19 August 2022: Bucketlist!
19 August 2022
Marigot, St Lucia
Petit Piton, St Lucia
Cumulative Mileage (NM)
Crew on Board
Skipper, first mate, chef, entertainment and more; I guess that is solo sailing for you!
GENERAL WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
18 to 20 knots initially; dying down to almost 0 knots as I approached
Sunny with a break from the rain!
Dry, thank goodness!
Though a little 10 nautical mile hop is rarely eventful, this one was extra special because if you asked me one place I wanted to go in the Caribbean on this trip – it was the Pitons of St Lucia. And I was on my way!
Given it was such a short distance I did not raise the mainsail. I just pulled out the full jib and for most of the sail made 4 to 5 knots of speed. It was relaxing and dry and there was not a complaint to be had. As we approached the PItons, the wind really started to die off. We were still moving, albeit barely, so I took the opportunity to take some photos of the Pitons and of me – outside the cockpit – which I rarely do. Given the boat was moving around 0.3 knots at that point the risk levels seemed manageable.
It was one of those moments where your jaw just truly jobs and it really is as beautiful as the pictures you have seen online. And I felt like I had waited and worked so hard for this!
I had spied a recommendation in a sailing Facebook group to contact Harmony Yacht Services for a mooring (the Pitons are a protected marine reserve so no achoring allowed) and I was so glad I did. When he realised I was on my own, he arranged for me to have the mooring ball in front of his daughters restaurant so there would be extra eyes on me. And he suggested when the rangers come to collect mooring ball fees that I mention I had spoken to him and they would give me a discount (and they did – four nights for the price of three) which makes a difference to my budget at $20 USD per night, especially when my budget plans for anchoring which costs $0 USD so spots like this are a special treat.
After getting settled I lowered the dinghy and went for a celebratory dinner at his daughters restaurant – I figured the least I could do was spend my savings I had not anticipated in the local economy. And I wanted to ask about what there was to do nearby, based on the cruising guides and maps and friends recommendations I wanted to hike a Piton (whichever was easier as I hear they are hard!) and snorkel (supposed to be incredible right off the moorings) and visit the hot springs!
I have hardly played tourist since I started this journey in Connecticut, always doing the responsible thing in order to stay with the seasons and the weather and learn how to solo sail my boat. This was TRULY the first time I was prioritizing something fun – and I hope to only improve that balance going forward as I get in my stride!
With Petit Piton directly behind me as I ate and Tala in view to prevent me from worrying about her as the darkness fell, I enjoyed a delicious meal out for the first time in a long time (and the local mozzies made a delicious meal of me too!)
“On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.”
– Jules Renard