Last week, we finished our stay at the Rodney Bay Marina. We stayed 11 days in the marina, which is longer than we've stayed in one place since we left Philadelphia. The reason for our extended stay was eight coats of varnish on Eventyr's exterior teak. She looks better than the day we first stepped aboard. Although Dana, Hanna, and I put on four of the coats, Vision and Meshena deserve all the credit. They stripped and sanded all the woodwork down to bare teak and did the first three and final coat. They are true professionals and we really appreciate the work they did. As a side bonus, they're awesome people and we had a ton of fun hanging out with them. Vision went out of his way to show us his island of St. Lucia and made us feel like family. One day, when Dana, Hanna, and I were waiting for the minibus (public bus) to take us to the main town of Castries, Vision waved us down. He took us in his car down to Castries where he brought us to the best local juice shop, brought me to a local barber shop, and took us on a tour of the central market. He even helped us pick out a CD, Jah Cure, which we've been enjoying since.
|Meshena, Vision, Hanna, Dana, and I at Rodney Bay Marina|
Everything, however, comes to an end at some point, and we had to leave Rodney Bay to continue our journey southbound. Lucky for us, we planned to stay in a nearby bay that night, so we didn't have far to sail. Also, Vision happened to live in that town and invited us for a "Rasta dinner." We motored out of Rodney Bay, recounting the fun times we had with our friends just a few days earlier as we raised the main and turned southward. We were all in agreement that we were ready for a change of location after a great stay. No point in overstaying your welcome.
After a lovely sail on a fast beam reach through relatively calm seas, we pulled into Marigot Bay about ten miles south of Rodney bay toward the end of the day. Marigot Bay is a special place and we enjoyed one of our favorite sunsets on Eventyr in a while. The bay is a calm, mangrove-lined lagoon, with a spit of sand and palm trees blocking the open ocean. The sun sets directly behind the palm trees, making for a postcard-worthy photo op. After the sunset, we headed to Vision's house up the hill. His house is a humble two-room dwelling on stilts with a tin roof over looking the valley. His friends Michelle and Ziza were hanging out as well. We sat on the floor, drank wine, and enjoyed Vision's "one pot" stew of millet, pumpkin, and local flora and spices. It was delicious and the company was fabulous. Ziza insisted on calling me Tommy, and I was cool with it. With my boyish haircut and bright primary colored shirt, I think I fit a schoolboy name like Tommy (no offense Tommy T). Our hosts smoked copious amounts of "natural trees," and Ziza and Michelle loved chatting with Hanna and Dana about life, love, and current affairs. the night was full of laughter and toasting. Vision drove Hanna, Dana and I back down to the bay, and we rowed back to Eventyr in the perfectly calm bay. It was a night we won't soon forget.
|Vision in his home doing dishes|
|Me, Ziza, Dana, Hanna, Michelle, and Vision|
|Sailing out of Marigot Bay|
|Petit Piton on the left, Gros on the right|
|Trailhead to Petit Piton|
|Barefoot Naheem giving Hanna some suggestion|
|Are you sure this is safe?|
|Don't worry about the drop!|
|Peak! Gros Piton across the way. Our anchorage in between|
|Soufriere, St. Lucia, in the background. Long way down!|
|Enjoying the view|
|Evening cocktail at Sugar Beach between pitons|
|Sugar Beach pool with Gros Piton backdrop (before getting kicked out)|
|FaceTime in paradise|
|Boston Strong in Cumberland Bay, St. Vincent|
|Hanna, joining Trinidad's Jaguar, heading out for a practice sail|
|Jaguar preparing for the Bequia Regatta|
We will stay the next few days in Admiralty Bay, anchored off a beautiful beach, before heading further south to the rest of the Grenadines and Grenada. We are having yet more work done on Eventyr to make her look even more pristine. Why all this work done on Eventyr during the midst of our adventure? Well, I mentioned earlier that Dana and I made a major decision about the adventure. What we've decided is to end adventure in Grenada or Trinidad and sell Eventyr.
This decision has been months in the making and very heart-wrenching. Since we first told other cruisers of our route back to Philly, they were consistently concerned about our plan to pass through Venezuela to get to Aruba and Central America. We brushed it off as fear-mongering at first, but recently did some serious research. Turns out Venezuela is extremely unstable in the past few months. Several cruising sailors have been boarded, beaten and robbed miles off shore of even the most remote islands. To avoid Venezuela would mean a 500-mile open ocean journey. Dana and I are not on board for piracy or 500-mile open ocean crossings. The other option is to head back north, but that means traversing the Caribbean during hurricane season. Very few sailors take that path. Our remaining option is to spend the remainder of our time taking it easy in the last few islands of the eastern Caribbean, which are below the hurricane zone.
The spirit of the adventure has always been travel and seeing new places. Sitting in one place does not really count. So, we made the call to see the rest of what we can and head back to Philly earlier than planned. We'll put Eventyr in storage down here and then decide whether we want to sell her here, or have a delivery captain bring her back to the states where she could bring more money. We'll see.
In the meanwhile, we'll be extremely sad to see Hanna leave in the next week or so, but she has to go back to real life too. My mom will be flying in to join us as the end of the month in Grenada and Dana and I are super excited to have her aboard. We feel terrible that we're not able to meet my cousin Casey in Aruba like we planned, but I guess things happen. We also won't be able to sail to Costa Rica to visit Dana's dad, but we'll probably fly over to visit. We still have a couple months left of the adventure and plan to make the best of it. Looks like things won't be getting any less exciting any time soon!