Saturday morning, we released our lines and got out of Rodney Bay. Next time we come we hope to stay anchored at the bay outside.
We were headed to the Pitons for staging, before tackling the passage to St Vincent. The weather was nice, and the way not too long, so we motored down, and got there before noon. Last time we has stayed at the Pitons, we had chosen the mooring balls of Harmony Estate, but found the water in the small cove extremely dirty, being close to and downstream from Soufriere town. We had looked at the debris going in circles around the boat cought in the current and not clearing away. This time we want to go to the other side of the Petit Piton, where some mooring balls were also offered. Jalousie Plantation is a high class resort, tucked in the far corner of the Piton, so calm and clean.
When we got down to outside Soufriere bay, Gregory of the pirogue called Beautiful Isle approached us to offer help for going to the town. We told him we were going to Jalousie, and he promised to come for help, after he dealt with the mono-hull in front of us, who was also going to the same place. We followed the boat, and saw it having anchored in front of the resort, but Gregory was nowhere to be found. As we approached a mooring ball, another islander came by, and assured us that Gregory had called him to help us, since he was busy elsewhere at the moment. No matter, the help is required fo fishing out the pennant, since it is left sunken without a floater. It took a few minutes, but the guy asked for 30 EC for the service. Al did not go for it, and gave 20 to the dismay of the guy. It is usually 10 - 15 EC around these parts, we could not understand the sour face, and Al gave him a cold beer as consolation. Half an hour later Gregory showed up, and asked if we had paid the guy. Of course, what do you think? It was apparent from the whole affair that they were going to share the money, Gregory having found the work. Al talked to him for a while, and gave him some money as well, which made him happy. He gave Al his card, and obtained a promise to contact him when we came to those parts again, mentioning that he was working as a water taxi and land guide for excursions. I don't know what to think, these people rely on sailors a lot for a living, but what they earn does not seem to be a lot.
The water in that small bay was amazing. We swam to our heart's content, and passed the day leisurely.
The next morning it was time to get underway for Wallilabou, St Vincent. Among all the anchorages around here, Wallilabou is the most dismal looking. It is very small, the water is murky and rolly with whirls and swells. The boats have to be tied to land from the mooring balls, which are next to each other. Once the land line is released, the boat starts to swing and hit the one beside. Last couple of times releasing the line early in the morning became a problem. But hey, deal with the problem when it presents itself.
We had selected a window of calm weather, so the passage to St Vincent was pleasent but somewhat slow. It is hard to get what we want all the time. Even the winds were mild, the swells were not, so the ride was bumpy and slow, but we reached the lee of the island on time, and afterwards was motoring all the way to Wallilabou, located around the middle of the island. Unfortunately it is the only anchorage there to clear the customs, as well as being safe. I read about the next anchorage around the corner, which has a small resort, but it is not feasible to go there because of the customs ordeal.
When we approached the bay, I called our guy Davies, who answers channel 68 on VHF, and got his help for tying to a ball. Davies has a row boat to give a two minute ride to the shore, since it is not worth the effort to lower the dinghy. He also works at the restaurant and collects the mooring fee, which is redeemed if the boat owners eat there. That seems the only business generated for the restaurant, every time we have been there, the occupants of the few tables were the sailors waiting for the customs lady to show up (around 5:00 pm every day, including Sundays).