for this stuff and that's why we didn't stay near Soufriere and elected to be an hour north of that town. PHEW!

Aren't you glad I'm home by now Mom? HA!

A few days later it was time to depart, and as we were about to leave for the airport the fruit man came by. He looked like he was in a floating bathtub. Hilarious! We of course had to buy something from him. Luckily Bish would be staying on board and would be able to enjoy it. 

                                     The Rasta fruit man cometh. This isn't Whole Foods baby!
Brad picked out some tomatoes and he got them via "special" delivery.
Jah Jah gives you everything...

Heading to catch our driver who will take us through the jungle 
on an hour drive to the other side of the island where the airport is.
At the airport, Super Kev was chosen for secondary...
He's always such a good sport!
Finally all buckled up on the plane...
Adios St. Lucia!