March 2009

March 1, 2009 - Portsmouth to Roseau, Dominica - 21.4nm

We motored south down to Roseau, the capital of Dominica and met up with another Caribbean 1500 boat Hands Across the Sea They are cruising around the Caribbean on their catamaran bringing books and school supplies to schools that need it. One of their adopted school, Newtown Primary School is in Roseau, we met at the school the following morning and the kids donated some books and handed them over to the children.

Newton Primary School

Dingying in to the school to donate some books.

Meeting the children

Here are the books!

Photo: Harriet Lindskey

We walked around town, hired a cab to take us to Scott’s Head to go snorkelling, it is an underwater shelf starting at 6 to 25 feet deep and then falls into a crater, dropping rapidly to over 100 feet. It is thought to be part of the rim of an old volcanic crater.

Then on to snorkel at Champagne –an underwater thermal spring where bubbles come up from the bottom, hence the name. The kids thought that was the coolest.

Then lastly onto the Sulphur Springs in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park to relax in the warm water that is supposed to be very healthy for the bod.

Church in Roseau, Dominica

Cruise Ship at dock- Roseau, Dominica

View of Roseau from the anchorage

Walking around town-Roseau, Dominica

Snorkelling at Scott's Head

Snorkelling at Scott's Head

Snorkelling at Scott's Head

Snorkelling at Scott's Head

Cab to the next snorkelling place

Snorkelling Champagne

Snorkelling Champagne –an underwater thermal spring

Snorkelling Champagne

Sulfer Springs

Sulfer Springs

Back at the boat in time for happy hour

March 2, 2009 Roseau, Dominica to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia 78.59 nm

After that power tour day we went back to the boat and got ready for our overnight passage to St. Lucia. We had a smokin’ fast sail in fact we had to slow down or we would have got in at 4:00 in the morning. Miles seemed to like this stuff!!! We tied up to the dock to clear customs and decided to stay for the night. This seems like a very nice marina, with brand new docks and brand new mega yacht docks as well. The Prime Minister of St. Lucia is here to give a speech for the opening of the new mega yacht docks. There is free rum punch for everyone docked at the marina, how lucky for us!!! Also the ARC comes to Rodney Bay from Europe and the World Arc will be here in a few weeks.

Rodney Bay is over a mile long. At the northern end an artificial causeway connects Pigeon Island to the mainland, providing the whole bay with protection. In the old days, when Europeans used to entertain themselves by sailing around in wooden boats taking potshots at each other, pigeon Island was the main base for the British navy in this area.

We bought a little 2.5hp outboard from a fellow cruiser for our spare dingy, the kids tried it out. Thanks John, Ryan would prefer a 25hp but a 2.5 hp is a good start.

Overnight a saiboat near the Rodney Bay channel entrance sunk, the mast is sticking out of the water and it is quite a site. Nobody was hurt.

We met another family from Toronto cruising with their two kids. Their boat is called Artemo.

New dingy motor, now have three boats

Testing out the new dingy motor

Sunk boat in Rodney Bay

Hanging out on Stray Kitty with the kids from sv Artemo, Alex and Amelia

We met yet another kid boat sv Charlotte with Peter and Kirsten and their 6 year old son Alden on board. Ryan was very happy to meet another boy his age. They came over for dinner.

At the same time Sean, Carolyn and Julia, our neighbours from Ottawa met us at the marina. They will be staying with us for ten days. The kids were so excited to see everyone especially their excellent buddy Julia!!! Sean and Carolyn are experienced cruisers, they circumnavigated on their sailboat sv Spallspeen 10 years ago and have helped us immensely in our preparations to go on our own cruise!

Pet & Alden from sv Charlotte and Julia!

Catching up with old friends.

Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

St. Lucia Yacht Club

TallShip Unicorn is a historic steel hull, topsail schooner whose story begins in the midst of WWII. Read more about her unique and fascinating history Here!

Reduit Beach overlooks Rodney Bay in the southwestern outskirts of Gros Islet, in the northern half of St. Lucia.

We are so lucky, anytime people come to visit, they come bringing copious amounts of gifts!!

Sean and Carolyn

While in Rodney Bay, we hiked up Fort Rodney. The climb to the top is well rewarded by the views. The fort has been partly restored. Built in 1778, Fort Rodney offered a strategic view of the western approach, and all of Rodney Bay.

Pigeon Island

Remains of Fort Rodney

Beautiful views

Made it to the top

A funny thing happened , Sean overheard a man with an Irish accent in Jambe du Bois, he turned and recognized the man – it was a fellow that Sean and Carolyn cruised with when they were cruising many years ago. Jimmy was anchored right next to us, so he came over and they had a reunion. He is still cruising!!! What a small world it is.

