POSITION : 14°04'•4 N and 060°56'•9 W
DAY/TIME : 4.02.2013, 20:00 UTC
MOOD: HAPPY !
Hard at the wind we made quick progress - sometimes with more than 10 Knots ( one Knot = 1852m / hour ),
and stayed close to the lee coast of St Vincent.
St Vincent as the "capital island" of the State 'St Vincent and the Grenadines' was spotted by Columbus on St.Vincent Day during his third voyage in 1498.
I don't know whether he set actually foot on the island that was called in the
Carib language 'Hairoun' = "home of the blessed" ,
but seemingly both parties put a religious touch to it.
By accident ??????
As you might have heard the phrase :
" The way of the Lord is unpredictable... " .
In any case if he - Columbus that is - would have put a foot on the island, I am sure he wouldn't have lasted long.
The indigenous people, the Caribs, defended their home fiercely untill the middle of the 18th century . They were 'supported' and finally overtaken by a new race though, the "Black Caribs", a mix from former slaves that had escaped or ship-wrecked on the shores off Bequia and intermarried with the locals.
Whilst again the island was disputed between the French and English over many years ,
finally in the late 18th century a British force
put an end to both
French dominance and Carib dreams of independence.
The only trace left from the first are names for some villages and coastal features. . Most of the latter were deported to Honduras, but their genetic legacy is said to be still there.
But the island looks definitely interesting.
If I should return to this area ever, I will visit you,
St Vincent !
where we had started our Caribbean adventure, and after
passing the island's landmark , the two 'Pitons' ,and a short stop for dinner in Marigot Bay,
with its famous Doolittle restaurant ( film set for the movie Dr.Doolittle),
we arrived again in Rodney Bay Marina.
I bet by now you can guess already the history of the island.
Yes, I can confirm, all of what you think of, is true !!!!!!!!
and more, because it
changed hands more than 14 times !
But as the island was linked to Martinique, it only finally became British after the Napoleonic Wars in 1814 .
And again, the French left a lot of names and the input for
the locals's language, patois, which is very much like creole.
In "Old french" patois means " incomprehensible speech",
and Parisians say that all natives of France outside Paris of course speak some kind of 'patois' !!
which is good news, so none of the locals here feels offended !
Gosh, Parisians are an arrogant lot !
Talking about french names, you will find on many islands
villages or mountains called "Soufriere" ( ie on St Vincent, Saint Lucia, Guadeloupe) .
In my ignorance I related it to "souffrir = suffering", and I assumed it was a reflection of the suffering and hardship by both the former slaves and colonists to make the steep mountains fertile. But it has nothing to do with it ! Surprise, Surprise.
a result of the often still active vulcanos that exist on these islands.
Now I wonder whether in case I would live next to one at home , I would consider paying $ 8 USD for visiting these places. stinking "like rotten eggs", or be paying the "guides" an additional $ 4 USD for telling me someyhing that one should have learnt in school in chemistry classes.
Anyway, here you feel "you have to" as part of your island experience,
but my eyes are still weeping from the exhausting gases, and I will not do it again.
But by all means, do it when you
come and visit.
Chat up the guides, they are all lovely ladies ,
and share the experience, especially
when you want to reduce your cholesterin levels and don't want to eat eggs no more for at least 4 weeks.
People of Basle/ Switzerland,
depending on the wind direction,
YOU must have a low cholesterol level !!!!!!!!
It is a beautiful island. this Saint Lucia,
originally in spanish : Santa Alousie.
where the Iguana freely roams,
banana plantations that have replaced the old sugar cane ones, a functioning tourism,
even traffic jams at "rush hour", visits by big cruise ships as much as smaller sailing vessels,
it is an intersting island to visit.
But stay away from the tourist trails, because only then will you meet real people :
Happiness is smoking a cigar called Hamlet !
( an old british advertisement slogan from the 80's )
The last point that strikes me is this :
Saint Lucia is now the the third independent country I have been visiting that has the same currency :
The EC Dollar, the Eastern Caribbean Dollar.
And there are in total 6 independent Caribbean nations
(hear hear !! )
plus 2 British overseas territories (Anguilla and Montserrat) ,
HEAR HEAR !!!!!!! )
under the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank located in St Kitts, have this
"Single Currency ".
RIngs a bell ?????
And they all have their different economies, developments, challenges, etc etc etc.
Now what strikes me to the point of feeling hilarious is that it seems to work.
You might even have a fit if you knew that it is a British invention !!!!!!!!
death of the Euro in December 2011,
again in 2012,
because they believe , or better don't want to believe it might ever work.
Do they know that their Queen's head is printed on this 'Single Currency" ,
and that it is actually printed in London ?
Now Brussels take note :
The Euro might work if you came over here and learnt from the islands !
I know, I know, it's so much smaller,
but then remember the "Flight of the Phenix".
It's the principle that matters !
Or you talk directly to Mr Cameron's chancellor ,
He will probably be most embarrassed if he had to admit to his Tory backbenchers that he knows a lot about how to run a "Single Currency" successfully.
Life is a bitch !
Yours, Master Mike