44' Luxury Catamaran Mustang Sally

Doug, Wendy and Mustang Sally cruise the Virgin Islands. Follow along on their adventures meeting funky local characters and visiting hot spots and hidden treasures with links to our favorites websites and additional interesting information.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

ST. LUCIA TO MUSTIQUE




























St. Lucia, May 26, 2008 – Mustique, June 3, 2008
After Martinique we had a great sail to St. Lucia and we were very close hulled and saw 10.2 knots. Woo Hoo!! Mustang Sally had salt water all over her when we arrived in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. St. Lucia is known for being mountainous and lush, with many beautiful white sand beaches. The large island has rainforests at the highest peaks and then gives way to agricultural land. St. Lucia is a famous for the Pitons which are sheer rock faces which seemed to have shot straight out of the ocean depths in a violent volcanic reaction. Petit Piton is 2600’ high while the Gros Piton tops her smaller sister at 2600’. We would be anchoring amongst the Pitons in a few days after we had provisioned (again!) in Rodney Bay.
We purchased lots of beer and wine and some food too!! Enuf to see us thru for awhile as St. Lucia is the last place to provision until St. Vincent, which we would be skipping due to the crime there. So we would not be provisioning again until we arrived in Grenada, a few weeks away. Lucky for me I did not have to buy much in the way fo fruits and veggies as Gregory “The Fruit Man” motored over to us in his boat of many colours, covered in colouful flags of many different nations but other than that the boat was pretty rickety and we could not believe he travels around the island in it. We both realized that Gregory was more expensive than buying at the store but this was an “experience” and part of the thrill of our adventures.
We got MS loaded up and then off we went the next morning to beautiful Marigot Bay, a short 9 nautical mile motor sail. Doug had been to Marigot Bay many years ago (something like 20 yrs) and he had told me how beautiful it had been back then and he was curious to see if it still looked the same. Marigot Bay is truly gorgeous, however, it is a Moorings charter base now and therefore this once fairly undeveloped spot is now a busy hub with “Discovery Harbour” developments which consists of high end restaurants, shops and villas which are quite nice (hey! I like to shop and eat out as much as the next gal) but ruin the natural beauty of this place. Locals certainly can’t afford to eat at the restaurants or shop at the boutiques. At least it provides employment. One after another day charter boats sail in and out of the anchorage as well, so we found it a little too busy for us to stay any more than one day. We prefer secluded anchorages but this was getting increasingly harder and harder to find the further south we went. I must say, however, that we were more than happy that evening to enjoy Happy Hour 2 for 1 drinks (wish they would bring Happy Hour back at home in Canada!). We went to a couple of different establishments and the last one we sampled “J.J.’s Love”, a very strong rum concoction. Let’s just say at the end of that drink I didn’t know who J.J. was but I sure did love him!
Next morning we were on our way to the famous Piton’s located at the southern end of the island, to anchor over nite before sailing to Bequia in The Grenadines where our friends, Meggie and Gypsy Blues, were anxiously awaiting our arrival. We could see the Pitons well before we arrived at them. They are ginormous, monolithic, awe inspiring spectacles. We took a mooring between the Pitons as there is no anchoring as the depth is too great. You can imagine if these rocks shoot straight up from the ocean floor at these heights that the water depth would not be too shallow. We soon learned, however, that there is another very important reason to take a mooring and not to anchor (that is, if you trust the mooring that you are on). The Chris Doyle guidebook said something about wind gusts and current here but they do not go into much detail. Well, a gentle breeze would be caressing MS and then out of nowhere wind gusts on the range of 40-50 knots would hit the cat tugging on her mooring and making the rig shriek. Everything that was not tied down had to be put inside before it blew off the cat. I was sure that we would break free from the mooring and be thrown on to the rocks at the base of the Pitons. In addition to these powerful blasts of wind, an opposing current would push MS on to her mooring ball. It was very worrisome but we soon realized we were safe and so began to enjoy the spectacular scenery and to some extent the wind gusts. It made for a tough nite of sleep tho as every wind gust felt as tho we were coming free of the mooring and we would get up to double check our lines occasionally thru the nite.
Early the next morning (6 a.m. eeek!) we said good bye to the beautiful Pitons and freed MS from her mooring. We kept looking back amazed at the Pitons size and I got a great shot of Lady Katherine, a fellow cat, leaving the Pitons shortly after we did. The pic shows how enormous they are and how teeny lady Katherine looks by comparison.
We pointed MS into the wind, Doug raised our huge mainsail (he is getting big muscles!), we returned MS to our course setting and let the jib out and off we went. We sailed the windward side of St. Vincent with no plans to stop there for the crime is too great. Far too many boat boarding’s, dinghy thefts and troubles on land as well. The island looked great, however, from 2 miles off shore. We had a good romp down the coast line and sailed into the islands again near the south shore of St. Vincent rounding the northern tip of Bequia. Once in the lee of the island the wind dropped to nothing. No worries, a short motor and we would be there, and we were! We arrived at 2 p.m. in the afternoon. Enough time to check in with customs, have a swim and then sundowners with our buds. As soon as we got our anchor set, Gypsy Blues called on the VHF and invited us for a Cheryl’s birthday dinner… how did beef tenderloin sound? We have great friends!
