3. Saint Lucia 2016
Saint Lucia was first taken from the natives by the French in 1660. The English then took the island and the French took it back, seven times each, until it became a British colony in 1814 and finally an independent state in 1979. Official language is English, they have left hand driving and the name comes from Lucy of Syracuse (a city on the Italian island of Sicily in the Mediterranean, see:
Log book from 1995).
First stop on Saint Lucia was Rodney Bay, just south of Pigeon Island which was joined with the mainland of Saint Lucia in 1972, by dumping the soil that was excavated to give place for Rodney Bay Marina. We stayed for two days in the marina to fill our supplies and then anchored outside in Rodney Bay to explore Pigeon Island.
Rodney bay is named after Admiral George Rodney who took Pigeon Island from the natives in 1778 and built a small fort on the top to the west.
Every day the local fruit salesman came by in his "boat".
For the first time we saw a man on a water jetpack here in Rodney Bay. An increasingly popular toy, connected to a water scooter by a long hose.
From Rodney Bay we continued south to Soufriere, a small town known for its two conspicuous volcanic spires (Sv:spetsiga bergstoppar) called the Pitons and its beautiful botanical garden.
For the first time, we were now approached by boys who wanted us to rent their moorings. Unemployment among the young is a problem on many of the relatively poor and undeveloped islands of the Caribbean. Young boys with nothing to do spend their time trying to earn a few dollars from the sailors by offering them a buoy for mooring or other services.
Local boats are usually very colourful. Citations from the bible are sometimes used as boat name.
Some boats are more popular than others.
As you approach the anchorage in Soufriere you will notice a long vertical crevice in the mountain side. It is marked on the chart as the "Bat Cave". We took our dinghy there next day to see what was inside and found it full of big bats.
Soufriere has a beautiful tropical garden with many many species that we had never seen before.
It seems that many things in a tropical forest are bigger than what we are used to. Trees, flowers, fruits etc.
The tropical forest is home to the Cocoa and Coffee plants.
It is also home for many animals that we have never seen before. This anthill (Sv:myrstack) is made by tree termites (possibly Nasutitermes Corniger).
The Hummingbird (Sv:kolibri) is another animal that lives here. Very small, with beautiful colours.
Nature is overwhelming. Everything seems to grow faster and bigger, with more colours and smells. There is even a golden waterfall, painted by the minerals in the water coming from the volcano.
Unfortunately, unemployment specially by the young, is a problem on Saint Lucia and criminality is high. 22 murders per 100.000 capita in 2012, among the highest in the world, 20 times as much as Sweden. A week after we left Saint Lucia, a German sailor was killed on his boat, anchored close to Soufriere, when local "fishermen" boarded it.
End of Saint Lucia 2016