February 17, 2010
Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
We spent two extremely busy weeks in the states getting work done so that we could come back to the islands and play for a few more months. We were excited to return to St. Lucia where the weather is warm and the pace is slow. Cajun gladly put away here sweaters, boots, gloves and shivers in exchange for flip flops, tank tops and sunscreen. Pirate, in his usual fashion, had no wardrobe changes for the winter weather. He donned his usual shorts and flip flops in the 10 degree, icy New England weather claiming “fat people don’t get cold.” He did put on a vest which he claims makes all the difference in the world.
With all our work completed, we hopped the requisite planes, trains and automobiles that would bring us back to our home on the water. Our friend John picked us up at the airport and immediately told us about the “water crisis” that St. Lucia is in the grips of. There is a drought on the island. No rain over a long period of time has resulted in no water for the islanders. Water is now being rationed and brought in on large trucks every three days “or so” (this last part being the key phrase) to businesses and homes. Hotels are the number one priority as they are packed to the gills with tourists and are key to the economy here with so many jobs. Our marina was on a every other day rationing schedule- not too bad. Unfortunately, someone busted the marina’s main water supply pipe while digging on an unrelated construction project. So, the marina is now on day 5 of no water. The result is that all of the boats here- including ours- are filthy. All of the people here are angry and dirty. Fortunately, we have a reserve water supply that can last us a couple of days.
We will not be staying here long. We can make our own water with our reverse osmosis machine, but we have to be in clean off-shore waters to do that. The water at the marina is the color of beef broth, but does not look or smell nearly as appetizing. Also, the water here is full of UFO’s (unidentified floating objects) that make using this water for anything unthinkable.
To make matters worse, last night as we were in the salon watching the Olympics on TV, we were jolted by what felt like a bomb hitting our boat. It wasn’t’ a bomb, but a large “go-fast” cigarette boat driven by an arrogant Frenchman. He was trying to dock in the dark to avoid having to pay the marina and he completely misjudged the wind and plowed into the bow of our boat. Since it was dark, we had a hard time seeing the damage and Frenchie was saying that he barely bumped us. We knew better than that, as the impact of the hit nearly knocked us off the couch. Frenchie was trying to convince us not to worry that we could wait till the morning to figure out what to do. A local who witnessed it whispered to Pirate that he better settle up with Frenchie now as he would surely be gone in the morning (he had to leave before the marina opened and assessed him a charge for staying overnight). We listened to the local and demanded payment for damages right then and there and sure enough Monsieur Frogman was gone when we woke up.
While we initially planned on lounging at the dock for a few days to recuperate from our frenetic pace over the past couple of weeks, it doesn’t look like that is in the cards. We must sail out of this parched perch in search of cleaner waters and better neighbors. Despite all of the current issues, it is great to be back!