Life & Travels Afloat in our Moody
We could not wait to escape St Lucia after having spent so much time in Rodney Bay last year. So almost as soon as Freebooter was lowered back into the water, we were off on an overnight sail to Les Saintes. We nearly took a stowaway, but discovered the nest under the solar panel before we left!
Legally you have to deal with the formalities immediately on arrival, but as it was a public holiday it was closed! No matter, we met up with Rod & Jim on Charlotta and James & Claire from Ocean Rainbow for a roast chicken supper on board Charlotta.
The following day, we did another overnight sail up to Nevis, a tiny former British colony. It is a sleepy delightful place, with only limited bursts of activity in the capital, Charlestown. In truth, apart from meeting the incredibly friendly local people, there are limited tourist attractions. No matter, there was certain pressure to visit the Botanical Gardens, apparently ‘just’ outside the town, or a short bicycle ride away according to the tourist office.
Dusting down our folding bikes reminded me that I still needed to fix the gears, and that the parts were stowed in a safe place on the boat. Needless to say there was a lot of walking when there are only 5th & 6th gears. On the flat, it would not have mattered, but the wretched gardens were at the top of a hill only just lower than the extinct volcano. The last part of the climb was up a near vertical slope that even vehicles took to 1st gear to ascend. As a virtual stretcher case, the gardens by now held zero attraction for me, cold drinks and shade being much preferred. The girls were in better shape and wandered round.
From such giddy heights the descent was actually scary. Folding bikes have tiny wheels and long steep downhill runs are not their forte. Worse still, the brakes heat up and in this ambient temperature, spokes can start snapping! And did…….., as James found out. It was a relief to get back safely, but fortunately not in time to go and discuss the misleading advice we were originally given!
Just on the outskirts of town, there are some hot springs with bathing pools. The team charged down only to find a well-built local man enjoying a warm wash in the buff. Actually he was the least embarrassed!
Oh, and the odd photo is a batfish. Prehistoric in appearance, it looks dead. However if size was not an issue, looking up, there was a 4-5ft (1.2-1.5m) barracuda stationary above!