Pos: N14deg43.9min/ W061deg10.8min. After a lovely sail from Grand Anse, we anchored in 43’, then re-anchored in 15’, finally finding the shallow shelf that fronts the bay. There are lots of boats here, and everyone spins around on anchor, so maneuvering room is necessary. Mount Pelee is in the distance, and the vista is lovely. We had a pizza night, with Ty getting creative in the galley, and plan to explore the small town of St. Pierre in the morning. Pic: Arriving to the anchorage with Mount Pelee in the background. It destroyed the city and killed over 30,000 people when it blew in 1902.
Pos: N14deg30.2min/ W061deg05.3min. This past evening had a charter boat with a loud and obnoxious group raising an unholy racket until the early morning hours. Horrible. We raised anchor early and went to mooring #43, which turned out to be a really good move. Not only was it a lot quieter, but we didn’t have nearly the roll that the boats who had anchored or took moorings on the north side of the bay had. The snorkeling was good, and Ty’s taken a lot of underwater pictures. We found reliable internet at a small bar/restaurant on the north side of the road next to the fish market (can’t remember the name).
Pos: N14deg25.7min / W061deg53.4min. We enjoyed a lovely crossing back to Martinique in 18-23 knot winds, entering Ste. Anne without tacking, and checked in at Snack Boubou, getting more accustomed to the French keyboard in the process. Of course, having Hanne here to translate and help out is a huge plus. In the evening, with clear sky overhead, we viewed the International Space Station streaking overhead (at about a 45 degree angle)- how cool is that?! Pic: Hanne is a natural. She and Ty got their share of the helm on a good days run.
Pos: N13deg58.0min / W061deg01.7min. We sailed south nine miles to Marigot Bay, a popular tourist and cruising destination. Anchoring on the north side of the channel, we were impressed by a couple of the megayachts entering the small lagoon. After checking out with Officialdom, we enjoyed happy hour and dinner at the Chateau Mygo, one of the many waterfront bar/restaurants that surround the lagoon.
Pos: N13deg58.0min / W061deg01.7min. It's been an active week. Our eldest son Tyson and his GF Hanne arrived Friday afternoon on the ferry from Fort de France, Martinique, after flying in from Antwerp, Belgium. It's so good to see them! In the morning, the new Lifeline batteries arrived, so the maneuvers went something like this: disconnect all the wires from the battery terminals, get the new batteries to dockside (after clearing Customs here in Rodney Bay), lift the old batteries out of the boat by the main halyard, lift the new batteries into the boat by halyard, connect everything back together; change the settings on the Outback solar charge controller as well as the Balmar regulator, test everything out...then shower and the walk down the dock to meet the ferry and welcome Ty and Hanne! A busy day! Wait...it's wasn't over...in the evening we all went to the Gros Islet Jump Up. This is a weekly street party which takes place every Friday in the town of Gros Islet nearby the marina complex; incredibly over the top, loud music, lots of choices of wonderful street food, and dancing in the streets by tons of apparently inebriated tourists and locals. Good fun, at least one time... Saturday morning we departed the marina, and Hanne got instructional lessons on how to run the dinghy, as well as an introduction into snorkeling. Sunday found us hiking Fort Rodney to Signal Point; then more snorkeling in the afternoon. Sue's experimenting mixing rum with various fruit juices for the best rum punch; someone's got to be the guinea pig. This morning, we had a delightful sail from Rodney Bay to here. Ty scraped the barnacles off the prop, and we'll go exploring the area later this afternoon. All's well aboard.
Well, Ian Cowan of Island Water World here in Rodney Bay Marina was kind enough to email his source in Florida, who then used her Raritan sources to find out the cost of a new cylinder pump housing; not an easy piece to find. Suffice to say, the price was high enough to justify chucking that whole idea and buying a new Jabsco Model 29090-3000 Manual Compact toilet, which has now been installed aboard. This morning I finished stripping out most all the usable parts from the old Raritan, and now have quite a collection of new and used spare parts for the Raritan PHII, which eventually will be sold to some lucky cruiser at greatly reduced prices. Sheesh, you should check the catalog prices for most of these parts...crazy high. The Raritan bowl and cracked housing got placed in the proper recycling area here at the marina; Rodney Bay Marina has one of the few recycling areas in the entire Caribbean. At any rate, every day finds that various other small projects have been completed. We also ordered two Lifeline AGM 8D batteries to be shipped from DC Batteries in Miami to here; note: an agent is required for Customs clearance as well. Unfortunately, shipping via Tropical Shipping from Miami to St Lucia will be on next week's palate, so we'll be hanging around Rodney Bay until their arrival the 18th, then pull back into the marina for another 1-2 days for pick-up and installation. Sue just reminded me to mention that we had a lesson on how to play the steel drums yesterday. We took a short walk to the nearby reknown Gros Islet Pantime Steel Orchestra school, where the instructor patiently tapped out rhythms to a few yachties and visitors who tried to keep up. Fun and games in paradise.
For you eagle-eyed followers of this tome, yes...we've back-tracked. We had a delightful sail from Petite Anse D'Arlet direct to Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia to sort out our batteries. In a nutshell, they're toast. We had hoped to nurse them along until we reached Saint Maarten, but waking up this last week to a house voltage of 10.3-10.5V just didn't allow that; and that with the freezer & refrigerator turned off! These present batteries were purchased only four years ago (almost to the day) in Opua, New Zealand, and are Toyama Hybrid AGM-Gel batteries, size 8D. We had certainly hoped to get a longer lifespan, so are quite disappointed in the reality. Caveat emptor. Obtaining high quality 8D AGM batteries in Martinique proved an insurmountable problem; easier to arrange everything here in St. Lucia and sail the short hop to get them. In addition, in the last week, the pump housing of our 7 year old Raritan PHII Compact toilet developed several tiny cracks along its base. Never any good to have a leaky toilet; the housing will have to be ordered and replaced here as well. Along with a few other minor annoyances that need attention, we'll stay around here until everything is top notch again. Pic: Approaching St. Lucia; Rodney Bay is just around Pigeon Point off the port bow.