On november 20th, we weighed anchor for the Marigot Bay, about two hour away from Vieux Fort at the middle of the west coast of St Lucia. It is a small bay, but very protected and considered as an hurricane-hole, when it is not very crowded. Unfortunately it is very popular, with a luxurious marina and housing development.
As soon as we entered the channel, an islander on a fast dinghy (Thoamas) approached us and ofered to tie us to a ball on the south side. According to Doyle, it was possible to anchor at some spots among the reefs, but Thomas shot down that idea, and offered to charge us 50 EC ($20 dollars), a bargain. Al declined, accusing him of highway robbery (jokingly), mentioning that we were practically islanders ourselves, not charterers or tourists. Thomas relented, and reduced the price to 40 EC, and reluctantly accepted. Then he chatted with Thomas at length asked him where to go eat and take our laundry, etc, and when it was time to pay up, gave him a ten dollar tip. I think Thomas was flabbergasted, but did not say anything. He had told us that the Doolittle Restaurant/hotel would do the laundry with more reasonable rates than the marina (The Marina).
Thomas came back to visit later that day. He asked how we were doing. His boat was full of local handcrafts hats, baskets made of palm leaves etc. He handed a nice basket to us saying that it was a gift from the hearth and he hoped we enjoyed our visit to Marigot. It was very nice of him.
We got ready, and dinghied over to Doolittle. Before we unloaded our laundry bags, we checked with the lady in charge of the small laundry facility. There were two ladies in fact, and the slightly older one hesitated a little, and asked us if we were staying at the hotel. Whe she learned that we were yachtsmen, she agreed to get it done in a few hours, and free of charge (!) She just told Al to give the girl (who would be doing the work) a good tip. It appears that it was the laundry facility of the hotel, and not a business. Worked for us.
We sat at the side of the restaurant, facing the lagoon, where major activity was going on. Day-sailers coming and going, small boats running around etc. One of the day-sailers stopped in the middle of the channel, and let its customers swim to shore. Oh my God! I had seen the like of that water only in the lagoon of Road Town, Tortola. One could see the grease floating on the surface, and the algae o covering the bottom almost up to the surface. Same here, the poor tourists swam happily, mouthing the awful water, and stood on the rocks scattered at the shore with bare feet, without seeing where they were stepping. Watching them gave mee the creeps. My feelings of pity for the cruise-ship/resort customers who come to the Caribbean have no end. They spend so much money for so little, that it is unbeleivable.
One night was more than enough for Marigot Bay. The reason of our exploration was to find an alternative to St Anne, in case we would not be able to spend the lenght of time required to avoid the northerly swells. Vieux Fort and Marigot Bay wern't it.