Saint Lucia

9 - 17 September, 2004

Basic map of St. Lucia Saint Lucia's flag Fancy NASA map of St. Lucia

Page from the notebook
Paste-up notebook
from the trip
9 September 2004
Page from the notebook
The air route
from the notebook
9 September 2004
The sea was a bit murky this day
Coral & stuff
Saline Point
11 September 2004
Saline Point is round the other side of the Pigeon Island causeway
Alissa scanning
Saline Point
11 September 2004

We stayed in Denver the night before we went to Saint Lucia, and just because Hurricane Ivan
was tearing up Jamaica, we had a few "Hurricanes" the night before we left the U.S.A. Boy, was that fun!
The next day we flew to Saint Lucia, with stops in Dallas and Puerto Rico. The landing in Castries was exciting.
The plane came in "hot," and screeched to a stop. An evening bus ride to the resort, where we were greeted
with the complimentary glass of bubbly, was followed with a little snack and pleasant dreams.

This would be an otter's paradise.
Sea urchins
Saline Point
11 September 2004
There are two fish in this picture...
Bright blue fishy
Saline Point
11 September 2004
Go on, KISS her, dude!
Like newly-weds
for the camera
12 September 2004
Okay, I'll even close my eyes.
Ben & Alissa
making Smooch,
12 September 2004

My journal from the trip lists things we did in one-word descriptions: "frisbee," "kayak," "hobie."
Ad finitum. Obviously it wasn't very wordy, because we were being do-ey!
We went from one water activity to another, sampling fruity beverages during short breaks. Supper
was a nightly date, each one a special event. Everytime someone offered to take our portrait, we
accepted: the memories are worth whatever fee we paid. Besides, Americans are rich, ain't they?!

You think you can play, well, wait for the King...
Play some Todd
Rundgren, why dontcha
12 September 2004
Havin' a real good time, are we?
Self portrait,
at the piano bar
12 September 2004
Banned from the keyboard, when there's a professional at work!
All right, young man,
sit back and behave!
12 September 2004
He was superb!!
"King David" on
the ivory keys
12 September 2004

We snorkeled on the 11th at Saline Point. Because of Hurricane Ike, the waters were a bit cloudy, but still
delightful and interesting. We were usually the first in the water, and the last to get back on the boat. That
evening, we dined outdoors on the beach, and let the hungry sand fleas bite at our bare feet. Almost every night,
we nightcapped at the piano bar, singing along with other guests while "King David," or his son, played the baby grand.

On the 12th, we spent over half the day snorkeling at Anse Cochon ("Pig Cove"), near Marigot Bay.
We were provided with an ample lunch halfway through the trip. We returned fulfilled,
and after the daily nap, took supper at a restaurant they call the Tuscany.

Despite being denied scuba, she's upbeat.
On the dive boat
off Saline Point
13 September 2004
David Bowie comes to mind...
Scuba-sexy boys
in St. Lucia
13 September 2004
This old boat was along the southeast side of Pigeon Island
Older vessel anchored
off Pigeon Island
13 September 2004
Cute little St Lucian lizard!
I think he forgot
his room key...
13 September 2004

On Monday the 13th, we signed up for scuba class. There were about two dozen people who began
the qualifying run-and-swim, and then, lined up on the beach shoulder-to-shoulder, some of us were
eliminated for lack of endurance. Alissa was pulled out of line because she has asthma, and when she protested,
the instructor asked her if she could hold her breath for the entire ambulance flight to Puerto Rico. She was very
disappointed, because scuba diving is one thing she has always wanted to do. I received her blessing to continue,
and took the class with roughly nine other people. Starting in the swimming pool, we learned basics and
nuances of diving with compressed air, then we headed out to Saline Point for a 25-feet-deep dive. Only three
of us completed the shallow dive. I declined the next adventure, a 100-foot outing to a shipwreck. I had
time to contemplate imponderables as I knelt on the murky floor at Saline Point, knowing if something went
awry, even here at a modest depth, I might not be able to get myself out of a jam. I returned to the snorkel!

