The next stop down the line was at Rodney Bay on the northern end of St. Lucia. The overnight trip from Martinique to St. Lucia was Becca's last overnight sail, her last longer trip aboard Strolla so she took the opportunity to do a few things she hadn't done yet this trip. Namely, climbing the mast.
Rodney Bay is surrounded by a string of beach side resorts and a marina. Not much else there but, all four of us met and became friends this past Summer working at Jackson Lake Lodge, a Vail Resorts property. We knew they also owned a hotel on Rodney Bay and were curious to see it. We did. It was your basic tropical resort, expensive and sterile, little to do except lie on the beach and bake. I get enough sun. I seek the shade. We took a quick walk through, dipped a toe in the pool, briefly thought about steeling some towels, and left.
Further down the coast, we stopped in at Soufriere, a beautiful, deep bay in the shadow of the Pitons, two jagged mountains rising straight up from the water's edge. Here, we had our first encounter with "boat boys," local boys in motor launches who come out and give unrequested, unnecessary assistance in exchange for tips. We'd been warned that these boat boys could be aggressive but, no one had told us what exactly they did.
When the first two motored up to us in their skiff, five miles out from the bay, and asked where we were headed, we told them. Why be rude? And, when they approached us again one mile from the bay asking if we needed a mooring, we said, "sure, why not?" By the time we realized what they were up to they'd already spent enough time and fuel on us that they weren't leaving without a tip. They led us to an empty mooring, held up the mooring line and then kept their hands held up after I'd taken it, waiting for money. I gave them a five. They insisted on twenty. I laughed. They remained bobbing next to us, staring sullenly. We sat on our boat and stared back. They saw the empty beer cans in the cockpit and asked for a beer. I laughed again and gave them each a warm can. They took the beer, threw the five on the floor of their boat contemptuously, and motored off. That was the last time I was nice to boat boys.
The town of Soufriere wasn't much of a place. It was dirty, dilapidated, and what businesses there were, were closed down for the weekend. A quick walk through convinced us we didn't want to spend another second there. We spent the night on the boat and left early the next morning, bound for Fort Vieux on the island's southern tip.