|Rodney Bay Marina, St. Lucia|
After another push further south, the crew of Eventyr arrived in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia the night before last night. We’re happy to be back in a lovely marina with all the amenities one could want! No more running out of water or electricity, even after strict sanctions. Both Dana and Hanna can wash their hair when they please and we can all charge our electronics, which makes everyone on board happier. Another perk of being in this marina is that, as we speak, a local guy named Vision and his partner, Miss Shayna, are sanding all the teak on our boat down to the bare wood and will put on a couple coats of varnish. Eventyr will look beautiful again. The UV and salt water have really done a number in the six months we’ve been out!
After our encounter with “Pierre” the dolphin, we left our beloved Iles des Saintes for Dominica. Dominica is known for mountainous rainforests, jungle rivers, and waterfalls. We anchored in a calm, beautiful bay by the town of Portsmouth, and rented a car for an afternoon and the next morning. In that brief time, we drove up into the mountains to hike to some rainforest waterfalls. The first was called Emerald Pool, and since we got there so late in the afternoon, we had the whole pool and waterfall to ourselves. It was lovely. The next day we trekked to an even bigger waterfall, enjoying breathtaking views along the way. We even squeezed in some time to shop at the weekly Saturday morning street market in Portsmouth, where local farmers sell fresh mangoes, bananas, coconuts, etc.
|Behind the falls at Emerald Pool|
|Trail to Emerald Pool|
|Choosing produce in Portsmouth at the Saturday morning market|
Another exciting perk of Dominca was access to a relatively well-stocked marine store. After yet another debacle of our engine dying on us and me having to row while in Iles des Saintes and again in Dominica, Dana and I decided to throw in the towel and try to trade it in for a new outboard. Before we made the decision, we spent over an hour taking apart the carburetor and cleaning it out (again). It worked temporarily before starting to drip gasoline out the back. Not good. Upon repeated pulls on the starter cord (because of course it wouldn’t start), the starter cable broke in half leaving just the handle in my hand. Rowing with Dana, Hanna, and various heavy objects such as multiple gallons of water and diesel on board is good exercise, but will not cut it for the long run. Lucky for us, the marine store had a reasonably priced, brand new 5 hp 2-stroke outboard for sale. They even took a few hundred dollars off the price as a trade in for our poor, busted little friend. That’s right, we’re now three outboard engines into this trip! In case you’re wondering, the new Mercury works great. Of course it’s not perfect, as it never starts on the first pull, but we can depend on it starting eventually and getting us where we need to go every time.
As a side note, a shout out to the UConn Huskies who are cruising through the NCAA tournament! It’s been hard to follow the season being in foreign ports where cricket is the preferred sport, but I’ve been doing my best. I was able to listen to the UConn, Iowa State game on board through my computer when we had some rare Internet on the boat. Not quite like watching it on a big screen TV at a friend’s or sports bar, but it’ll do.
We left Dominica after mooring for a night further south than Portsmouth, to make our trip to Martinique a bit shorter. The sail to Martinique was amazing. We had 20 knots of wind and flew across the 26 miles of open ocean to the northern tip of Martinique going 6 knots (mph), which is really good for us. During the sail, I broke my fishing slump and landed a nice sized tuna. We hooked another big fish but it broke the metal leader securing the lure and escaped. Oh well, one fish was good enough. Hanna and I ate the freshest sushi of our lives, right off the fish while I was filleting it. We all ate well the next two days!
Martinique was a relatively quick stop as well. We spent one full day in the French city of Port du France. This was the first largish city we’ve visited in a while and it was nice to do some shopping. If only we spoke French! We anchored off a historic fort conveniently located right next to the center of the city. We had a nice dinner out as the three amigos and left the next morning feeling satiated.
Our sail to St. Lucia was unpleasant, motoring into wind and waves. Although slow, we arrived before dark and tied up to our slip. We made our latest deadline! Yesterday was spent cleaning the boat and getting ready for our friends from Philly to arrive. They'll be here later today! From what I hear, we have a whole itinerary of fun activities planned for the several days they’re here. They’re staying relatively close to our marina and hopefully we’ll be able to take them out for a sail and some fishing one of the days. The next several days should be a lot of fun!
|Not happy in rough seas but soldiering on!|