We arrived in St Lucia after our 20 day crossing, overwhelmed and ready to celebrate. We touched down on the pontoon just after 2000hrs, greeted by a representative from the tourist board and St Lucian government, a selection of yellow shirts and friends that we had made in Las Palmas who had beat us to the finish line. It wasn’t long until we finished our rum punches and hit the boardwalk to free ourselves from the strict drinking policy held on board, soon followed by a pizza and a few (quite a few) more drinks!
One of the reasons we signed up to do the ARC was the comradeship involved, this is definitely illuminated when a new boat arrives having finished their passage. It’s almost quite emotional when neighbouring sailors’ crowd around the pontoon ready to take the lines and blow their foghorns when a new boat arrives to share all their stories.
As well as the numerous arrival parties, we have managed to get out and participate in the local events. We have enjoyed a catamaran trip to Anse La Reye to the fish fry where locals dress up in carnival gear and others cooked meat and fish on BBQs on the side of the road. Another event is the weekly ‘Fish Jump Up’ held just around the corner in Gros Islet, an event which can be heard from the marina! Essentially it is a big Caribbean street party put on by the locals with exceptionally loud music, drink and fresh food.
Once ARC 2017 finished with a fantastic and joyous awards evening, we left our berth in Rodney Bay and took a trip for a couple of days to Martinique with Dan, an Atlantic sailor we got on well with and let him sail with us. We feel this is a very well developed country and very similar to France. After this we sailed down to the beautiful Marigot Bay and anchored here for a night. Sheltered by the wind, blue waters, sandy beaches and surrounded by palm trees this is very much the picturesque Caribbean which lots of people talk about. The day after we had a minibus tour around Soufriere to see the volcano, mud baths and waterfall, again, very pretty! This was topped off with a drink in the local Rasta bar and a local haircut, which, was a new experience!
Christmas was spent on the beach with some of our sailing friends, playing beach games and enjoying the sunshine. We found a local chef to cook for us and deliver it to the beach which delivered exactly what we desired… A Christmas celebrated like the locals!
Next, we have New Year around the corner and we have booked into the local cocktail bar for a night which promises to be unforgettable; we are going with about 20 of our new sailing friends, many from different countries!