19th to 23rd June 2010

13° 51.4' N; 61° 03.9' W

Soufriere, St Lucia, British West Indies

    To the Batcaves!        

Soufriere: Moses paddles around the rain soaked bay covered in weed & peddling calabash lamps

Rodney Bay

Dropped anchor in Rodney Bay around tea time after a fast and fun trip across from Marin, averaging 8 knots with the wind on the beam. We had big, rolling Atlantic swells but with one reef in the mainsail IBIS romped the 28 miles!

St Lucia is another hilly, lush island, but with lushness comes rain and we seemed to hit payload just as we arrived, and for the whole time we were there!

Met up with Colin Thomas, an RYA friend from Straits Sailing in Gibraltar who is now running "Summer Breeze", his 45' Jeanneau, out of St Lucia on charters and milebuilding trips similar to me. Colin’s got bucketloads of experience in the Caribbean and knows most places pretty well so he’s a great source of info and good fun to boot. We went out for a few drinks at a local bar and then on to the Indian for one of the best meals I’ve had in the Caribbean at Razmataz, although all of us were soaked to the skin by the time we’d walked there. This area of St Lucia around Rodney Bay is pretty touristy & cultivated with lots of beachfront hotels, expensive restaurants and snazzy marinas.


Gregory, a well known face in Rodney Bay; he used to have a small cabin on his boat but it was top heavy & got turned over in the waves a couple of times so he gave it up!

Soufriere; the big tropical rain followed us in St Lucia, sooo dramatic!

We were treated to fresh fruit delivery at the boat from Gregory, one of the boat boys. I did ok with a nice ripe pineapple and some bananas, but less well on a rock hard papaya and avocado; Iain got stung US$25 for a beaten up conch shell with black mastic bogies attached to it, filling up the holes where they’d chased out the conch! Its saving grace was that you could blow it like a trumpet…very Pirates of the Caribbean!

Colin had some guests arriving so we chilled for a couple of days in case he needed a place to sleep, and we had a fun barbeque with Mark, Sue and their friends when they arrived.


We left Rodney Bay for the next place around lunchtime and picked up a bouy at the Batcaves anchorage in Soufriere, at the foot of two pointy mountains, world famous as the Pitons. Once again, the boat boys were out in force and came thundering up to us in their wooden speedboats about a mile before we actually reached the bay! I have to say I’m finding it all a bit annoying now and really wish I could be left to my own devices to choose where I want to put my boat for the night.

Woodcarving: Antigua vs. St Lucia

The Pitons; as seen from the Ladera Honeymoon Resort

After “helping” you to pick up a bouy they expect a reward – normally at least USD $10 and invariably try and talk you into tours inland or other goods that they have for sale. Iain had been disappointed that he hadn’t bought a beautifully carved wooden fish when he saw it in Antigua and decided now was his chance when the boat boys pulled some questionable ones from the bilge.

He paid an extortionate amount of money for carvings of a fish, a parrot and something which resembled a turtle but could have quite easily been a beetle or a snail, obviously done by the local special needs school or geriatric day centre.

Happy to be out of Rodney Bay, and a bit closer to nature, our anchorage at the Batcaves promised good snorkelling and bats flying around at sundown. I don't think there was much flying around in the rain that came down through the mountains for us, but Iain quite wisely took advantage of the fresh cool water.


A little too much soap, perhaps? A rain shower at the Batcaves

The Pitons, St Lucia

I was tempted to have a good meal out at one of the hotel restaurants up amidst the Pitons, but we decided a drink would do and we'd have a local meal in the town after.

The honeymooners hotel at the top of the mountain was in a stunning location, although we were unlucky with a rainy night and no real sunset. However we were luck in that it was the Manager’s cocktail party night and we could have free rum cocktails....BONUS! ‘Boom Boom’ the manager came round and introduced himself and gave us a tip for a bar on Mustique....shame we're not going there... I think Iain and I were the only ones there NOT on honeymoon.

Soufriere itself is another great local/traditional town with a lot of atmosphere and very little obvious tourism, despite its attracion as a honeymooners' paradise.

After a couple of Pina Coladas we headed back down the hill and found a little place to have a local dinner - we were the only diners there despite the hotel being packed out....?? It was a great restaurant, too; very reasonable if a bit short on choice, but everywhere in town was empty.

We wandered back through the town in search of a nightcap and came across a lively little local bar where the Dirty Dancing Club was in full swing; great atmosphere and I got some fantastic video!

Managed to avoid getting dragged up to dance, although the other white couple in the bar (on honeymoon) weren't so lucky!

St Lucia dolly

Soufriere; a local restaurant

Dirty dancing, St Lucia stylie


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