Marigot Bay, St. Lucia
Marigot Bay is one of the most photographed spots on the island. It is on the Caribbean Sea side; facing out to the west; about halfway down the coast. It is home to many cruising yachts; and a safe harbor during storms. It is split in the center by a sand spit that juts out into the harbor and has a sandy beach for bathers. The hills rise on each side giving wonderful sea views to all visitors staying in the houses that dot the hillsides. Most of the landscape on the hillsides that flank the bay are undeveloped and lush with flowering trees, coconut palms, giant cactus. Boats anchor here for days, weeks, or months — and a few have been known to stay for years!
The north side of Marigot is accessed only by boat – -so a small ferry crosses on demand 24 hours daily to take passengers from one side to the other; the trip takes only minutes. On this side of the bay there are two restaurants, the beach, beauty shop, watersports rentals, small hotel, some timeshare houses, and our private homes (10 in all). You can easily walk to all the bay’s amenities from anywhere on the north side. Across the bay, at the marina, you will find a grocery, small bank, bakery, gift shops, car rental and tour agency, a small hotel, four restaurants and a dive shop. On the south side hillside above this, there are more rental homes, which from some you can walk to the bay’s amenities, but you do need a car if you’re staying high up here.
St. Lucia — Windward Islands
Located in the Windward Island, between St.Vincent to the south and Martinique to the north, in the more southern quadrant of Caribbean islands lies St. Lucia, Helen of the West Indies. It is a mere 27 miles long, 14 miles wide — about the size of one of our larger cities. Many visitors compare the island’s beauty to that of the Hawaiian islands as it is lush with vegetation, waterfalls and mountains. But it’s beauty is it’s own and it owns it nicely!
The northern end of the island is the most populated and touristy part of the island with the capital of Castries and Rodney Bay’s tourist hotels. Castries is famous for it’s unique cathedral — a cool oasis from the city heat, simple wooden pews, religious statues and paintings. And for it’s open air market where you can buy anything from a bunch of leaf lettuce to mangoes to bananas or fresh fish or pigs feet; or handwoven baskets or brightly colored beads. In Rodney Bay you will find the bulk of the island’s hotels and resorts — plus malls, lots of shopping, a large choice of restaurants and night life.
Drive to the southern end of the island and you are in nature’s paradise. Mount Gimie is the first peak you see topping off at over 3000 feet. And it is surrounded by other mountains that slope down to the valleys below bringing refreshing water in their rivers. The rain forest is filled with wild orchids, giant ferns and the elusive Lucian parrot — sometimes heard but rarely seen. The twin Pitons — Gros Piton and Petite Piton — jut directly out of the sea and lie many feet below. Banana and coconut plantations are everywhere and besides these crops, the Lucians harvest mangoes, papaya, pineapples, and all manner of vegetables. Fishing is still an important industry and for many local fishermen it is done the way their ancestors did it for hundreds of years — in dugout canoe boats. Waterfalls are created by the many rivers that stream down the mountainsides and make their way to the sea. And the ocean — on one side the Atlantic with its high surf and on the other side, the calm Caribbean Sea. Beaches with both black and white sand are scattered along the shore, many only accessible by boat.
St. Lucia is rich in many things from agriculture to scenic beauty, but mostly it is rich in wonderful people who give this island so much charm. The Lucians are descended from the original native tribes of Caribs and Arawaks; but also from African slaves – brought over to work the sugar plantations. You will also meet other Lucians who are East Indians, brought over as indentured slaves after freedom was granted to the original slaves. The island became independent from England in 1979 and is governed by a Parliamentary style system. Lucians are warm and honest and caring. Though by the standards of the industrialized world, they are poor – by all other standards, they are very rich. They may not have mansion to live in, but their door is always open and they are happy to share whatever they have. There is always food to eat — much of it grown in the wild. It is always warm so houses can be constructed simply and sometimes “willy-nilly” works. Lucians speak English but also many speak their own French based patois with a lilting singing manner that makes listening to them similar to listening to a song. They tell the visitor to come visit and see their island paradise — “Look me up here….”