Mister Crabs on high alert!
Sidling along the
beach, he is!
13 September 2004
Viewed from somewhere along the causeway, telephoto
Fort Rodney from the
Pigeon Island Causeway
13 September 2004
Alissa beyond the entrance gate at Pigeon Island
Alissa enters the
national landmark
13 September 2004
Ruins of soldiers' barracks
Ruins of Fort Rodney,
Pigeon Island
13 September 2004
Ben to the ruins ('Ben'='Been?' Get it??)
He's a little slow
on the uptake...
13 September 2004
This guy scared me when I finally saw him. Quiet bird.
Modern garrison unit,
Old Fort Rodney
13 September 2004
I think this is the old Lime Kiln
More ruins: maybe
the lime kiln
13 September 2004
This is about 300 feet above the ocean
Signal Peak,
Pigeon Island
13 September 2004

We took an afternoon hike across the causeway to Pigeon Island National Landmark. We'd been spying
Fort Rodney for days, and we just had to go see it. Constructed in 1778 by British Admiral George Rodney,
it lies on the lower of two high points on Pigeon Island. The highest point is called Signal Peak, which I
estimated to be about 300 feet above sea level. From here, the British could keep an eye on the
nearby French island of Martinique. We moved through the lower barracks rather quickly, where the air
was still and humid. We cooled off the higher we climbed, exposed to the sea breeze. Old cannon, empty
powder magazines, and the occasional explanatory plaque adorned the 225-year-old stoneworks.

Bring on the French!
Something to scare
away the French
13 September 2004
Pretty fancy stuff for a big piece of artillery, eh?
Cannon detail,
Fort Rodney
13 September 2004
What you see when you peer over the Caribbean side
Looking down the west
side, Fort Rodney
13 September 2004
Laying around like cast iron slugs...
Another cannon,
Fort Rodney
13 September 2004
The empty magazine was ladderless & 20 feet deep
The empty magazine
at Fort Rodney
13 September 2004
From here, we headed for the summit of Signal Peak
Alissa descending from
Fort Rodney, Pigeon Island
13 September 2004
Saddle up for the saddle ridge hike!
Alissa likes being
steeped in history.
13 September 2004
This is on the ridge between the fort and Signal Peak
The Ridge Battery,
Pigeon Island
13 September 2004

We'd heard it was a little strenuous hiking up Pigeon Island, but we really had no problems with the altitude,
only with the heat and the humidity! There was a concrete stanchion with a naked flag pole in it, and we
spent a half-hour on top. It was getting to be suppertime, so we headed back, stopping by the old caves
on the shore of Rodney Bay. Crossing the causeway, we shopped with Sister Ruth at her "shop," a lean-to
shack with everything from jewelry to cold beer. That evening, we listened to the music of steel drums...

Ten minutes from the top...
Approaching the summit
of Signal Peak
13 September 2004
From here, we headed for the summit of Signal Peak
Sandals Grande St Lucia
from Signal Peak
13 September 2004
Saline Point on the far left of the larger picture
Saline Point & Smugglers'
Cove in the distance
13 September 2004
'I like it on top,' he says...
Atop Signal Peak,
Pigeon Island
13 September 2004
Thanks to the Auto-shutter for the self-portrait!
Ben & Alissa,
with Rodney Bay beyond
13 September 2004
That's probably a dive boat...
Looking down on the
Caribbean side, Pigeon Island
13 September 2004
Down by the caves... they musta been short guys, those Caribs
Rocky south shore
of Pigeon Island
13 September 2004
She's never afraid of getting bitten by anything...
Alissa adopts yet
another hermit crab
13 September 2004

We took a Land and Sea trek on September 14th. Early in the morning, we boarded a motor coach,
moving through Castries, La Croix Maingot, the villages of Anse-la-Raye, Canaries and finally stopping
for lunch in the town of Soufriere. Here we visited Sulphur Springs, the caldera of the extinct volcano from
whence came the entire island of St. Lucia, most likely. It reminded us of Yellowstone National Park in our
home state of Wyoming. Lunch was at a villa called Corney Roach Elbow... great name!
From there, we boarded a catamaran in the shadow of the Pitons, two immense, sharp peaks on
St. Lucia's west coast. We partied our way northward along the coastline, stopping to snorkel somewhere
near Anse la Raye. Today, we finally saw schools of cuttlefish (they look alot like squids).
After we'd re-boarded, the "booze cruise" started in earnest, so that by the time
we reached the docks, everybody was absolutely trashed. That meant it was time for a nap!

Telephoto shot from Gros Islet
Pigeon Island from
Gros Islet, St Lucia
14 September 2004
'Take a picture of me with my boat,' the boy-fisherman said
Fisherman-boy and
the family boat
14 September 2004
Smells like Yellowstone, bay-bee!
Sulphur Springs, St Lucia:
where it all came from.
14 September 2004
A good place for lunch
Corney Roach Elbow,
wash up for lunch!
14 September 2004
Would you climb this??
Petite Piton in the
foreground, St Lucia
14 September 2004
'On land, with the Pitons beyond
Alissa & Ben, with
the Petite & Gross Pitons
14 September 2004
Wouldn't mind living here for part of the year!
Crowded, but pretty:
Shadow of the Pitons,
14 September 2004
Headed back north,
West side of Saint Lucia
14 September 2004

Somehow we managed to make supper at the Tuscany. The sommelier brought us a bottle of
Fonterosso chianti, which was probably the last thing we needed, but it was so flavorful and oh-so-red!
We visited the piano bar again, and tested ourselves afterwards with a midnight swim in the shallow
"string pools" that surround the resort buildings like castle moats. As if that wasn't enough, we
took hot tub dips, which left us rubbery and anaesthetized. Perfect for Dreamland...

