Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wednesday 21st March

The Pitons, Soufriere
St. Lucia

13 49.168 N
61 04.056 W

At 08.00 hrs Gerry headed off into immigration to clear us out and buy a few grocery items that I needed. Meanwhile I loaded the blog, did the dishes, made the bed and tied down everything that moves when we are in transit. Once he returned to the boat we stowed the dinghy on the davits and prepared to leave for Soufriere. We hauled in the anchor and motored out of the inner harbour through the narrow channel into the outer bay. Once we had cleared the boats that were anchored in the outer bay we turned into wind and raised our main sail, with the first reef in place. Turing back onto our course we then pulled out the jib, again reefed as we were expecting a fair blow all the way to Soufriere. We turned off the motor and sailed down the coastline towards our destination. It was a pretty quick transit and a thoroughly enjoyable sail. At one point we were “dirty winded by 2 other boats but at the end of the day we arrived in Soufriere before both of them. As we approached Soufriere we were hounded by a couple of boat boys who wanted to help us tie up, we told them we were probably not going to stay. Dale and Lorie motored into the bay to check out moorings at the popular snorkeling spot just inside the harbour entrance, they discovered that there weren’t 2 mooring available so we made an instant decision to continue on to The Pitons and secure a mooring there with the possibility of dinking to the snorkeling spot. The Pitons are twin peaks with a small bay dividing them; it is a very picturesque place with some fabulous buildings on the hillside of the bay. Flanked by the 2 peaks the bay has a number of mooring balls which are looked after by the parks and conservation organization, there is of course a fee for the use of the mooring balls. The extra mile to the Pitons was worth while as we arrived to find plenty of free moorings and a boat boy eager to help us tie up to one. Dale and Lorie tied up first and then we tied up behind them with the help of the boat boy – he’s onto a good thing as he charges $5 to help and it takes about 3 minutes! He offered to take us on tours of the island and we had to tell him that we had done it all the day before; he did manage to get me some bananas, mangoes and tomatoes delivered to the boat, and not too expensive. It was a little rolly in the bay but considering the wind outside we didn’t think it was too bad. By the time we had tied up we decided that it was too windy to dink around and snorkel so we made some water and read the guides for the area. Gerry found an advert for a place called The Bang – a restaurant that had entertainment every Wednesday night. As it was Wednesday we decided to investigate, Gerry took the dink into the dock to make enquiries, it took 2 trips in the end but he booked the 4 of us in for dinner and the show. Meanwhile MT Nest had finally got their water maker problem sorted out and radioed to say they would be joining us in The Pitons mooring field if there was a mooring available. Dale and Gerry scouted one out and sat on the mooring in the dinks until MT Nest arrived and tied up. Mike and Terri didn’t want to go ashore as they were tired so it ended up with just Dale, Lorie, Gerry and I dinking in to The Bang for dinner. The place is called The Bang as it smack bang in between the 2 peaks which make up The Pitons. The Bang, originally built and owned by Lord Glenconner was opened in 1995 by his friend, Princess Margaret with a huge party which apparently made the place famous. The party tradition on Wednesday nights continues and we enjoyed a set meal followed by an evening of entertainment which comprised of acrobats, fire eating, limbo, dancing and music. The fire eaters got the audience to participate by pulling people onto the show floor and getting them to run burning torches over them. I was about the 20th person to be pulled onto the floor and I had to run the torch over the fire eater’s almost bald head, up his arm and along the sole of one foot. Once we had tried our best to burn the fire eaters all the audience participants were made to join a conga line and dance around the place, pulling almost everyone else into the conga line as we went. I was directly behind the fire eater that was leading the conga line and suddenly a limbo pole appeared and we were expected to limbo beneath it – to say the least it was quite a laugh. I did it once, with assistance and then bolted to our table to grab the camera and record Dale, Lorie and Gerry limboing (is that a word?). It was an evening that we wouldn’t have missed for anything, we all had a great time and eventually made our way back to our boats in the dink, as it wasn’t a very bright moonlit night the peaks cast vast shadows over the bay – it was a good job we had our anchor lights on or we may never have found the boat in the dark. I stunk of Kerosene at the end of the night but it was worth it, it made a very nice change to see some live entertainment.
Photo of Gerry limboing from camera of Gypsy Palace



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