No Party of Five didn’t fall off the face of the earth. We are still here, but have been silent lately. We had guests aboard for the last 2 weeks that asked us to go silent on the Internet as they didn’t want people to know they were not home. Unfortunately, they are having problems with crime in the area they live and didn’t want to advertise the fact their house was empty. So now that they are back home we have the green light to start posting again.
First, some background. I met Michel this summer while working for LSC. We initially worked together a small amount in the shop. However, later we were both assigned to a pipeline job down in Medicine Hat where we spent way more time together. As Michel was staying in an RV right next to ours we became like a little family. He also generously offered to drive me the 1 hour (each way) to the job site after some others refused (to keep it PG, I will omit what I think of them). As payment, I did my best to regale him with stories of the high seas. I must have been successful as he swore he was coming to visit. True to his word, he booked a flight for him and his lady. So without further adieu, let me introduce you to Annette and Michel.
Michel wasted no time finding his Caribbean groove. Here he is on the first day getting some sun. Notice the rolled up shorts as he tried to get the tan all the way up. I would have suggested he wear a “Banana Hammock” but that would have been punishment for me!
Annette was also quick to get some sun. Of course Daphnie couldn’t be left out. Daph even insisted she cut an old shirt so she could have a bikini too.
Later in the afternoon, Quincy and Annette cooling down with a drink and the wind.
Of course Michel and Annette had to bring “A taste of Canada”. Rye and Maple Syrup shooters topped with whipped cream (I sure hope someone didn’t drink that fly).
The boys enjoyed some fishing off the back of the boat. Quincy is just out of shot to the right fishing with his rod.
*In my best Borat Voice* “Great success”
After a couple of days of sun and down time, we decided to rent a van. We were able to score this 2012 Suzuki APV. I then proceeded to perfect my ambidextrous driving skills. The day was full of great lines like “Holy Shit, a backwards roundabout. What the hell do I do!”.
Everyone was pretty relaxed though. A round of laughter even erupted over the “Roundabout” comment. Maybe it was the morning shooters that helped.
Everyone yelled “STOP” as we passed this lookout. St. Lucia definitely has some pretty sights. I don’t think I have even seen a postcard as pretty as this.
Next up was a small village called Anse La Raye. Michel had been conversing with an old school friend that had a house there. Here we stopped to ask where to find the “Canadian Guy”! We may have got sidetracked by the shops where an unnamed person may have bought a shawl that earned them the nickname “Mrs. Roper”!
After leaving the shops we followed the locals directions, “Up da big hill, mon”. They were not kidding, it was a big hill that a few people were stressing whether the old Susucki could make it up. I never had any doubt. Top of the hill, welcome to “The Druken Lizard Bar” owned by Stephan and Kim! Seems like my kind of place. (I’m kidding mom.. If I’m driving I don’t even have a single beer).
The Drunken Lizard sure has a pretty view! Anse La Raye in the foreground.
After introductions and getting reacquainted (Michel had not seen Stephan since high school), Stephan suggested a good local place for lunch. I have no idea who the guy in the picture is. We promptly kicked him out of the table and sat down for lunch.
Michel and Stephan after a fantastic lunch. BONUS – Stephan plays drums in a band called Starsik. Look them up on Google. To me, they are like a cross between Crash Test Dummies and Perl Jam.
At lunch Stephan casually mentioned that there was a nice jungle walk and “pretty cool waterfall” just around the corner. He offered to give us a private tour. Of course we quickly accepted as this is the type of thing Party of Five loves. There is something special about seeing things that ordinary tourists never get to. Here is the beginning of the trail.
A very cool jungle walk. Here we cross a small river.
This doesn’t really do justice to the waterfall. Its really difficult to see the scale here. I was way taller than it looks (that boulder in the foreground is as tall as me). The other cool thing is to the right is another river that joins this one right after the falls. Since that river traverses the jungle its much cooler than the water that comes over the falls. There is a small pool at the base where you can literally have one foot in the warm water and one in the cold water.
No description required..
I felt compelled to climb up the waterfall and dip my head in the water. Of course Quincy and Jonah followed suit. Jonah absolutely loved it and must have dunked his head 10 times.
Stephan climbed up a little higher and took a cool picture of the family standing on the waterfall with Michel and Annette looking on from below!
After we said Goodbye to Stephan and Kim (somehow I don’t have a picture of her). We went back to the boat and planned our next day. Unfortunately we had a little unplanned trip in the van first thing in the morning to retrieve a lost item. It wasn’t all bad though as Michel and I got to see when a 2012 Suzuki APV will lose traction. Who says you can’t drift a mini van!
After that quick trip, we planned to trip to Pigeon Island and a visit to Fort Rodney. Initially Michel and I took the kids while the ladies went in to town and shopped. Michel and Annette then did the tour by themselves after. The following are a combination of those pictures.
Fort Rodney is full of all sorts of old relics. Pretty sure even this little cannon would have killed you if you shot it like this.
Britain worked hard to ensure they held this chunk of land as it gave them a great strategic position to attack the French stronghold to the north (Martinique). All the relics date from the 1700-1800s.
Michel found this tree. I have no idea what it is, but I sure would not want to climb it.
The view from the top of the fort. Yup Party of Five is the little tiny cat. This picture really puts into perspective how small we are compared to most other cats out there. The catamaran to the left is a brand new Xquisite X5. She is the latest hull from that manufacturer. I think she is hull number 4 (they are new).
The other cool thing about this picture is the Sandals resort in the middle. That entire piece of land is man made and was constructed in 1972. Up to that point Pigeon Island (where Fort Rodney stands) was a real island. That means that the area where Party of Five is anchored would have been a very poor anchorage before that point. The water you see behind the Sandals resort is the Atlantic ocean and usually fairly rough.
As Annette and Michel’s time was coming to an end we decided to move the boat to Marigot bay, just 7 miles to the south. I really wished we could have sailed there, but the winds just wouldn’t cooperate. During our short motor over we saw winds go from 16knots to 32knots and back to 21knots in a 10 minute period. Add the 5 foot rollers (yes they really were 5 feet) and I just decided a motor was going to be easier on everyone.
Michel took this awesome picture. Party of Five is the little catamaran just to the right of center.
Marigot Bay is a stunning place. Here is a pretty picture looking out of the inner bay just after the sun has set.
Of course we had to make sure the drinks at the local establishments were up to par. The ladies cleaned up nice and made us fellas look like chumps.
As Michel and Annette were getting ready to leave this superyacht pulled out from the dock and motored past our boat. It came about 30 feet from us. For some sense of scale, look at the dude standing on the back using a radio to tell the captain how close he is to the other boats. (Yes, that is a helicopter on the front). The name of the boat is Vanish. She really is a private cruise ship.
Since Party of Five never says “GoodBye”, we don’t have any departing pictures of Annette and Michel. However we had a fantastic time and I sure hope they did as well. They are welcome back anytime.
We wish them fair weather and snow plowed roads.