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St Lucia

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Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 5467
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, My wife and I went in about 2002 for a week , what I remember,

we flew USAir Ways from Philly direct. Their are 2 distinct areas North and South we flew in the South End , stayed about 20mins from the airport, looked for the hotel online , but don't see it on any site I pulled up. We could walk to the beach(long walk) or catch a local bus just at the bottom of a short hill, very cheap bus.
I sailed at Anse de Sable, Vieux Fort a pristine bay, inside very calm, go outside the reef, and its moderate waves. The bus would drop you off right at the Windsurf center, it was :::

but they have moved according to the web site. The owner when we stayed there was a Italian Lady, she sold the business, and since they moved somewhere North .

Mistral still have a rental center, google st lucia windsurfing , look for the Vieux Fort connection.

since the places we used are not there, and stayed ... or can't find anymore

recommending those is no point.

It was extremely reasonable, we were the only Americans at the hotel or sailing center, German, British ,Dutch , no issues with that, 6 months after 9.11 and they were all most kind.

We rented a car for a few days to look the island over, did some horse back riding , and site seeing, the North end proved a lot more popular, with another airport, all the more reason we picked the right end.

some very pricy hotels,

no problems with locals, very slow island style,

for the sailing I think it was March, it would be best described as lackluster

I had a few ok sessions, but nothing to write home about.

highlight of the trip was Brian Talma

WAS there for a photo shoot for his sponsors, and very approachable.

I would probably not recommend it based on windsurfing, but it may have been the .

time of year, very picture postcard beautiful, good food, nice people, but slow , very reasonable in price.

I might recommend Tobago , and if Anne is listening , Bonaire.

Our hotel was good, food v.good, our host at Tornado was a social butterfly, and made the trip, ( no longer there) rental gear A, instruction ok, but Dutch, speech a problem, cost A++++

go back....... maybe......forget the trip NEVER.


K4 fins
4Boards....May the fours be with you
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Joined: 20 Jul 2004
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in St Lucia in April 2008 for two weeks. Check this site they were the only windsurfing place on the island. I could not find the Tornado surfing Centre up North. The Anse des Sables is beautiful I did not get a lot of windsurfing as the winds were light, but kitesurfing was the ticket there.
(Tabou~R2) Coconut Bay Resort is the hotel close by (15m walk or short local bus ride) but we stay in a shack on the beach with the Club we rented the equipment from( check link above for accommodation, Reef Beach Huts) pretty rustic.
The Island is spectacular locals are really cool, a lot of sigthgseeing, sailing (Marigot Bay), diving, hiking and so on.
I was trying to re-locate there, but did not find descent job, and probably not enougth wind for me. If you like sailing large sails (6.0+) you should be OK. I was told the winter brings descent winds, was not the case in April. Forget about wave sailing.
If you really want to sail, Cabarete is really good in June (best of the year), but St Lucia is very nice island to visit.
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Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Posts: 406

PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:11 pm    Post subject: St. Lucia again, Not me!! Reply with quote

My wife and I went to St. Lucia in November 2007 to meet up with friends on a 2 year sailing trip. They met us at the airport at Vieux Fort and I picked up the rental car (driver on the right side and you drive on the right, scary). We drove back to their dingy at the main harbor only to find that their gas can and gas line had been stolen out of the dingy, along with the safety lock for the throttle. Motor will not start without it.

We had to row the dingy back to the boat where my bro had extra parts, but it was our first experience with the extremely poor inhabitants of St. Lucia. Walking around the town of Fort Vieux is very risky for tourists. We were told this by several people after our arrival and warned not to even go to certain towns and not to leave anything in our car, ever. That was frustrating since I had $2,000 worth of kite gear strapped to the top.

The windsurf center at Vieux Fort was fully stocked and the bay was great . but we only got 7.0 conditions. We never saw any real wind during the week, but there was some really serious shore pound coming in the bay. A beginner/intermediate could easily get thumped hard.

We made a decision to abandon Vieux Fort and we split to Marigot Bay up North. This is a luxury resort cove with fine dining and a great beachside Hotel. Our friends 45 footer was anchored 30 feet past the swimming area and I routinely swam out for beers and snacks. We also did the Rodney Bay siteseeing tour and was actually offered weed at the local flea market. We bought a little so as not to hurt the vendors feelings.

Though we were happier and felt safer in Marigot Bay, it is a very long and mountainous drive to the South end of the island for windsurfing, 1.5-2 hours. The roads are sketchy at best and keep in mind that you are driving on the wrong side of the car and the wrong side of the road. I can't emphasize the dangerous driving enough. There were no new rental cars on the island and we had two different cars because one broke down (notha major hassle) and they were both total rejects with 200-300K miles. I'm telling you they were crap and they were from Avis, which operated out of someone's living room in a 2 room house.

We checked out windsurfing by the Sandels resort in Rodney Bay, but their gear was 12' antiquated boards and the trades blow offshore there.

I agree that you should check into Caberete or Virgin Gorda. St. Lucia is beautiful, but risky in many ways and we will not go back.
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