Days 65 and 66, Year 1: It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This
Date: Thursday, December 22, 2005
Weather: Sunny and 83 degrees F
Location: Soufriere, St. Lucia

I wrote the last log on Tuesday morning, just before leaving Rodney Bay for Soufriere. I forgot to mention in that log that we were going to do a little sailing detour on the way to Soufriere to anchor by the Vigie airport and have Justin and Heather dinghy into the terminal which is right on the beach. Justin had brought artichokes with him as a Christmas surprise, but they had quarantined them on arrival and said that he could pick them up in 24 hours. Heather and Jed had left one of their dive bags at the airport, so we were hoping we could pick up both things. We decided to sail in instead of take the taxi, and in the end, it was actually quicker by water than by land. H & J were both successful and Tuesday evening after arriving in Soufriere, we had an artichoke feast followed by dessert that Justin had also brought with him-very large chocolate covered cherries. Since artichokes and chocolate covered cherries are two of my very favorite things, I truly enjoyed the Christmas surprise.

After the airport stop, we continued on down the coast to our next stop at Anse Cochon. We grabbed one of the mooring balls there and snorkeled for about an hour, saw some incredible fish, and then headed on into Soufriere. This coast of St. Lucia is all part of a management park and you have to use the park moorings instead of anchoring. The moorings we were hoping for on the north side of the harbor were already full, so we headed over to the south side. We were greeted by couple of kids in a pirogue offering to help us with the mooring line. This is standard practice here and you basically have to accept their offer and then pay them. Some cruisers find this practice offensive, but many of the people we met in Rodney Bay explained that for the most part, the people doing this are just trying to earn an honest dollar. The guys who came to help us were on a boat named “My Toy”. Their names were Steven and Jason and they told us they would take care of our every need, for a price, of course. They were very friendly and offered to bring us ice and fresh bread in the morning. We thought that sounded like a great idea, until they brought the things the next morning and then told us the price. We haggled a bit and settled on a price that seemed reasonable to us, but realized that we should always ask about the price first. As they were leaving we saw that a couple of the moorings on the other side of the harbor were now available, so we decided to move the boat. We told Steven and Jason that we could handle the lines on our own, but we did want them to come back at 1600 to watch the boat while we all went to dinner. The park ranger had suggested that this would be a good idea, so with those details in order, we set out for a day of diving. Justin and I took a resort course while Heather and Jed did their first dive of the day, and then in the afternoon, Heather, Jed, and Justin did a dive together. We were working with a dive guide named Chester from Action Adventure Divers and he has been phenomenal. Since Justin and I have never been diving, we had to do the resort course before they would let us dive. Mark and I had taken a course, but I needed more practice with a guide. Chester was the perfect choice. He was able to work me through my fear of clearing my mask underwater and I thought no one was going to be able to do that. While we were diving, Mark stayed on the boat repairing the head sail that was damaged in our passage. He was a little disappointed in the performance of the new Sail Rite sewing machine, but in the end was successful with his repairs.

We had decided to go to a resort near here for dinner to a restaurant called Dashene. The cruising guide said it has the most incredible view in the Caribbean, so we decided we had to try it. Since we have been very few places in the Caribbean, there’s no way to know if it truly does have the best view, but the view was just breath taking. It is high on the mountain and you look out to the ocean below and the Pitons rising straight out of the ocean and up to sky. Just before leaving the boat for the evening out, we had seen a full rainbow that seemed to start in Soufriere and end at our boat. The colors were so vivid it almost looked fake. None of us had ever really seen the violet in ROY-G-BIV, but it was quite evident in this rainbow. We actually thought the restaurant view couldn’t top the rainbow, but it did. Unfortunately, we once again had forgotten to question Steven and Jason about the cost for the evening of water taxi, land taxi, and boat watching, and when we returned from an incredible evening, we once again found ourselves haggling over the cost of their services. Hopefully, we will learn how to deal with this and ask all questions up front. Once we recovered from this little ordeal, Heather and Mark had another Christmas surprise. Mark had bought the DVD’s, White Christmas and Miracle on 34th Street. He knows both Heather and I love to watch these old movies, so we ended the evening watching White Christmas. Another fantastic day.

The diving and snorkeling here is wonderful, so we decided to stay here an extra day. Today has been filled with more dives and more snorkeling, and sometime just after mid-night, we will head to St. Vincent. We will leave during the night so we can arrive early and hope to get our choice of anchorage in Wallilibou, St. Vincent. So far, we have had a wonderful time here with our children and we are hoping for more of the same in St. Vincent.. It really doesn’t get much better than this.

051222 Days 65 – 66 Soufriere, St. Lucia–Rainbows, Views, Sunsets