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Official Publication of the St Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association

ISLAND YACHTING

yachting
 

RODNEY  BAY

Rodney Bay is over a mile long with a man-made causeway at its northern end that connects Pigeon Island to the mainland and shelters the whole bay. Within the bay is a large, completely protected inner lagoon, accessed via a man-made channel between Reduit Beach and the town of Gros Islet. This lagoon, dredged to 15ft., is the home of Rodney Bay Marina. It is also the ARC's (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) Caribbean home. Rodney Bay Marina is well known throughout the Caribbean as a first-class, full service facility. Concrete docks and berths that offer water and electricity (220 volts/50 cycles) with transformers are available to yachtsmen. Auxiliary facilities such as same-day laundry, ice and the refilling of propane gas cylinders are also provided here, the only place in the English-speaking Caribbean to do so. The Marina can also put yachties in touch with all types of marine specialists.

Within the Marina's complex there are restaurants, boutiques, banks with ATM facilities, public telephones, a supermarket, and car rental agency. The Marina also features a boatyard and dry dock with a 50-ton hoist and room for 150 yachts on long-term storage. The rates are some of the most competitive in the region. The services of a well-stocked, duty-free chandlery, banks, showers and bathroom facilities are also available. The boatyard complex offers sailors a machine shop, paint shop, fibreglass repair shop, sail making and GRP shop, and mechanical workshop. Visitors can also take advantage of the many fine restaurants, shops and hotels in the vicinity. Rodney Bay Marina (VHF 16) is an official port of entry to St. Lucia.  If you're planning to stay at the Marina, you must dock at a berth and walk to the Immigration and Customs office.

If you're planning to anchor out at Reduit Beach, Gros Islet or Pigeon Point, the Marina is the most convenient port of entry into St. Lucia.  A Customs' slip is located approximately two-thirds of the way down the outer dock at Rodney Bay Marina and is marked by a yellow post. Use of the Customs slip is free of charge. Immigration and Customs are usually open daily from 8 am to noon and from 1 pm to 6 pm.


CASTRIES HARBOUR

Vigie Creek (near GFL Charles Airport) and Castries City are the harbour's two main anchorages. Services include repair and replenishment facilities, hardware shops, restaurants and the capital's open-air market. Vigie is the more secluded of the two anchorages.

When entering Castries Harbour, it is necessary to avoid the shoal that extends to the west of Tapion Peak. Vigie Hill has a light that flashes twice every 10 seconds, allowing you to easily identify the harbour at night.

Castries does have Customs officials, but it is easier for yachtsmen to clear through Rodney Bay or Marigot. Officials insist that yachts entering the harbour come directly to the Customs' dock (if there is no room, anchor east of the Customs buoy). It is wise not to ignore this directive as a huge fine could be incurred.

The Vigie Marina at Ganters Bay is to become a new maritime terminal reserved for regional passenger vessels. This will also be an official port of entry.

MARIGOT HARBOUR

Marigot Harbour is completely sheltered and another one of the Caribbean's spectacularly beautiful anchorages. It lies approximately a mile south of the Hess Oil depot at Cul de Sac Bay, which is a conspicuous landmark even by night, as it is brightly lit. When watching for the entrance, keep an eye open for the prominent house with the bright red roof at the southern entrance. You cannot miss it.

When entering Marigot Harbour, stay to the southern side of the channel. Anchor anywhere in the inner harbour (the holding is fair in soft mud), then make your way to Customs & Immigration. Marigot Harbour is another official port of entry.

The Moorings manages the Hurricane Hole Hotel. In addition to the marina, accommodations include 16 cottages, bar, restaurant, pool and conference facilities. The marina offers long and short-term dockage in addition to supplies of water, fuel and ice. There is a laundry, sail loft and well-stocked mini-market, and the services of a mechanic are also available. Restaurants and shops are nearby. Marigot Bay Hotel monitors VHF 16 and 85, in case you need assistance.

SOUFRIERE

Home of the island's most famous twins, the Pitons, Soufrière offers dramatic backdrops for visiting boats. While Soufrière itself is an official port of entry, anchorages can also be found at Anse Chastanet, just north of Soufrière Bay, and off the Hummingbird Beach Resort north of Soufrière town. The Soufrière Marine Management Area issues Coral Conservation Permits to all vessels anchoring within the management area. The cost of the permit depends on vessel size and length of stay. Authorised members of the Soufrière Water Taxi Association will help tie stern lines and are available for any kind of water transfer service.  Rates are standard and they will also provide watchman services when boat owners are ashore.  In Soufrière, there are plenty of sights to be explored both above and below the water line.

VIEUX FORT

Home to St. Lucia's main international airport, Hewanorra, and the island's second-largest town, Vieux Fort is nevertheless still somewhat off the beaten track as far as most tourists go. Sporting one of the longest stretches of soft, sandy beach and offering the island's first (proposed) National Park, this official port of entry offers a more unspoiled version of the island's charm. Anchorages are off the town's big ship dock, where Customs can be found, or beside the brandnew Fisheries Complex. The town offers basic mechanical services, two well-assorted supermarkets/shopping malls and a great selection of fresh fruits, fish and vegetables on the Saturday market. Anse de Sable Bay, on Vieux Fort's reef-protected Atlantic coast, is proving to be one of the Caribbean's finest windsurfing locations, with state-of-the-art equipment for rent.

For more information on St. Lucia's marine laws, follow the marine guidelines included here (traduit en français) or check with the Department of Fisheries at 452-3987/2611, ext. 2811.

For your safety:

Protect yourself againt petty theft.
Lock up when leaving your boat, especially at night.
Leave someone on board when on anchor.
Lock your outboard onto your boat at night.
Lock your dingy to the dock or yacht.
Be cautious about inviting strangers onboard your vessel.
Inform a neighbouring yacht of your absence when off for a long period.
Report any suspicious activity directly to the local coast guard.
Call the Marine Police or Coast Guard on VHF 16 for quick response.

 


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