It was a two hour ride from Marigot Bay to Rodney Bay, right at the top of the lee side of St Lucia. We had been there before, so we went directly into the marina (operated by IGY). Al called ahead of time, and learned that they had lots of space for us. The thing is, we never dock like the others (stern-to), tied from the back to the dock, and front to a ball. It is definitely more economical for the marina to keep the boats side by side, almost touching each other, but quite hard on the sailors. Especially, for the likes of us who do not possess a pasarella (a draw-bridge of some sort) to get to the dock from the cock-pit. As well, we have no place to tie a fender to the back, to avoid hitting the dock. Anyway, Al always negotiates with the dock-master, and gets a spot to come-along to the dock. Well, Rodney Bay is an old fashioned marina it seems, because they provided finger docks for every boat (two share one on each side), so no problem indeed.
We needed to get into he marina to fill our water tanks, thoroughly clean the boat, do some shopping etc, getting ready to make the crossing to Martinique. Mission accomplished in one day, but quite tiring. Al also showed me their promotional over-night prices for the marina; 70 EC (almost the same as a mooring ball at Marigot). Why hurry to St Anne, and the weather was to improve in a couple of days. We needed some moderate winds to take us there, and it was coming on Saturday or Sunday.
We stayed three nights, and it was a good thing, since we saw our new friends. Al sent e mails to everybody (free wi-fi, compliments of the marina), and learned that Rick-Miriam/Claude-Celine were on their way on Thursday. Ken-Diane were also expected, but maybe the next day.
On Friday morning Rick came by and told us about his problems with his gypsy-wheel for the anchor winch. He talked about his chain not being compatible with his wheel, and having worn it off. We had the same problem last year, and had to change the wheel. So Al commiserated with Rick, and went on to show him our chain. Rick expressed some concern about the miserable shape of our chain, all rusted after 8-9 years of abuse. When asked, Rick gave the going price of chain suitable for our use, as US$4.00 a foot, which would translate to $600.00 dollars, not an arm and a leg. We almost paid as much earlier, for two aliminum gas bottles, but thought better of it. However, we had decided to take off on Saturday, and the chandlery would not work on the week-end, too much of a delay to wait.
Later on, while we were having lunch at one of the restaurants in the marina, we saw Lost Our Marbles coming into the docks, Ken on the ready with the lines. They tied right accross fro us, to the other dock, where we could see their cock-pit. We went over to say hi, and invited them for a drink around 5:00 pm.
They came over, and we learned their story. Ken was originally from St Lucia but raised in our neighbourhood in Beaconhill, Ottawa and graduated from Colonel By High School; Diane was born in Cambridge, Ontario. They both worked for the Canadian Air Force (Diane was Avionics person, Ken did not specify). They must have obtained early retirement (they both look much younger than us), and came to St Lucia on a 26 ft mono-haul, and settled in Vieux Fort, on a multiple acre land. After they lost their mast on the way etc, they decided to upgrade to a slightly old catamaran, which they bought from Grenada Marine in St Davids, Grenada; our marina. They love living on the boat, but do some farming on their land as well. They have no use for the produce markets, yey.
We had a great visit with Diane, while Ken had to leave to meet up with a young man from Netherlands, the Reagonal manager for Heineken beer, who was also sponsoring a regatta, starting from Rodney Bay. Ken was to race and host the Heineken guy on his boat. They both came back to Ruyam II and it was a party.