Jim Peterson, imagine running into each other in the anchorage!

March 17, 2009 - Rodney Bay to Marigot Bay, St. Lucia - 11.54nm

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Green pancakes for breakfast are the order of the day. We motored by Castries, the capital of St. Lucia there were four large cruise ships in the harbour so we decided to skip it and keep going on to Marigot Bay. We sailed off of our anchor and headed towards Margiot Bay, a lovely sheltered bay. The bay was the setting for the 1967 musical Doctor Doolittle, I'm sure it looks much different today.

Margiot Bay is so well tucked away that a British admiral is reputed to have hidden his fleet here, disguising the masts by tying coconut fronds in the rigging. The pursuing French sailed right by.

Too many cruise ships

Happy St. Patricks Day

Happy St. Patricks Day

Happy St. Patricks Day

On our way into shore, Ryan dropped his whole wallet overboard from the dingy!! The poor little guy was so distraught but he was also very fortunate because about 15 minutes later we happened to see a diver in full gear walking down the dock. We asked him if he could go and look for it as we were able to point out where it went overboard. We waited on the dock with baited breath as we watched his dive flag moving slowly around the murky water. A few minutes later he came up to the surface holding the wallet!!!! It dried out fine and is no worse for wear!. Oh the trials and tribulations of living on a boat!!

Diver looking for the wallet

Waiting on the dock

He found it!

Margiot Bay from viewpoint

March 18, 2009 - Margiot Bay to Anse de Cochon then Anse de Canaries - 5nm

We stopped in Anse de Cochon for some snorkelling. A few boat boys helped us on to a mooring ball even though between Sean and myself we really didn't need any help. The boat boys here are quite unscrupoulous. They tried to trick us into paying them twice. They both insisted that the ball we were tied to was theirs. I refused the second one and pointed to the boy on the surfboard who had my $10. He finally went away and we were left to the amazing snorkelling that is here. We continued on down the coast to Anse de Canaries, we spotted one mooring ball so we grabbed it, high cliffs surrounded us and it felt so peacful and quiet we decided to stay here for the night.

The next day we decided to check out the town of Canaries. It is a small fishing village and it is nestled along the West Coast road, between Anse La Raye and Soufriere . We beached the dingy with the help of some local fishermen. We walked around town, visited the great Brian's Bakery, we wanted to do a hike up to a waterfall that was described in our guidebook however we kept meeting locals that suggested to us that we need to take a local guide with us, being that it was late in the day we didn't think we would make it anyways so we turned around.

We instead stopped at a restaurant for drinks and met some locals who were very friendly. They like Canadians in St. Lucia because we helped build a high school or university here a long time ago.

Snorkelling -Anse de Cochon

Snorkelling -Anse de Cochon

Boat boy



Brian's Bakery, Canaries



Later that day while we were back on the boat, a lot of boat boys were paddling by going from their job in Anse de Cochon to their home in Anse de Canaries. Chris decided that he was fed up with boat boys coming up to the boat so he was going to turn the tables and swim out to them!! It was very comical, they surely didn't expect that! We had a nice chat, and a bunch of them actually apologized to us for what happened in Anse de Cochon with the mooring ball. They offered to come pick us up later and take us into see thier village (not quite sure about the logistics of that one!), they were all very proud of their island and their village. They offered to find some conch for us and we gave them some beer.

swimming out to the boat boy

Relaxation time

March 20, 2009 Anse de Canaries to Soufriere, St. Lucia 4.2 nm

We motored the short distance to Soufriere, on our way we were stopped by a fishing boat which we had seen earlier that morning. They had fresh lobster so we bought five for dinner that night.

Soufriere is a small picturesque town set amid a scenic wonderland dominated by the towering twin Pitons.

Bringing over the lobsters

The Pitons

Impressive tall ship


Fresh lobster dinner

We stopped at a mooring ball and Chris took the kids to see the bat cave. The mooring ball was actually reserved so we moved over to the other side of the harbour. We hired a taxi to tour us around for a few hours, we went to the "drive-in volcano". These sulphur springs are pocked with pools of boiling mud and steaming vents. Visitors used to walk up close to the vents and peer directly into the mud ponds until a local guide stepped through the soft earth and plunged waist deep into the boiling mud. He lived to tell the story, but everything is now viewed from the safety of overlooks which was fine for us, we didn't mind. Next we headed to the Pitons waterfall at Malgretout., and the very cold Toraille Waterfall and Botanical Gardens in which we were able to go for a refreshing dip in the pool at the bottom.

Everyone hop in!

