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Saturday, May 28, 2011

INTO PIRATES ALLEY ...........



Dead calm on a crystal clear morning in MARIGOT BAY, St. LUCIA with not a ripple on the water ............ Serene tranquility ....... It seems a shame to have to start the engine and move on out ............ The morning dew is all over the deck and the memory of last night's dusk and the waving palm trees lingers on ..... This truly is ' A hole-in-the-wall ' anchorage along the steeply-sided coastline of St. LUCIA ...... As silently as possible we glide out of the bay and head on south to our next island of St. VINCENT and another country ............



Twelve miles to the south of Marigot Bay lie the 'PITONS' ...... Two remarkable pinnacles that seem almost too steep to climb ............ Not that we didn't think of doing that ......... But thinking was a far as it got .....



Majestic to go sailing along this part of the coast.......... Magnificent mountains and scenery that takes your breath away ...... Just to see the prolific growth and greenery makes you want to stop and paint it .......



It's hard to keep the boat steady in the gentle swell so as not to blur the images and Laurie finds that cushioned spot on the up-turned dinghy on the foredeck as the best place to capture her photos .....



The air is laden with moisture that condenses easily near these pinnacles .......



And just like that we have left another country and need to take the St. LUCIA flag down and change it for another as we cross the open ocean passage that separates St. LUCIA from the next country of St. VINCENT .....



Just as mountainous as St. LUCIA but lacking the more developed infrastructure, St. VINCENT has always had to struggle to overcome the barriers to development ......... No golden beaches, no beautiful harbours, no places to safely anchor, no touristy places to market ......... St. Vincent's only real claim to fame is that its original inhabitants, the Carib Indians took possession of a wrecked slave ship and made them their own slaves, but soon found that 'they had chewed off more that they bargained for' ....... The captured slaves stole their Carib women and took to the mountains and formed a whole new generation of 'Black Caribs' ...... But that's all in the past ........ The British troops supposedly rounded them all up and sent them to Honduras, so the story goes ....... Looking at those mountains we doubt whether you would round anybody up ...... The steep hillsides have been extensively worked for agriculture and building even a small house is an incredible challenge, for roads are few and all construction materials have to be imported as with most of the Caribbean islands .........



We sailed into WALLILABOU BAY, one of several deep bays along this coast and picked up a moooring in 30 ft of water and 60 ft from shore ....... You can do the maths on this one ....... And this is where that wonderful movie " THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN " was filmed ...... We are anchored 'on location' ....... We are right up "PIRATES ALLEY" ........ The ones we see on shore don't seem to have a cutlass or a pistol, just a cellphone .........



You have to see the movie again to recognise some of the props and the sets, but this one immediately comes to mind when we think of the drunken debaunchery and the fights that took place outside the tavern ..... Do a double-click on the photos to enlarge them ......



But it's all 'make believe' ...... Smoke and mirrors ........ The whole facade is held up with scaffolding and inside on the walls, just as though it was yesterday, are the movie scripts, the flight schedules to bring in the actors to and from the airport, the details at what to shoot and where to shoot it ......... Amazing ............



You remember that mast that Captain Jack Sparrow clung to, as his ship sank beneath him .............. Well, it is right here ................. Though that is not Captain Jack clinging to it ..................





But the actors did leave their signatures and comments on this board ........ That's Johnny Depp's signature inside the skull near Laurie's fingers ............ Just beneath where he wrote " All good, Always " ...............



In one of the storage rooms are hundreds of old phones and an old manual telephone exchange, hence one of the comments on the board .......... Maybe they should have been sent to some other movie set ....... Stuff getting lost happens a lot in the Caribbean ........ Somebody may have 'pirated' the phones, little realising that they would become obsolete in no time at all ...............



And no doubt you remember the grottos and the caves and the incredible geological formations and the magnificent scenery in the movie ............. Well, it is all here still ....




And when the musket balls were flying through the air and Captain Jack took that flying leap to go spinning in a circle around that yard-arm contraption ..... Well, here it is now, rusting and barely recognisable, as are the bridge and the facades left on the beachfront .......... But this piece of natural wonder, this magnificent arch, you must surely remember for it had three pirates hanging from it .......... " Strung up by their necks till they were dead " ................. Reminders to the others .......... Do a double click on this natural arch ....... You remember all that, don't you .......... We could scroll through some of the celluloid film if you can't ......... But that might take a while .......... Better get yourself the DVD ....

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