St Lucia – The hunt for immigration in Marigot Bay

St Lucia

The Grand Pitons of St. Lucia as we approach from the south

St Lucia is an island where a tourist must be careful about places they visit. Our first views of St Lucia included the magnificent twin pitons. Unfortunately the bay and town of Soufriere at the base of these pitons has a group of armed thugs at large who recently attacked a charter boat with two families aboard. This happened just last month. The four men had guns and knives and boarded the vessel in the middle of the night waking the chartering guest from sleep. The police seem very indifferent about catching the gang. The cops took no finger prints or any other forensic evidence from the victim’s boat. They initially tried to hush up the incident in fear that it might stop tourists. Guess what; not catching them is what is keeping the tourist away. There are only about one hundred thousand people on this island. My guess is the cops already have a pretty good idea about who these men are. Needless to say, we bypassed this town even though it would have been a nice place to stop.

St. Lucia

Cindy raising the Q flag to indicate we need to clear Customs and Immigration as we enter port.

Instead, we worked our way up to Marigot Bay. Just outside of the bay entrance our engine suddenly dropped in RPM and started to vibrate. This is not a good thing. Our propeller had become entangled in an unmarked fishing net. This is Murphy’s Law at its finest. When we hauled the boat for bottom paint in Grenada a couple of weeks ago, we had to remove the Spurs from the prop as a small part on them broke. Spurs cut up fishing nets and lines that become entangled in the prop.

We did not have the part we needed to fix them but knew we could get what we needed in Martinique where we plan to be in December. Thinking I could put the Spurs back on using SCUBA gear we thought until then we would sail without them. I mean, what are the chances of finding fishing net in this massive ocean in the meantime? Ha! Seriously. We could barely go above idle speed as we entered the harbor. But lucky for us, this is all we needed since we were at the mouth of the inlet. I felt really bad about hitting a net. This was someone’s livelihood and I just tore it to shreds. Another part of me says, if they wanted to protect their equipment they should have marked it with floats.

Limping into Marigot bay we picked up a mooring buoy owned by the local resort with the help of the dock staff. Our first stop needed to be to check in with St Lucia customs and immigration. They have a small office at the resort. We could do the customs part but immigration was nowhere to be found. The customs guy kept telling us to check again tomorrow. Our entire three days in Marigot bay were spent there as illegal aliens. We never did find the immigration guy. We figured we’ll check in with immigration at the next port and hope they don’t deport us. After checking in with customs, I put on snorkel gear and began the task of cutting away the fishing net from our propeller.

Marigot Bay, St. Lucia

Look what I found entangled in the prop!

Our fee for the buoy included access to all the resort amenities. We are not really resort type people and care to spend our days on something more productive than lying by a swimming pool. For this reason, we were both a little disappointed with the lack of things to entertain ourselves with in Marigot. It’s a scenic bay but other than a few bars and the resort, there is not much else there. It did prove to be a very entertaining location from our cockpit. There are a lot of small ferries coming and going, huge catamarans enter the bay full of cruise ship people on an excursion. Their music is loud announcing their presence and the people aboard are all lobster red. They look at us and we look at them. We all wave and they go on their way. I wonder how much they will be hurting from their sunburn the next day. I also wonder if the tour boats are looking for the giant snails that once inhabited the bay.

Marigot Bay, St Lucia

Cream Puff in Marigot Bay

Marigot Bay, St. Lucia

The resort and shopping in Marigot Bay

Marigot Bay, St, Lucia

The Giant Sea Snail of Marigot Bay!

A little known fact about Marigot Bay, the 1967 film Doctor Dolittle was filmed here. Or, at least parts of it were. Cindy found the picture above online showing a giant snail coming out of the water at Marigot Bay. Where this picture was taken has hardly changed in the 50 years since the movie’s release. There is a restaurant called Doolittle’s nearby (they added an etra “o” to the name). This is about all there is to serve as a reminder that the movie was made here. During our stay as illegal aliens, we didn’t see any giant snails or talk to the animals. But, I did feed the small birds.

Doolittle's Restaurant and Bar, Marigot Bay

Doolittle’s Restaurant and Bar built where the giant snail came ashore

Marigot Bay, St. Lucia

The little bird was hungry and brave enough to eventually take the bread from my hand

Did you know birds do not like beer? Go figure.



Categories: Caribbean, Sailing Blog, St Lucia

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