Drive through volcano


View of Soufriere

Botanical Gardens

Toraille Waterfall

Pitons Waterfall and Sulfur springs

March 22, 2009

Our friends on sv Artemo called us in the morning to tell us that their was a mooring ball free between the 2 pitons where they were moored. So we went over right away. The pitons are spectacular, you just can't help staring at them all the time. The Pitons are two volcanic plugs that in 2004 was declared a World Heritage Site. The Gros Piton is 771 m, and the Petit Piton is 743 m high; they are linked by the Piton Mitan ridge. We loved it here. And best of all was that The Jalousie Hilton Resort is on the beach and we were able to use their pool which the kids loved. This was a huge fringe benefit as normally we would not be staying at such a fancy resort like this one. The snorkelling off the beach was probably the best that I have seen yet, we saw turtles, spotted moray eels, trumpet fish, peacock flounders, a school of squid, stoplight parrotfishes, corals and sponges, to name a few. You couldn't have dreamed up a better location and environment. This place is so great that the named their local beer after it - Piton!

Magnificent Pitons

The Pitons in the distance

Gros Piton

March 23, 2009 Soufriere to Vieux Fort, St. Lucia-13.57nm

We dragged ourselves away as it was time to get Sean, Carolyn and Julia to the airport. We proceeded further South down the coast to Vieux Fort, which is a fishing village and not the least bit touristy. The people here are so friendly and nice. The airport is close by the harbour.

Another sad good-bye!

Trying to get some work done @ The Reef Restaurant

Beach by the airport

Vieux Fort -goat wandering down the road

March 25, 2009 Vieux Fort to Soufriere, St. Lucia 11.53nm

Yesterday we picked up another neighbour and friend from Ottawa, Shelly at the airport and headed back to the Pitons, we were looking forward to showing her this magnificent area. There were no mooring balls left so we decided to anchor in about 60 ft of water right in front of the beach, we had to use our rode as all the chain was let out. Because it is in the Marine Park if there is a mooring ball available you must take one so in the morning we had to move. We hadn't used our rode since last summer and since it had become very wet and old. It would not come up on the gypsy, it just kept getting stuck or it wouldn't turn around to bring the anchor up. I guess with 150 feet of chain under it, the strain was too much. Finally after both Chris and I yarding on the rode and Shelly working the windlass remote and Andrea pulling on the rode around the gypsy, we got the chain around, then it was a piece of cake. We have since replaced the rode with a newer one!

Shelly and the girls

Jalousie Hilton Resort, St. Lucia

Jalousie Hilton Resort, St. Lucia

Jalousie Hilton Resort, St. Lucia

March 27, 2009

We moved over to Soufriere and finally met up with our friends on Geru!! They left Ottawa a year before us and we have been trying to meet up with them for several months. A mooring ball became free right next to them so we moved over and had a great reunion.

We went back to the "drive-in volcano" this time stopping at the hot springs at the bottom and also seeing the museum at the top. We took a hike out to Toraille Waterfall, that cold water feels great after a long hot walk in the St. Lucian sun.

Hot Springs

Nourishing mud at the hot springs

A natural UNESCO World Heritage Site

Drive through volcano

Geru and Stray Kitty in the Soufriere anchorage

View of Soufriere, St. Lucia

Sourfriere, St. Lucia

Geoff and Ruth from the aptly named sv Geru

Shelley motoring over to the caves

Checking out the bat cave

Toraille Waterfall

Toraille Waterfall-lie underneath to cool off

March 29, 2009 -- Soufriere to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia - 20 nm

Stopped at Anse de Cochon to snorkel but jellyfish are everywhere, yuck!

Happy 40th Birthday to me! Chris made me a nice breakfast, then he took Shelly to the marina so she could catch a cab to the airport. We went in to the marina to check email and met another boat Metani with a 9 year old girl Nikki on board . The kids swam at the pool and played all afternoon along with the kids from Artemo. One thing led to another and somehow we ended up going to Pizza Pizza for dinner. This is a local establishment that is geared towards children where you sit outside where there are trampolines, swing sets, play structures for the kids. It was dark when we got back into the dingy for the long ride back to the boat. Cari fell asleep in the dingy. Chris carried her into the boat. I was left with the backpack. I put it on it was very heavy. I went to step out of the dingy and lost my footing. I fell into the water!!! I was still holding on to the arch so I yelled for Chris. He didn’t hear me, luckily Ryan heard me. I was trying to hold myself out of the water as the back pack had our laptop and hard drive, all our documents with passports, ships papers, our left over pizza, our wallets, Chris finally came and plucked me out. Well at least it was a memorable 40th birthday.

Sailing to Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

Snorkelling in Anse de Cochon

Jambe Du Bois

St. Lucia

St. Lucia

St. Lucia

St. Lucia