Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dana & Andrea Come to Visit! (South Martinique & St. Lucia)

Saturday, February 23 - Saturday, March 2

We were so excited to have two of our best friends, Dana and Andrea Stelk, come to visit us for a week.  Dana and Andrea arrived in Martinique on Saturday, February 23rd.  We met up with them Saturday night at the anchorage in downtown Fort De France and sailed south to Anse D'Arlet on Sunday afternoon.  We tied up to a mooring and spent the day snorkeling and exploring the town.

Anchorage in Anse D'Arlet

Andrea and Gene snorkeling around the boat.  There were some amazing reefs just off the starboard side of the boat where we saw an octopus.  Andrea and Gene found a sea turtle.

On Monday morning, we checked out at customs and set sail for St. Lucia.  The crossing was a little rough at first, especially for our guests who aren't used to being on a boat, but the seas eventually calmed down.  We arrived in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia about 3.5 hours later.  Dana and Andrea handled the crossing fantastically!  No one got sick.

Crossing to St. Lucia.  
Here we were about an hour from Rodney Bay and the seas had calmed down significantly.

We spent a couple of nights in Rodney Bay.  The goal was to find a full moon party on the island, but since the full moon was on a Monday night, there wasn't too much going on, and none of the bars were having a party.  So...we had our own party on the boat in the Rodney Bay anchorage.  We had a relaxing day on Tuesday, recovering from our awesome full moon party on the boat.  We were able to get into the Sandals resort and hang out in their beautiful pool for the day.

We headed south to Marigot Bay on Wednesday morning and snorkeled and walked around the Marigot Marina that afternoon. 

On Thursday morning, we sailed south to Soufriere where the beautiful Piton volcanoes lie.  The Soufriere area is famous for beautiful hikes, rainforest gardens, and the sulphur springs that you can actually drive to.  After tying up to a mooring with help from our buddy, Shane (one of the boat boys in Soufriere), we headed to the town for lunch and to explore the area.  We went to the Botanical Gardens and Diamond Waterfalls and Mineral baths.  Then we took a taxi to the Sulphur Springs fumerol area.  

Approaching the Soufriere area.  We picked up a mooring in between the two pitons.  The closest peak in this picture is Petit Piton and the furthest is Gros Piton.

The town of Soufriere

Dana and Andrea outside the Petit Peak restaurant in Soufriere where we had lunch.

We visited the Diamond Botanical Gardens, Minteral Baths, and Diamond Falls.

Birds of paradise

Hot Sulphur stream

Diamond Falls

Walking path through the botanical gardens

Local vegetables and fruits on display

 These were the mineral baths.  Not exactly what we expected!  We were expecting a natural hot springs, maybe with a hot waterfall that filled the natural pool.  When you turn the faucet, the hot water comes out from the sulphur spring.

A little bit of history on the mineral baths.  The baths were build in 1784 and were originally planned to be used by the French troops of King Louis the XVI.

 More flowers of the gardens...

After the Botanical Gardens, we headed over to the Sulphur Springs.  We stopped along the way to take a group picture in front of Petit Piton.

Looking out over the Sulphur Springs at the fumerols and boiling mud puddles

Hot springs

We woke up the next morning and headed to Sugar Beach to have a drink at the beautiful Jalousie Plantation resort, probably the most luxurious resort on the island.  

After hanging out at the resort, we set sail and spent the rest of the day fishing off the west coat of St. Lucia.  Dana caught a huge blackfin tuna!  That's the first fish we've caught on the boat (that wasn't barracuda) since we left Antigua!  We headed to Vieux Fort which is the southern most anchorage in St. Lucia and had tuna sashimi for dinner that night.  It was a great way to spend the last night with our friends before the left the next afternoon.

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