Rodney Bay & Gros Islet, St Lucia

We sailed out of Carriacou at first light, weaving in and out of a light rain. Still no result from our COVID tests, but if we didn’t leave before they got in, they’ll be too old to use by the time we arrive. And since Grenada has no cases, we were reasonable sure what the results would be.

After the first hour or so, the sky cleared up and we had a lovely sail. There were rainbows, and we saw a whale a few miles south of Bequia. As usual, Captain slept all day, showing great dignity.

And a little before sunset, we stopped at Young Island in St Vincent, where we were allowed to stay the night on a mooring ball. We could have made St Lucia in one leg, but why pull an all-nighter when you can sleep? Well, I say sleep – the giant catamaran next to us left super bright lights on all night. Maybe this is a theft deterrent thing? But it’s also a rude way to burn the commons.

We got up early and motored up through St Vincent’s wind shadow, watching the storm cells over the island and John Oliver over the St Vincent data plan we’d re-activated to receive our COVID test results. (They would end up taking a full six days to get to us, and St Lucia requires they be less than seven days old. So that was a nail-biter.)

We sailed across to St Lucia. We even managed to sail most of the way up the coast, taking the reefs in and out of the sail as the wind oscillated between ten and thirty knots seemingly at random. At one point it went from seven to thirty-five sustained, and Jazz dropped the main to keep us from tearing it; five minutes later it was dead calm. Captain helped us handle the lines, and we made it to Rodney Bay before sunset, averaging over six knots for the trip despite the dead spots.

(It’s a little annoying that we had to go all the way to the north side of the island, but with COVID there’s only one port of entry here; we are lucky to be able to move at all.) The check in process in the morning was fast and smooth, and we were issued blue wrist-bands to signify our “in-bubble” traveler status. We bought ourselves some local sim cards, and celebrated being in a new country with a lovely lunch at Spice of India.

For dinner, we met up with the crew of Fruit Bat, another rare couple of millennials Jazz had met on Facebook through that controversial Grenada Cruisers post. The food was average, but the company was excellent.

In the morning, the boat had a visitor. This was the most exciting thing that Captain has ever experienced.

This tired him out, and he slept it off. But he would return to patrol the bow and check for the bird for the rest of the week.

Two shopping annecdotes. First, Jazz remains stymied in her attempts to find gloves that fit her tiny hands. Second, apparently the way to get local fruits and veggies in Rodney Bay is to wait for Gregory to come around in his mobile duck blind.

As luck would have it, there were three other boats of young cruisers in Rodney Bay, vloggers who all travel together. We met up with these Floridians to tour the nearby town of Gros Islet, which started out as something of a rum shop tour and ended up being a bit of a shit show. We had fun along the way, and ended up feeding the cats at the Friday Fish Fry. Despite the occasional crazed guy shouting “kill all the whities”, at least two thirds of the locals we met were friendly and welcoming.

We may have partied a little harder than intended, and since we’re in our thirties now, that comes with consequences. Once we’d recovered, we took a morning ride over to Pigeon Island, where we were turned away for being tourists. Apparently, since our check-in, the bubble had been removed from the park’s policy, and all foreigners were to be kept separate from locals, which meant that we had the opposite set of days that we’d expected. We snapped a picture of the out-of-date sign, still posted, as we walked back to the dinghy dock.

So instead, we took a walk through Gros Isley to see the sights we’d passed by on Friday, and to get offered Molly by a meth-head-looking guy in full view of an active church.

… and we stopped back at Spice of India, the only restaurant open for Sunday lunch. Also, check out the quality dinghy dock.

This would turn out to be our last meal out in the country. Apparently, the prime minister had announced a lockdown (via his instagram page of course), with restaurants, bars, and gyms shut down, in response to a spike in the number of coronavirus cases. Apparently the numbers had started to climb just after we decided to come here; if we’d waited a week, maybe we’d have made a different decision about where to go. So, the rest of our visit would be outdoors and away from people, with occasional fly-bys for takeout. (Crabs are OK though.)

Here’s Captain getting the news about the lockdown.

We stayed in Rodney Bay long enough to make it to Pigeon Island, and enjoyed the surprisingly short walk around the ruins of the fort. Nobody else was there, so we were amused at the number of COVID-safety signs posted all over the place.

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