Monday, October 2, 2017

No More Ms Nice-Tourguide... Cruising In Real Life

Like when a new neighbour moves in and they proceed to play loud music pile drivers!  Yup.  That's about how the rest of our time with Robert and Kathy went!

The marina manager, Troy, asked us if we they could just move our boat over a little because they needed to bring in some machinery to set piles for a new finger pier.

Sure!  No problem!  We're leaving anyway... but then the rain began to pour... and the weather forecast called for MORE rain.  All. Day. Long.  So we literally bailed on our plans to go to the Pitons, and settled in with intermittent power outages and LOTS of noise.  It was zooey!

Amidst all this, Noel came calling... Wanna buy some banana...papaya...?
Bye Noel... see you soon!
They had 8 piles to drive into the ground...  
Progress...  We're getting out of here!
Cheapest Bushwhackers in the Caribbean!
More progress!  I think that one's crooked...
The next morning we left the marina - yeah... I know!  We actually MOVED the boat!!!!

Feeling a strong need to improve in the Tour-guide department, we set off in the rain to motor south along the coast.  Destination:  The Pitons.

Unfortunately, the decrease in rain forecast for today did not materialise...

Little paradise

We huddled beneath the bimini with the enclosure zipped up while a near-continuous rain fell upon us.  Our guests assured us that they were STILL having a good time... but I had my doubts.

Before long, the Pitons came into view in the distance...
There's another Piton to the right... Shrouded in RAIN!
As we drew near... BOTH Pitons disappeared in the deluge!
Robert is a great crewmate!

The Boys prepared our lines for mooring as we motored into the mooring field.

One Boat-Boy zoomed up to us and beckoned us to follow... then zoomed away to the other side of the anchorage, where we didn't want to be.

The slight swell coming in would be worse over there, and we wanted to be at the base of Petit Piton... so we continued on our own.

Soon a Ranger boat came up and we pointed to where we wished to moor.  He led the way... until the other guy realized that his customer had been hijacked.  We watched from a distance as they had a conversation, then the Ranger boat zoomed away toward another incoming boat...  Our original boy got us tied up and received his tip.

A small cascade of water could be seen gushing down the Piton in the rain.
We had lunch and waited out the rain... and soon it cleared up!  Bruce ferried our guests over to the base of Petit Piton for some snorkelling and then returned to the boat to install one of the parts carried to us by our visitors.

I had to sit on the deck reading a book and watching for the signal that Robert and Kathy were ready to be retrieved... Tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

The rain never returned but the skies remained ominous... Which made for the perfect setting to sit on the deck with sundowners and good friends...

We laughed over dinner that now we had no internet... we would be forced to talk to each other!  It's good to get away from the influences of the world for a while and just BE...

Gros Piton at sunset
Moonrise over St. Lucia

Night beneath the Pitons
Good morning Gros Piton!
Petit Piton in the morning sun

The sun was well up the next morning before it touched us...

Our spirits were improved and I hoped that we could salvage the last day of our friend's vacation with a visit to the Fort in Rodney Bay...

We got going early, departing the mooring field just as the sun rose high enough to clear the mountains...

Goodbye Petit Piton... Can you ever really have enough Piton Pictures?
Pitons in the rear view...
Beautiful Island Paradise
St. Lucia has so much beauty!
River outflow

Wind was on the nose today... and we began with a favourable current... until we encountered this outflow line from one of the many rivers on St. Lucia.

The boat speed plummeted for a while... but eventually we got it back...  Waters were mostly flat with a slight swell... but we were motoring along with an early start. As long as the clouds stayed away, we should have an enjoyable day.

Small rain clouds here and there... Only a few sprinkles on us!

Nearing the Vigie airport

We arrived at our anchorage near Pigeon Island and had to try twice to get the anchor to set.  There were several boats clustered around "our spot"... but most of them were leaving mid-afternoon.  We asked... because when we got the anchor to set, we were really too close to a couple of them...

But since we planned to stay overnight and wanted to be close to the dinghy dock for our final dinner out ashore... we decided to stay put and then let out more chain once they departed...  Bruce and I would once again remain aboard while Robert and Kathy snorkelled.

Bruce got ready to ferry them to the point in the dinghy... and the outboard wouldn't start.  Our guests swam off the boat to the rocks and snorkelled while Bruce worked in the hot sun to try to coax life back into the dinghy.

No luck.  Robert and Kathy returned - against a wicked current - and Robert tried all he knew about outboards... but no luck.  It was dead.  There went all of our lovely plans once again!

The crown for Tourguide of the Year was now lost to me... At this point our concerns turned to making sure we could get our guests to shore the next day to catch their flights home!  So... we abandoned our dinner plans at the cute little place on Peanut island, and pulled up the anchor to motor over to Rodney Bay Marina's mooring field.

We settled in for the evening and dressed for dinner.  We would row over to a restaurant that had a dock right on the basin...  Just as we piled into the dinghy, Malakai on his boat, Born A Winner came by and gave us a tow.  He even found us a better dock over at the Harmony Suites Hotel... He said it was no problem for us to use their dock and come and go through their hotel...  They love tourists!

We walked to the Cantina restaurant and had pizza with a nice fat kitty and mentally prepared ourselves for the end of this holiday.  I was so sorry that things kind of fell apart and the lovely itinerary I had planned just didn't happen.

Of course they assured me that they had a great time and would look forward to happy returns...  What they got was really a taste of what Cruising is really like.  Robert and Kathy are really the BEST guests with their so-easy attitude.  No worries at all with these two... AND, Robert seems to like helping Bruce with boat projects.  They actually got a couple of things done while we were NOT doing all of the lovely things I had planned for us...

We plan things, and then Cruising happens... and our plans change, and change again.  We had lots of laughs rowing ourselves back to the boat... and a comfortable night's sleep in this calm basin.  Notice:  No photos were taken after the last ones above... That's because I kept waiting for my plans to resume and worthy fun photos to present themselves...  Oh well...

In the morning, Malakai came by again to check on us... He jumped into our dinghy and proceeded to FIX IT!!!  Wow what a guy!  We padded the price of the necklace and turtles Kathy bought from him... and went on with our day!

Robert and Kathy got to their taxi... once again, in the rain!  Bruce and I settled back into our lives, sad to see them go, but ready to get on with our NEW plans to leave St. Lucia.

Yes... our plan to remain here through October was changed for us due to our Insurance Agent dropping the ball on our renewal... during the Summer of Armageddon... But that's another story... For now, suffice it to say that we will be continuing south for the remainder of this hurricane season...

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