He and his companion Jason followed us silently into the mooring field and guaranteed that we'd have to pay them to tie us to the mooring ball by picking up the mooring line themselves so that we couldn't pick it up. They also took a stern line ashore for us and as it was pretty windy during all this we weren't ungrateful for their help. They asked for 10 EC (less than $4 US) for the mooring line tie up and we gave them 5 EC more for their help with the stern line. For 50 EC more the Greg's Lady crew gave us a ride to and from town the next day too.
|Michael/Greg/Steven of Greg's Lady... a man of few words. Very few words.|
|His equally silent companion Jason... with Petit Piton in the distance.|
An entire island cannot and should not be defined by a single crime but there's no question that this random violent crime ultimately impacted our decision about where to travel here right now. I know people that love St Lucia and also people that make a point not to stop here. We're frustrated that we feel swayed by the situation but also can't deny that it's affected us. We've met warm and kind people here as we have on all the islands, but we also felt more hustled here than anywhere we've been so far. We felt this far more in Soufriere and the Pitons than in the artificial environment of Rodney Bay or the insular bay at Marigot. There were both cheerful and sullen vendors that came around to the boat, selling fruit and crafts, but there were also young children paddling out to boats aggressively begging for money and treats.
We always buy from the fruit and veggie vendors who come around and this time we bought from Ile who was selling produce from his mother's farm. She tends the stand at the market and Ile makes the rounds in the anchorage.
|Ile says hello|
|Marketplace in Soufriere|
|Sailing kids swinging in the Pitons|
|Marine rangers collect mooring fees each evening and warn boaters not to leave cash on board when they're off the boat|
I wish I'd gotten more shots of the fishing boats whizzing by.... but they came and went so quickly. They usually had a crew of five men, almost always standing with their hands clasped behind their backs. And like Michael/Greg/Steven and Jason, they were silent. There was no chatter or laughter like the fishermen on other islands, just the occasional shout or direction given when searching for fish or casting their nets. When they'd look our way we'd wave a hello and they'd quietly nod in return, without changing positions or unclasping their hands.
We snorkeled between the Pitons, the two massive peaks that rise from the sea here but declined to hike either peak this time around.
|The Pitons.... as we depart for Bequia|
The nights we spent here were rolly and pretty uncomfortable though we've had much worse nights elsewhere. We could have stayed days longer to watch the fishermen and see what fresh fruits and veggies Ile had each day, but the weather was in our favor after just a few days so we headed south to Bequia.
|Skip's photo of birds in flight... early morning departure from the Pitons|
|Yellow flag comes down after clearing in to St Vincent and the Grenadines (to which Bequia belongs)|
|St Vincent/Grenadines flag goes up|
Arriving a few days before the Bequia Music Festival gave us time to get oriented before taking in the music. It's an easy place to walk around with shops and restaurants as well as the ubiquitous produce vendors all along the street. Sadly avocado season is over.... but passion fruit season is still in full swing! Mangos are coming in soon and grapefruit, lemons and limes always seem to be in. Ditto bananas, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and more.
|Time to face the music!|
|Musicians at the festival|
|Saturday at the music festival|
|Kids getting a sugar high at the music festival|
|Music festival venue - Da Reef in Lower Bay|
|Catching up with Simon and Hilda from s/v Brisa, outside the music festival|
|The marine police (left) keep an eye on things at the end of the day at the festival. Not to worry.... everyone was well behaved.|
More from Bequia soon....