Wednesday June 26th, 2002
Our First Friends!
As if you haven't noticed by now, we've
found not much goes unnoticed in an anchorage, and it seems
to propagate some degree of voyeurism in even the best of
us. With so many people coming in and out of each other's
living space, it doesn't seem too surprising to me really.
So on this particular morning, Curt had been checking out
a young British couple a few boats away. Breakfast conversation
focused on trying to figure out how old we thought they might
be and if they were a charter boat- since they didn't have
any of the usual "cruising gear" on board such as
wind generators, BBQs, or even a bimini to keep the sun out
of the cockpit. Curt even proposed we go by to introduce ourselves
to say hello. We were still discussing this as Curt decided
to hop in and check on our anchor. He nearly landed in the
dinghy of the couple we had just been talking about! A guy
looking somewhere around our age, perhaps younger, greeted
us. He and his wife had noticed another boat in the anchorage
that looked about their age and he had decided to row over
and say hello. He gestured over to their boat where his wife
sat in the cockpit and said they'd seen us pull in yesterday.
It isn't often you see cruisers under the age of 45 it seems.
Ian and Mary (32 and 28 respectively) are
British and have been cruising for a year and a half, beginning
in England, finding their way to the Caribbean. They're on
their way to build a life on land in Australia, traveling
via the Panama Canal and South Pacific. It was clear Ian's
great love is sailing. They started their adventure with a
brand new "J" boat they fittingly call, Jammin'
(I later came to learn this some sort of superfast, state
of the art type sailboat). As it turns out, Ian had explained,
they had also just met another couple around our age- Aussies
that "are a really good laugh." They also are headed
to Australia- but for them, it's a return to home. He gestured
to a boat behind us, True Blue- a ketch with a navy blue hull.
Curt and Ian digressed into a myriad of
"guy talk" that I found myself only half listening
to: the types of boats we owned, how they handled, their seaworthiness,
how we've felt about the cruising life thus far. As the conversation
wound down, we discovered that all three of our boats are
headed in the same direction over the next few months
south towards Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago. With a smile and
a warm handshake, Curt thanked him for introducing himself
and we all hoped to get together for a happy hour or some
such even down the road. It goes without saying that both
Curt and I were so happy to've finally met someone- not only
our age, but seemingly some folks we might really enjoy hanging
We went off to the market and along the
way considered inviting them over for a drink or perhaps for
a trip into town (as it appeared they didn't have an engine
on their dinghy). When we returned to Force Five however,
both Jammin' and True Blue were gone.
Thursday June 27th, 2002
Boat Boys and Sailing From Rodney Bay to Marigot, Saint Lucia
Marigot is a tiny little bay hidden between
two cliffs as you move south from Rodney Bay on Saint Lucia.
It's so well hidden as a matter of fact, that a British admiral
is reputed to have hidden his fleet here, disguising the masts
by tying coconut fronds to the rigging. The pursuing French
sailed right by. As we slid into the narrow entry, we saw
both Jammin' and True Blue anchored to our immediate left.
We waved as we passed them, looking for a good spot to anchor
and ended up dropping the hook right in front of them. Marigot
Bay, I knew right away, was another spot where I would really
like to spend some time with a pad of drawing paper and pencils.
You may have even seen it in the old classic movie, Dr. Doolittle.
Mangroves surround each side, and colorful little hotels and
restaurants are nestled among the trees on shore. The water
is the trademark Caribbean blue.
No sooner had we dropped the anchor then
we had our first experience with the infamous "boat boys".
Boat boys, we heard, are sometimes helpful- sometimes badgering-
local men that offer products and services from their brightly
colored boats that come to your door. They sell everything
from fruit and vegetables, to homemade bread, to ice and t-shirts.
Some will give you island tours, other will take your trash
to shore or even run errands for you
for a fee. It's
pretty wild. Many of them have established a good name for
themselves in a particular anchorage and we later came to
find many boats that rely on the same boat boys season after
season. On the other hand, the bad apples that borderline
harass you for business sour the experience for most cruisers.
It's widely believed that the wealthy American vacationers
that charter sailboats for their annual two week vacation
exacerbate the problem immensely by throwing cash at them
just to get them to go away. What develops is a community
of locals that assume anyone on a boat is rich and has money
to offer if they hang around and hassle them long enough.
At any rate- our experience that day was a good one. The boat
boys that approached us were offering mangos and avocados
and Curt agreed to a fair price with them and we gave it a
try. They were absolutely delicious!
We had read about some interesting little
bars and restaurants and decided to see if the new boats we
had met might like to come join us. While I showered, Curt
rowed over to invite them along. An hour or so later, a dinghy
convoy of Ian and Mary from Jammin', John and Allison from
True Blue, and Curt and I from Force Five made its way to
Curt and I were launched into the company
of other people at warp speed. The evening was filled with
laughter and good cheer- all six of us trying to scream over
one another to be heard as we shared the chain of events that
led us to this particular point in time and space here in
the Caribbean. None of us wanted the night to end when the
restaurant started to clear out- so we relocated the party
to Force Five. It was great to have our boat filled with people
and frivolity as we ate and drank late into the evening. But
Curt and I had planned to move on to Bequia (pronounced, BECK-way)
at seven the next morning, so at some point the party had
to end. Our new friends agreed to meet us in Admiralty Bay
the day after
that is, unless we changed our minds about
leaving the next morning, which was now just a few hours away!
Bets were exchanged on whether or not they'd wake to find
Force Five still anchored there, or if we'd actually go sailing.
Friday June 28th, 2002
Saint Lucia to Admiralty Bay, Bequia
Ouch. 7am sure hurt that morning.
Okay- so we didn't actually up-anchor until 8:00. I was pretty
much useless the entire trip, and as far as I was concerned,
Curt earned his place in heaven that morning by making me
the best grilled cheese sandwich in history:-)