MAGICAL MARIGOT BAY
What's so special about Marigot Bay? It's often been said that it's the Caribbean's best kept secret as well as one of the most famous beauty spots in the Windward Islands. How can it be both? Well, the truth is that Marigot means many things to many different people.
To the yachtsman it's the best place to be when the satellite pictures show a storm brewing in the Atlantic – which is why the famous old hotel there used to be called the Hurricane Hole – literally a safe haven in a storm. If you visit Marigot when a tropical wave is passing through, you'll see a very different picture to the one on the postcards when the sun is shining on the serene blue green waters and elegant yachts are rocking gently at anchor. When there's a storm warning, it's hard to see the water at all, so many boats are rafted up together from one side of the mangroves to the other and the Soggy Dollar, Chateau Mygo and JJ's Paradise are full of oilskin-clad boat owners anxiously watching their masts as they down their rum punches and swap stories of narrow escapes at sea.
A Playful Place
And the next day, when the storm has passed, the bay will once again be calm and clear and most of the yachts will be gone. In fact often, after a shower of rain, the scenery seems sharper and clearer and brighter than usual and sometimes, if you're lucky, you'll see the Marigot rainbow arching itself right across the entrance, like a multicoloured bridge. Small children will be swimming from the sandspit and swinging on ropes from the palm trees into the water. Flying fish will be leaping playfully around all the little boats: the banana seller on his pedalo, adventurous families in ocean kayaks, dive parties heading out to sea and Captain Bravo's little ferry carrying passengers to and fro. And visitors and St. Lucians alike will be soaking up the atmosphere as they relax in the little bars and restaurants around the water's edge.
A Wildlife Sanctuary
But it's not just people who love Marigot it's also home to a huge variety of beautiful birds and fish that live there too. Right on the edge of the Soufriere Marine Park, the thick mangroves are a spawning area and the most amazing variety of underwater life in shapes and sizes and colours can be seen under the docks. Huge frigate birds swoop down and pull fish right out of the water and blue herons wade in the shallows looking for smaller prey.
So whatever else you do on your visit to St. Lucia, take time to check out the Marigot Magic for yourself. Whether you want to relax, explore, or take part in the many watersports available, Marigot is waiting to welcome you.
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.
Facilities at Marigot Harbour
The Moorings Yacht Charters: VHF 16/25, 35 charter yachts; deep water berthing facilities for yachts up to 200'; 26 slips; fuel; water; supermarket. Sail loft and mechanical facilities are available. Restaurants and shops are nearby.
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