Nothing I dislike more than an unprotected painter...
Ben holding the ladder
for the painter,
15 September 2004
Shameless bikini photo
'The Orange One,'
as mentioned below,
15 September 2004
Where to get your batik!
Business in St. Lucia,
get your batik here!
15 September 2004
She's making up her mind...
Alissa and the goods,
Caribelle Batik...
15 September 2004
My journal only mentions the next day with a reference to the color of Alissa's swimsuit,
but I know this is the day we had an adventure into the nearest town with our new friends Debby & Glen
to find a cricket bat and a cricket glove. Our driver stopped to ask many a young man about where to find
these things. Eventually, we were able to purchase said items, as well as some batik cloth.
We ended the afternoon at a nearby Sandals mini-resort, a very quiet place, with grand hospitality.

Where the Lifeguards are... sometimes...
St Lucian beach,
northern shore...
16 September, 2004
That there's a French island
Martinique from
Saint Lucia
16 September, 2004
Catch that frisbee!!
'Chubs' running to catch
the incoming frisbee...
16 September, 2004
The 'I love her... uhh... bikini' picture
Alissa & Ben
on the beach
16 September, 2004
VICTORY! Back to dry land!
Return to shore,
Kayakin' St. Lucia,
16 September, 2004
Hearing the quiet on a hobie cat
Sailing in Rodney Bay,
Saint Lucia
16 September, 2004
Izzit a lion fish?!!? or a Lyin' fish?
Nice fancy fish,
Saint Lucia
16 September, 2004
She can hold her breath a long time!
Under the waves,
off St Lucia
16 September, 2004

We dined at Kimono's that night, and finished the night at the piano bar,
last song: "The Rose," played by Basil on the ivory keys. We went back to our
room and packed our bags for our early-morning departure to the United States.

Never before was nail polish sooo exciting!
The Geek & Mrs Boykin,
going to dinner,
16 September, 2004
Formal attire, island-style
Alissa ready for a
night at Kimono's
16 September, 2004
Benign clouds of the Caribbean
Our evening view at
Sandals, Saint Lucia
16 September, 2004
Balcony of our room...
A handsome dork,
a stunning babe
16 September, 2004
'Not just a regular girl!' --- from a song
Super Model.
Oh, Yeah.
16 September, 2004

'Will you PLEASE fetch me a glass of wine now?'
Waiting for supper
at Kimono's (Yum!)
16 September, 2004
Alissa laughing uncontrollably!
Supper High Jinx,
Kimono's, St Lucia
16 September, 2004
Rum & Cokes at the piano bar
Alissa enjoying the
sing-along. Piano Bar.
16 September, 2004
I can't remember his name, but Alissa does!
One of the nicest guys
in the whole world,
17 September, 2004
One of the nicest girls in the whole world
Ben & one of the
quietest girls in St Lucia
17 September, 2004

Flying over the long chain of islands on our way back to America, the plane was buffeted
by turbulence all the way to Puerto Rico. Tropical Storm Jeanne was now moving toward landfall
in the U.S., and had already wreaked havoc in Puerto Rico. We circled San Juan, seeing
muddy floodwaters below, and landed in a rain-drenched landscape. The next stage of our flight home
was cancelled for today, so we were accommodated in a very nice Hilton room. There were scores of
disgruntled, inconvenienced passengers everywhere, many complaining about the makeshift
niceties the airlines had provided for us. Alissa & I had no complaints, especially after
talking with several Puerto Ricans about how they had weathered the storm. They had lost many of their
most precious possessions, and even loved ones, yet here they were, welcoming strangers onto
their island nation, doing their best to make us feel at home. We were grateful, and thankful.
I wanted to return the favor, but was at a loss to match their unselfish sacrifices.

These guys will always take care of you!
The Sandals dive staff,
Saint Lucia
17 September, 2004
Kim will help you forget your troubles!
Little Miss Kim
can't be wrong!
17 September, 2004
Several thousand feet over a French possesion
Flight over the island of
Martinique, West Indies
17 September, 2004
Back when you could shoot a camera aboard a flight!
Flight into Tropical Storm
Jeanne, and Puerto Rico
17 September, 2004

I don't know when we'll get back to Saint Lucia. I would return there, and to Puerto Rico, anytime.