The Burnetts are currently tied up in the famous Rodney Bay Marina on the island of St. Lucia, landing point for the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. We are only a few months too late to see everybody. That’s okay; we’ve already met some pretty cool people here, including Magoe and Clair of SV Macario, who run Macario Advantage, a nonprofit that helps out the poor in Dominica. Mel loaded them up with tons of clothes, books, and shoes. Especially Tommy’s outgrown shoes. He had a lot.
St. Lucia is the only country in the world named after a woman, and “St. Lusha” is probably a better name for it. Plants that had to be carefully cultivated into gardens in Barbados grow wild here, and the rainforest is like a botanical garden of the entire world, with tons of transplanted species enjoying the rich, volcanic soil. It turns out that St. Lucia is a really hot woman. We are wilting in the heat and humidity, as just four weeks ago we were in a vacation spot favored by Scandinavians. Read: Not hot.
At least if you live in a greenhouse, you get to look at green things. We had a fantastic day driving south and visiting the Diamond Waterfall and Botanical Garden and the “drive-in volcano”, which we learned is actually a caldera so big that it encompasses the entire town of Soufriere. We drove on the left in a car with the driver’s seat on the left, but the turn signals and wiper controls rigged as if it was on the right. That was a first! A few observations popped up during our experience: St. Lucia has different roads than Barbados, with more paved areas but bigger potholes; the rush-hour traffic is worse than in Barbados; the small towns in St. Lucia are surprisingly prettier than those in Barbados, with fewer unpainted, abandoned concrete monoliths and rotting wooden chattel houses and more stucco-covered structures with well-maintained paint jobs; and, despite the prevalence of a Creole language and the tendency of women to be soft-spoken, the people of St. Lucia have an accent that is easier to understand. However, being more mountainous, the attractions of St. Lucia are far apart, and more effort is expended to see them. In other words, if Mel were a pirate, she would definitely hide her treasure somewhere in St. Lucia, away from a resort. It would never be stumbled upon!
At this point in our cruising, fresh after seeing the remarkable man-made creations in Europe and Morocco, we are re-discovering the benefits of exposure to natural beauty. Looking at a gorgeously bright, unmaintained, flowering tree bursting out of the side of a pothole-ridden mountain road humbles one just exposed to the six-month infomercial on the glories of human civilization that was our Mediterranean cruise. This refocus on natural beauty is the whole point of the Caribbean for us, and the Burnetts are embracing it with zest. This means you are going to see a lot of plant and fish pictures, people. Enjoy, or perish, as so many cultures have done!
We are finally back on track with The Aquatic Adventures of the Amazing Marvin, and you can read Chapter 5 here. Soon we will start posting the story on Wattpad, a more public publishing site, but our good readers can continue to enjoy the story here as well.