I’m in the land of Doctor Dolittle at Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia (the 1967 movie was filmed here)… Quaint but somewhat contrived. Why is it that marina or tourist developments in general wind up looking like Club Med or Disneyland theme park imitations?
Maybe the same architect is commissioned to do everything?
Remind me never ever ever to do something similar in Saint Laurent du Maroni…
Dare I confess that I’ve reached the point where every island is starting too look the same? Have I become so blase about travel to new Caribbean destinations that nothing strikes me as novel and interesting anymore? Even my brief visit to a real marina in Rodney Bay seemed somewhat lusterless.
Something is missing….. and it’s all to do with people!!!
While yachting facilities and infrastructure generally improve as I venture north, and the scenery is consistently spectacular, the sailors welcome I’ve grown accustomed to further south is noticeably absent!
Now before I get everyone upset with me for making such a blatant generalizations based on my not so lengthy visits (in what could arguably be considered the low season), let me at least try to justify the observation…
Caveat: As I am rather fond of my personal wellbeing, readers easily angered and harboring vengeful violent tendencies toward bloggers with unpopular views are kindly asked to skip the following paragraphs…
Easily swayed peace loving, ad clicking types, please read on:
I’m afraid (not really, but bear with me), that in tourism dominated economies, visiting yachtsmen are viewed as nothing but ambulatory wallets, and no amount of well rehearsed “I hope you have a excellent day…., enjoy your meal… do come back soon”, plastic wrapped fast food friendliness can substitute for a sincere welcome.
It’s obvious that there’s been too many yachts passing through here, we’re not visitors, we’re a plague!
No wonder that even simple courtesy between navigators has become somewhat contrived.
In South America (or at the jump off points from Europe), where distances between ports are measured in days rather than hours, sailors eagerly seek one another’s company. There is a tangible sense of community among yachtsmen and everyone does their part (whether that be by assisting with mooring lines, lending a hand with mechanical repairs, sharing a taxi, even playing interpreter), to make one another feel at home. Wow, it’s just like Shangrila isn’t it? lol
Since arriving in Grenada, I get the impression that yachtsmen are doing their best to avoid one another. Other yachts and yachtsmen are viewed as obstacles (unless of course they happen to be the Cruising Association of Brazilian Bikini models).
I’d like to place the blame squarely upon the yacht charter contingent for this. They’re certainly not reading this article and conveniently can’t defend themselves. An obvious choice for a scapegoat, plus it stops me wondering if I’m being ostracized by other sailors because my boat isn’t pretty enough, or by the locals because my wallet defies their ambulatory wishes and remains stubbornly sedentary.
As I’m obviously too lazy to polish Eileen every second day, (and I think I’ve misplaced my wallet… will you buy this round?…), I’ve decided to solve the social niceties issue that’s been bugging me by being anti-social too, and avoiding all the well traveled sailing routes Ah, to boldly… (more likely blindly)… go where no other yachtsman’s wallet has gone before….
But first I have friends to see in Martinique…