Next morning I went for an exploratory power walk….whew! It was tough. Lots of steep hills but many beautiful cottages with flowers everywhere, lots of big smiles and hellos from the locals and I detected a real laid back vibe. The British love Bequia, with good reason, and they owned many charming cottages dotted all over the island. I was happy to be here.
We headed into the famous Bequia Rasta Market that we had heard so much about. Some cruisers had told us they would not shop there as the Rasta’s were far too pushy and they felt intimidated but my good friend Kylie on Meggie said they were awesome and had the best produce going. Doug and I thot we would check it out for ourselves. Wow! What a riot of colour! I hadn’t seen this much fruit and veggies in ages. Each Rasta had his own table full of colour. And the quality was great. Huge avocados, green oranges (yes, green but they taste just like oranges at home! kewl), lots of fresh herbs, (yippee, it had been a while since I had had fresh basil), big, beautiful, red tomatoes without any blemishes, christophene (looks like a green pepper on the outside but tastes & looks like a cucumber on the inside), bananas, the sweetest pineapple we’ve ever had, etc. All of this produce is grown in St. Vincent and shipped by ferry every day. The Rasta’s were fun to deal with. Yes, a wee bit intimidating, but we bought a little from each vendor (one was named Mr. President cuz he looked like a black Abe Lincoln!) and when we caught flak for not buying from a particular vendor I promised him we would be back again and we would buy from him. I told them we were “spreading our love” around. The Rasta’s all seemed happy with that. I am sure we overpaid for our purchases but they seemed very reasonable in comparison with prices at home and it was a wonderful, fun experience.
That nite we had a little reunion party on MS that went on well into the nite and I must say I wasn’t feeling my best the next day. We went for a lovely hike with Mike and Kylie over to Industry Bay on the windward side of the island. I don’t know why they call it Industry Bay as there isn’t anything like industry there at all. Just palm trees, wind, waves and one very kewl, relaxing place to get a cold beer. We watched some local guys climb up the palm trees and cut the coconuts off and crack them open offering us all some of the tasty coconut water inside. You have to be careful with coconut water as it is a natural diuretic and we still had a long walk back! That would not be fun.
After a few more days of the idyllic lifestyle in Bequia we said good bye to Meggie who was on their way to Carriacou, which is part of Grenada but an island just north of it. We sailed along with Gypsy Blues to Mustique, home of the very rich and very private. It was a beautiful 12 mile sail where we took a mooring ball and headed in straight away to the world famous Basil’s Bar for cocktails. Mustique is truly beautiful but unfortunately for us paupers it is also very expensive so one drink at Basil’s for us and back to Gypsy Blues for dinner and drinks.
Next day we had arranged for a waiter named Ozzie from Basil’s Bar to give us a “real” island tour not one of the canned tours everyone else was getting. Ozzie drove us around the island in a “mechanical mule” which is a cross between a tractor and a golf cart and this was the de riguer way to travel on the island. We learned from Ozzie as he drove that Mustique is privately owned by “Mustique Group”, which we assumed the wealthy land owners on the island own large shares of and have all of the say in how the island looks and is managed. Any locals who live on the island have homes provided for them by the company and all of the houses are very nice. They have many staff that keep the island beautiful, free of garbage, with flowers and palm trees all well manicured. The beaches are even raked! The locals all have jobs working for the company with the exception of the fishermen but all of their catch is bought by the fancy restaurants every morning. The island locals have the very best health care provided for by the company. There is a school for the local island children who receive a wonderful education. This is a real gift to these island’s locals as many of the other islands can only afford to send their children to school until grade 6 or sometimes less. The founder of Maxim magazine, who lives on the island, donated the public library. The Mustique Company has hired the best of the best to run and operate the island, for instance they have telecommunications experts, engineering experts, security experts, etc. to keep the island running ship shape. Mustique is definitely in its own beautiful little world.
Ozzie drove us past mansions and told us how Mustique gained notoriety in the ‘50’s when the late Princess Margaret vacationed here. As he drove us past mansions Ozzie would stop the “mule” and tell us who lived there or some local gossip about the people. It was fascinating to be a voyeur but we never went on any private property. We drove past Mick Jagger’s residence, Tommy Hilfiger’s beautiful home; the founder of AOL’s huge mansion, Magic Johnson has a multi level house overlooking the ocean under construction, Lance Armstrong rides his bike on the pretty island roads, Bryan Adams has property here and so does fellow Canadian Shania Twain who rides horses at the equestrian centre. There are far too many rich and wealthy people to list. Just know this…. when Ozzie was driving us back from beautiful Macaroni Beach Tommy Hilfiger and his daughter drove past us not more than 3 feet away! How kewl is that! Apparently, according to Ozzie, Tommy’s daughter has just finished a rehab program….again. Who knew? LOL! This place is too much….wish we had some.
Next day we had plans to sail to Canaoun….tell you all about that next log. Till next time fair winds…..

1 Comments:

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