Life & Travels Afloat in our Moody
The West Indies in the 18th and 19th centuries were the scene of lively exchanges between the two nations. Ok, the Dutch occasionally came out to play, but they were not the key participants, (and have a few square metres as a result). No, it was the traditional foes who got stuck in.
The ebb and flow of their relative successes is still evident today across the islands. Quite aside from the historic monuments of the old forts and the colonial buildings, the names of places and features reflect the history. Many islands have Soufrieres, Marigots, Pitons, Rivieres, etc, including here on St Lucia. The intermingling of French and English names is common as was the historic changes of ‘ownership’ of the past.
Admiral Rodney was a talented man, and some of his exploits can still be seen. The fort overlooking Rodney Bay, atop Pigeon Island ( yes, another one), reflects human endeavour. Not quite as dramatic as Diamond rock, nevertheless, getting ships’ cannon up to the top of this steep- sided rocky outcrop was no mean feat. It was achieved by ropes and pulleys from the ship’s mast, to the saddle between the outcrops, resulting in the name given to the location, Gunslide.
The outlook from the top is commanding, and it is easy to see why the attempts of the French to invade Gros Islet were readily repulsed.
Today’s invaders are multi-cultural, more about anchoring spots and beach towels than cannonballs. The weapon of choice is money, some clearly having much more than others. The bay is the site of Sandals top resort in the Caribbean (the red roofs to the left of the bay).
In the photo of the blue gin palace, you can also see a white yacht. The latter is actually closer to the camera, and is probably 50-60ft long, (15-20m), giving you an idea of scale! At night, it is all lit up, including underwater and is a fine example of wealth overcoming good taste….. Admiral Rodney could have made good sport of such a fine target!