Day 3 – Hanging at Rodney Bay, St. Lucia

Susan pointing to our boat.  Ginger is just off the tip of her finger.
Susan pointing to our boat. Ginger is just off the tip of her finger.

I rose with the sun and dingyed solo into the marina at Rodney Bay to clear Customs. After a little searching I found the tiny customs office on the second floor of a retail building.

It felt like I was beamed back to a 1950s office setting. I suppose it’s arrogant & rude of me to find it funny, but a couple of times I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. There were three desks crammed into the small office space, and one person sitting at each desk. I had to fill out the Customs form and there were 5 carbon copies of the document. I hadn’t seen carbon copies for years. The man at desk #1 meticulously checked, then signed and stamped each carbon copy. Then I moved to desk #2, where the lady took the green copy, checked passports, stamped them, and pointed me to desk #3. The man there took the yellow copy of the document, charged me 50 eastern caribbean dollars (about $20), then he produced another receipt form with several carbon copies. He did a bunch of stamping, tearing, stapling, etc. then I was done.  At least I didn’t need to go to separate offices for all three of these steps.  And to their credit, it was overall quite efficient.

Panoramic view from the fort
Panoramic view from the fort, Rodney Bay

We have such a nice anchorage here that we decided to stay another day. Tomorrow we’ll sail south to Castries to pick up our Sheven.

We dingyed over to the north end of Rodney Bay where there is a national park with a very old fort (1700s) on top of a hill. Hiking to the top, there was an awesome view.

Below the fort we also found a nice cafe that had Wifi, so I was able to straighten out my Satellite phone email account. There was a technical glitch, but it’s fixed now. We’re no longer dependent on finding internet to do postings and email – it’s done via the Satellite phone. It actually uses a modem and sends data at 2400 baud, which brings back memories of doing data transfers back in the 1980s. For example, to upload the photo of Susan takes about 8 minutes (!). Super slow, but to me it’s amazing that it works anywhere in the world with no dependence on phone, internet, etc.

Sat phone sending emails/blog posts. Amazing that it works anywhere in the world.  Not the speediest thing, but we are not complaining.
Sat phone sending emails/blog posts. Amazing that it works anywhere in the world. Not the speediest thing, but we are not complaining.

We checked the weather forcast, and the next 5 days are the same as usual – an excellent 15-20 knots from the east. Perfect for sailing south.

Awesome sunset, and some more jumping off the top of the boat for swims. We are running low on water and rum, two critical substances for sailing. We’ll probably do some provisioning when we get Sheven tomorrow in Castries.

Got an email from our friend Linda saying that it was -10 degrees F in Anchorage, and that Portland was expecting a storm with 6-20 inches of snow. That’s a big deal for Portland. We are all very happy to be here in the land of perfect weather.

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