Caribbean

Saint Lucia: The Treasure Island

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Saint Lucia is well known to the participants in the ARC because it is here that the fleet meets up. In general, it is here that English, American and Canadian yachts tend to gather, while there are very few French. This is no doubt down to the proximity of Martinique, less than 20 miles to the north. Saint Lucia is a volcanic island with a rugged relief and a highest point of 950m (3,100 feet). There are also two spectacular coastal peaks, the Pitons, which are around 800m (2,600’) high. The windward, Atlantic coastline is buffeted by the swell. A few bays are protected to a certain extent by coral reefs but it is not recommended to access them. The leeward side, on the Caribbean coast, is much more suited to sailing.  

The Best anchorages

Rodney Bay

A huge, perfectly protected bay, a vast marina, boatyards and various nautical services can be found here: Rodney Bay is the place for any technical stopovers. There is always a good atmosphere in the bars and restaurants that line the quayside. For a real immersion, don’t miss out on the ambiance at Gros Ilet (just north of the marina) on a Friday Night! Things to do: visit the Pigeon Island National Park, which is linked to Gros Ilet. Gorgeous panoramas and historical remains.

 

Marigot Bay

To the south of the capital, Castries, and its oil terminal, there is a channel which is hardly visible. It leads to a genuine postcard anchorage: welcome to Marigot Bay! The strip of sandy beach and giant coconut palms certainly helps to contribute to the bay’s charm. Unsurprisingly it fills up quickly, especially the inner anchorage and the small marina. It is still possible to drop anchor just outside though.  

 

Anse Cochon

Don’t be put off by the name of this black sand beach: it has some of the island’s very best snorkeling locations. Feeling hungry? The Ti Kayes Resort allows you to enjoy the sunset from the beach. Order a Piton, the national beer.

 

Anse Chastanet

Another highly recommended place for diving and easy to get to as the closest reefs to the shore are only 10 meters (30’) away, with a depth of 1.50m to 7.50m (5-25’). There are colorful coral reefs and 150 species of fish to try and spot!  

 

Soufrière

With its 8,500 inhabitants (compared to 66,000 in the capital, Castries), Soufrière is unsurprisingly more welcoming for a stopover with its many wooden shacks and houses. There is a large body of water and it is well protected from the prevailing wind and the swell. Don’t be surprised if you get a whiff of sulfur… the volcano which is downwind, is still active. A short taxi ride can take you there, or perhaps to the Diamond Botanical Gardens and the Mamiku Gardens.

 

Pitons Bay

A sublime anchorage between Saint Lucia’s two emblematic rocky peaks which are linked by a white sand beach lined with coconut palms. The northern part at the back of the bay, Sugar Beach, is occupied by a luxury hotel and other tourist infrastructure. It is still very attractive though. If ...

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