Days 60 and 61, Year 1: Loving Rodney Bay
Date: Saturday, December 17, 2005
Weather: Beautiful
Location: Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, West Indies

What a great place! We are still anchored out by Pigeon Island in Rodney Bay. Pigeon Island used to be an island and was a British fort. A causeway now connects the mountainous island to the mainland and we sit here beneath the two towering volcanic hillsides. We have met some of the live-aboards in this anchorage, have watched many sailboats come in and out of here, and have had two Windjammer cruise ships come in and out as well. When they come in, the area changes quickly, and thankfully, temporarily. The beautiful little beach in front of us is instantly transformed when these ships come in. They bring in lawn chairs and fill the beach with horizontal rows of perfectly spaced chairs. The tourists are delivered to shore and sit in the chairs for a couple of hours and are then whisked away. The chairs disappear and ships sail away. Things once again return to normal. Today we caught a bus down to the Castries to go the open market. Most sailors take the taxi which costs about $15 US, but we chose the bus as it costs only $1 US. There were no other white people, but we are getting used to being in the minority. In the Rodney Bay Marina, white and black mix in equal numbers. When we arrived in the market area in Castries, however, we were the only white people in sight. We walked to the market area, but even there we were the lone white folks. During the afternoon, we did see two other white couples. The unemployment rate here is 40 per cent and I think the locals just wait and hope that some tourists will come to visit in order to make a sale. It is going to take me awhile to get used to the bargaining techniques required for successful market shopping, but I know I will get the hang of it soon. The buses here are minivans with extra seats installed. They cram about 14 people in them and then off you go. The terrain here is hilly and the roads are narrow and windy. There is a fair amount of traffic and traveling is “interesting”. There are skinny cows on leashes in small pastures that look more like front yards, renegade chickens running here and there, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Domino’s Pizza, and Texaco stations everywhere, and JQ’s IGA grocery stores everywhere. JQ has a corner on the market and owns all the food stores. Tonight we visited with Pete and Patti who live on their catamaran in this anchorage. They have two children, Danny, aged 3, and Tommy, aged 2. While we were there visiting, a local man from St. Lucia came to visit with two of his four adopted children. Another woman rowed over to visit. Her name is Di and she lives on her 27 foot boat with her husband, Phil. Interesting people are everywhere. We feel very much at home here. It is comfortable and the people are friendly. And we are learning so much – about the people, the landscape, the total environment. And we are loving it.

051217 Days 60 – 61 Rodney Bay, St. Lucia–Life in Rodney Bay