The Pitons are the major skyline features of St Lucia. Sulphur fumes continue to billow from the volcano; Soufriere, a township below Petit Piton, is locally known as “Sulphur City”.
These “shacks” are frequently seen along the west coast of St Lucia. I am advised that the people are not impoverished; they just don’t want to move to better accomodation!
St Lucia is a rain forest region. Therefore, plenty of rain. But, the beauty is that the rain cascades for 10-15 minutes; then, there is brilliant sunshine for lengthy periods of time. Consequently, the island is lush green. Bananas; bread fruit; mangos; grapefruit; oranges; and coconuts, of course.
We are anchored in Rodney Bay; an area which is developing tourism in a big way. There is a lot of construction of, not only hotels, but private dwellings, as well. The price of land has escalated, substantially, over the last five years. Although building continues unabated, recession is affecting the local population. The hotel industry has, recently, laid off 600 workers; in a country of 180,000, that is a high percentage.
This is Marigot Bay, on the west coast. Admiral Hood, I believe, was the cunning admiral, who, when faced by defeat by a French fleet, which out-numbered and out-gunned the British fleet, ducked into Marigot Bay and camoflaged the British fleet with palm tree branches. Marigot Bay has an inner lagoon; it is not huge, but the entrance is concealed from the sea. The French fleet sailed by and the Brits were saved!
Marigot Bay is home to the yacht charter group “The Moorings”. Their hotel resort has, recently, been upgraded and is, now, luxurious.
Our stay in St Lucia is, almost, complete; Beesmej has a wind turbine on her gantry and we have brand new sun awnings surrounding her cockpit. I am awaiting the installation of a new Wi-Fi aerial, which, hopefully, allow a better and more consistent Internet connection, without causing my laptops to crash, repeatedly! Next stop: St Croix in the US Virgins.
posted Friday March 2009