Friday, February 24, 2012

Holiday Cruise, Day 5: St. Lucia

Our next stop was St. Lucia, one of the Windward islands of the Lesser Antilles (see map in previous post for reference). We docked at Pointe Seraphine (northwest, near the capital, Castries).
Map of St. Lucia (source)
View of Pointe Seraphine from the cruise ship:

Pointe Seraphine, Saint Lucia

We sailed from there to Pigeon Island National Park (further north, almost to the top tip of the island) on an 85-foot "pirate ship" schooner named "Liana's Ransom". The weather was perfect.

The schooner had a crew of "pirates" who were fun and interactive, and, of course, they were dressed in pirate costumes. Some of the views on the way to Pigeon Island:



Pigeon Island:


Ed, Daniel, and I hiked up the peaks while Cindy and Ed (Sr.) hung out at the beach. Bernadette wasn't feeling well that day, so she unfortunately didn't make the excursion.

Fort Rodney (named after British Admiral George Rodney) was built atop the lower of the two peaks (called Fort Rodney Hill, to the left in the above photo) in 1778. Pigeon Island is about 25 miles from Martinique (which we could see in the distance, but it didn't show up very well in the photos we took), so it was an important British observation and defensive site. Some views from Fort Rodney:


 
Fort Rodney, Saint Lucia
Overlooking Martinique from Fort Rodney (Martinique is in the distance to the far right)

Pigeon Island Saint Lucia

Pigeon Island Saint Lucia

Pigeon Island Saint Lucia
Signal Peak
Pigeon Island Saint Lucia
View of the causeway connecting Pigeon Island to the mainland
The taller peak, Signal Peak, is 359 feet tall. Pigeon Island was joined to the mainland (Gros Islet) with a man-made causeway (shown in the above photo) in 1972 to form Rodney Bay Marina. We continued up to Signal Peak for some more photos. It was very steep and rocky, so it was more of a workout than we anticipated!
Pigeon Island Saint Lucia
View of Fort Rodney from Signal Peak

Pigeon Island Saint Lucia
View of Rodney Bay from Signal Peak

We hiked back down and sailed back to Pointe Seraphine. We had a little extra time to check out the shopping area. Ed got some great shots of local flora there.

Pointe Seraphine, Saint Lucia

Pointe Seraphine, Saint Lucia

Pointe Seraphine, Saint Lucia

Pointe Seraphine, Saint Lucia

We wish we had more time to see more of the island. I especially wanted to see more of the Pitons (on the southwest coast of the island). We'll have to go back some time!

And here's a nice gradient of the sky at sunset as we left port:

Sunset at St. Lucia
Our next and final stop before heading back to Miami is St. Kitts.

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