Thursday, June 7, 2012

Soufriere and the Pitons, St. Lucia

Mr Mac on a mooring with Soufriere onshore in the distance
View of a beautiful plantation-style house from our mooring
We spent a few days in the Soufriere area of St. Lucia, which is where the distinctive Pitons are. This is the Soufriere MarineManagement Area, and you can’t just anchor here, you must take one of their moorings. The good news is that they changed their prices in the last couple of years – decreasing them. How often does that happen? Our first mooring was near the bat cave (though we didn’t see any bats), close to a lovely green hill, and directly over a fantastic snorkeling site. We just hopped off the boat and swam all over the place (underwater pics coming later). The next night we moved over between the Pitons themselves. Just onshore of our mooring was a beautiful plantation-style house, and down the way was a pretty little beach resort. Again, we just jumped off the boat to snorkel. We usually avoid areas where you are required to pay for a mooring, but I’ve got to tell you, next time we come this way, we’re going to stay a week. The price is extremely reasonable for well-maintained moorings; the marine management is obviously working, as evidenced by the number of fish and the size of the fish (we saw some of the largest yellow-tail snapper we’ve ever seen, right below the boat on our first mooring); the non-fish marine life is varied and abundant; and there’s lots to see ashore in this area. Of course, you’ve got absolutely fantastic views of the Pitons and surrounding hills. And the crowning jewels were the people in town. Everyone was just as nice as could be. From the customs and immigration officers, to the SMMA guys who told us about their work and the good snorkeling sites, the woman who invited us to step inside her restaurant (not open yet) to get out of the rain, and the guy who stopped us on the street to ask if we were sailors and to wish us a good time in Soufriere. This is definitely someplace worth a return trip.
Petit Piton looms beyond Mr Mac on her mooring
A nice post-snorkel rain is good for rinsing off

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