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Yesterday’s biking excursion was definitely a winner. Everyone involved with the trip was very professional and friendly, especially our “guide,” Bike Tyson. I put guide in quotes because following the initial introduction to the bikes and the trails, we were left on our own to explore for as long as we chose. That introduction was first rate though and we were both entertained and educated. Tyson is very knowledgeable of both the history of the area and the flora and fauna in the park. We only wish it had been a few months from now because we could have filled our boat with mangoes, avocados, breadfruit and more.

tyson

Even the beginner bike trails were fun for us with the super serious trails being pretty much impossible. It was suggested to us that we not attempt to ride the most difficult one, the Tinker Trail, and instead hike to the top for the view. We were also challenged by Tyson to beat his time to the top: 8 minutes. As you might imagine, Rebecca and I worked very hard to top that time, even jogging up some of the steeper portions (we had our stop watch running). I think that was about as close to a heart attack as I have come to in the recent past and we still only managed to do it in 14:20. You know you’ve climbed a steep hill when you find a bell at the top that you are to ring, signaling that you actually made it!

After riding and hiking for a bit more than 3 hours, we decided to head back to our boat and make ready to up anchor. We had decided to check our charts and find an anchorage a bit further south to stage for an early morning departure for Bequia. This is when the drama ensued. Apparently, as we were leaving the beach in our dinghy, we ran over a couple of fishing lines that a power boat was trolling behind it. The Captain, who appeared to have a couple of pale-faced tourists on board with him, followed us back to our boat to confront us. He was right, we must have run over his lines as we found some of it still wrapped around our prop. If he hadn’t been so confrontational and kept whining like a female dog, I might have felt inclined to compensate him in some small way for my mistake. Instead he just made me angry so I told him to get lost. It may have taken us 4000 miles* but we have finally managed to piss someone off. Oh well.

After picking up our anchors, we motor-sailed along the coast, ultimately stopping in the southern-most anchorage, Vieux Fort. Even though we were quite removed from the town and most other boats, we still had a bit of company. First we were visited by some official looking people in a police-type boat who wanted to know how long we intended to stay. I told them that we were only planning on getting a few hours of sleep and then would be leaving at around 3:00 AM. They seemed happy with that and left. Shortly thereafter, a woman approached us in her dinghy to let us know that she and her husband were from the catamaran just down from us and that they had just been robbed by some youths who swam out to their boat while they were on shore. Fortunately they came back to see the thieves swimming away with their stuff and because they confronted them, they dropped all of the loot and ran. That was very nice of the lady to come and tell us that and we’re now quite happy that we won’t be staying.

In spite of that one negative, and the unhappy fisherman, and the customs agents who apparently think that if they were to smile they would be unable to properly do their jobs, we have really enjoyed St. Lucia. Everyone has been super friendly to us and not in the fake way you find some others are when you know that they are really after something. People here just seem genuinely nice. We like that.

*I said 4000 miles because it sounded good. I really don’t have an accurate idea how many miles we have traveled since leaving Canada.

**Posted while sailing about 2 miles offshore of St. Vincent.

Anchorage: Vieux Fort, St. Lucia
Internet on boat with Alfa: No. We were anchored quite far away from town though.
Internet on boat without Alfa: No.
Internet on shore: NA

10 Comments

  1. It took you 4000 miles? slackers. I manage to piss someone off daily. It’s a gift. Or a talent. But usually she (wife) forgives me. =)

  2. Commercial fishing vessels actively engaged in fishing do have right-of-way over other boats. But a pleasure craft trolling a few lines doesn’t qualify. Like fisherman on docks, they are generally expected to keep their lines well clear of boat traffic.
    Unless you’re sure you got all the fishing line off your outboard, you might want to pull the prop- if this stuff gets into the gap between the prop hub and the housing, it tends to shred the shaft seals.

    • Yes, I believe the col regs fishing category relates to trawling, not trolling. With that said, it was my fault. If I had realized that he had lines out I would have avoided them. The line was just loosely hanging off the prop fortunately so it didn’t do any damage.

      • Exactly; this is outside of the nav regs, I think. Generally, I’ve been on the other side of it. Many times on the Chesapeake I find my self waving arms and pointing at the lines, since folks will pass close astern not thinking a sailboat could be towing lines. When they see the lines, they bear away. However, I’ve search the web many times and it boils down to the fishmanhaving a risk of losing his line (he can also snag on rocks) and the boater has the risk of drivline damage (or hit a floating log). Road hazards.

        http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/2010/05/retribution.html

        It’s not hard to loose a seal, so keep some distance. This time of year there is a lot of trolling on the Bay, so most are aware.

        I will also add, in your defense, that trolling in a harbor area is ASKING to lose gear. He was taking a risk and he lost. I only troll in wide open waters (crab traps are very hazardous to trolled lines and very hard to miss).

  3. Mike and Rebecca,

    I’m happy to hear you enjoyed your biking adventure as much as we did 10 years ago. I can remember when my wife and I hiked up Tinkers Trail, however it took much longer than 14 mins and almost got me divorced!!

    Thanks for updating your blog daily as it has become a 10 minute vacation for me each day during work!

    Looking forward to your next post!

    Thomas

  4. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    Regarding the theft, did they catch those lads that took the stuff ? i would of gone after them in the dingy & give them a few lead weights to carry around there waist or ankles “about 20lb will do it”. Do you know if they done any damage to the boat ? Thats one thing that does worry me when leaving sight of the boat, as they are so easy to get into. I may have to rig up an electric plate of some sort via the batteries , like an electric fence with a switch & that could be done on the out side rail !! hmm i think i will look into it.
    That bike ride looked great, & as one of your reads put a video of your digs would be good 🙂 happy days to you

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