The Dave Russell sailing extravaganza 2018 started in the beautiful northern part of Saint Lucia.
After a relaxing day and 2 nights at the Rodney Bay Gardens Beach Resort it was onto the catamaran for our southern adventure.
But first a bit about Saint Lucia.
There was no European presence until its settlement in the 1550s by the notorious buccaneer Francois le Clerc, a.k.a. Jambe de Bois, or Wooden Leg. Peg-Leg le Clerc set up a fine little base on Pigeon Island, from whence he issued forth to prey upon unwitting and treasure-laden Spanish galleons. Around 1600, the Dutch arrived, establishing a fortified base at Vieux Fort.
The first attempt at colonization occurred just a few years later, in 1605. An unfortunate party of English colonists, headed to Guyana on the ship Olive Branch, landed on St. Lucia after having been blown off course. 67 colonists waded ashore, where they purchased land and huts from the Caribs. After a month, the party had been reduced to only nineteen, and those were soon forced to flee from the Caribs in a canoe.
By mid-century the French had arrived. The British were not happy and Anglo-French rivalry for the island continued for more than a century and a half. The island’s first settlements and towns were all French, beginning with Soufriere in 1746. By 1780, the British launched their first invasion effort at the “Battle of Cul de Sac.” By 1814, the island was finally theirs.
The country became independent within the British Commonwealth in 1979. the economy seems to be primarily tourism, and then thins like offshore banking, banana exports and coconut oil.
They won Gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games Womens High Jump. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levern_Spencer
SAINT LUCIA SAILING
Day 1, we sailed from Rodney Bay having spent the night on the boat, leaving around 11am. Our destination was Soufriere and moored in the stunning Anse des Pitons. the sailing was around 17nm arriving around 2.30. Mooring ball was our option.
Anse des Pitons is a town with excellent land based accommodation if you were island hopping. Hotel and self contained villas. A great option or addition to staying in Rodney Bay.
ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
The first Europeans to occupy St. Vincent were the French. However, following a series of wars and peace treaties, the islands were eventually ceded to the British. The French settlers cultivated coffee, tobacco, indigo, corn, and sugar on plantations worked by African slaves.
Like the French before them, the British also used African slaves to work plantations of sugar, coffee, indigo, tobacco, cotton and cocoa. When the British abolished slavery around 1840 the plantations went into decline and depressed world sugar prices kept the economy stagnant until the turn of the 20th century.
A crown government was installed in 1877, a Legislative Council created in 1925. Independence was gained in 1979.
Sailed from Anse des Pitons on St lucia to Keartons/Indian Gallows on St Vincent and took a mooring ball. We enter a new country and customs processes are required which were done the next day in Bequia. Sail length was approx 36nm and moored about 60% down the west coast.
Rain squalls and a pod of spinning dolphins added some extra interest at end of the day. Beautiful tourquise bow and stern mooring spot. Locals on hand to help. Dinner on land at Rockside Cafe with Rosie the German owner of 16 years. Great dinner and cheescake to finish.
Day 3 and 4
A short sail of 16nm from Keartons to Admiralty Bay Bequia. Mooring ball. A pass by cruise by an old concrete settlement set in side of the hills of Bequia is an interesting aspect from the 60’s. Attempted utopia that failed. A beautiful bay with many restaurants and bars. Lunch at Jacks Bar on beautiful swimming beach at end of Princess Margaret beach walk.
Good cafe and cake for coffee at GingerBread Cafe. Dinner at Max Pizza with Jazz. Great pizza and night.
Next day toured by taxi to the local turtle sanctuary and conservation guy. This fellow has been committed to this project for about 30 yrs and released about 800 turtles around the islands. No government backing so hopefully will continue when he cant do it any more. Turtles get released to all the islands nearby. Lunch at Lower beach which is accesable by dinghy or taxi.
Sailed about 26nm from Bequia to Tobago Cays. Spent afternoon snorkelling and exploring the island where turtle sanctuary is. Saw one lizard on the island but no turtles in the water. Dinner on board boat in a very pretty location. Wind is constant here as there are no island protecting boats. This mooring is a must do for at least one night when down here. kite surfers also add to the attraction in this spot.Mooring ball.
A short 4nm motor from Tobago Cays across to Saltwhistle Bay on Mayreux. Lovely protected bay with hotel style accommodation and great spot for lunch and drinking by the beach under the palm trees. Great spot for at least one night and maybe 2. Dinner on the beach with bbq fish.
Another short motor to Clifton on Union island to do the immigration check out of St Vincent and the Grenadines, some shopping and then motored to Chatham Bay and took our first anchoring on Union Island. Beautiful bay and had impressive lobster dinner.
Sailed south to Carriacou which is the northern island and part of Grenada. Stopped at Sandy Island which is directly off L’Esterre Bay for snorkel and lunch. Beautiful spot to stop. The sail there was approximately 20nm and then another 4 nm to Tyrell Bay. Motored around the corner to Tyrell Bay which is where customs for Grenada is required. An average location but necessary to enter the country! Spent the night on mooring ball.
Day 9 (and final)
Approx 35nm sail day which was a real good final sail day. Left Tyrell Bay around 8.30. Arrived Molinierre Point around 12.30 tied to mooring ball and snorkelled around a whole lot of statues that have placed underwater, some on the sea bed, many standing straight and one woman sitting on a park bench. Very unique and worth a look. Then short motor to St Georges and anchored just sth of the harbour. Final dinner and then a couple of lazy days at Radisson in Grand Anse Grenada.