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On Wednesday, January 17th we set sail from St. Anne for St. Lucia – a distance of only about 24 nautical miles. We had 15-18 knots of breeze from the east north-east so we had a smooth and exhilarating sail all the way here. We put on some great classical music and just enjoyed the air, the view and the beautiful music for three and a half hours. It is a bit hard to dock in St. Lucia as you have to back in to the slip, and tie onto a pole. Luckily they have a lot of dock-hands at Rodney Bay Marina – and two guys were on the dock to help us pull in. Mark is getting really good at backing the boat in – although he gets pretty nervous beforehand (for good reason). Anyways, we were kind of beat from the sun and just spent the rest of the day cleaning the boat and ourselves. Naomi took us out for a wonderful dinner at Castaways Restaurant.
On Thursday morning Bernita’s daughter Dahlia and her youngest son Malcolm came to the boat at 10:00 a.m. Bernita is a wonderful woman from St. Lucia who has been taking care of Kitty (Mark’s mom) for the past 4 years in New York. The rest of her family is in St. Lucia. Unfortunately when Dalia came to the dock to find us, we were onboard but below with the air conditioning on, and she saw the boat closed up and thought we had left to do errands. It wasn’t until 11:00 when Mark, who was sitting nearby in an outdoor internet cafe, ran into Dahlia, and steered her back to the boat for an emotional meeting with Naomi. A little later Bernita’s niece Eleanor and her son Gerie (spelling?) joined us as well. It was a great group to have on board. We had sandwiches and drinks and then decided to go for a short sail. Malcolm and Dahlia had sailed with us 3 years before and were anxious to go again. Once we got out of the protected bay the wind and waves picked up quite a bit – and some of the guests were decidedly green. Only Gerie looked unmistakenly thrilled to be on board. Luckily it didn’t take us too long to get back to protected waters and everyone perked up a lot.
Naomi left with Dahlia and Malcolm in the late afternoon. They were heading back to Dahlia’s house which is near the town of Vieux Fort at the other end of the island. Although it is only about 20 miles away, you have to go through the big mountains of St. Lucia via windy roads to get there and it takes at least an hour and a half. So we tearfully said goodbye to them. Eleanor was kind enough to take us to a big supermarket nearby and then pick us up an hour later to help us with our groceries. She brought both her son Gerie and her daughter Chelsea (another absolutely sweet and adorable child). Gerie pushed my cart around the store, helped me pick out fruit, and insisted on unloading the cart at the check-out. He is a terrific kid and promises to be my e-mail pal. We are sad that we will not see them again on this trip – but hopefully at the end of our circumnavigation we will end up right back here in St. Lucia.