St. Lucia Redux – Part II

St. Lucia was not much of a stop for us. As a reminder, HERE is the post I did from the boat. These photos are essentially the same, or nearly the same, as the ones I did from the phone.

Here’s us (meaning Melisa, me, and the Royal Princess) getting into Port Castries. Rather, what we see as we get into port.

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

The entrance to the harbor is narrower than any of the other islands we visited.  The photo above shows the view out the back of the boat. I should have gotten an actual shot of the entrance, but we passed just to the right of those rocks.

Here’s what the other side looks like . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Yes, that is their runway . . . It’s not their main airport, in case anyone is wondering. This one is the George F. L. Charles airport, the other being the International Airport. This one looks to be for small planes. That’s only a guess based on the fact I did not see any 747s land or take off.

Looking back toward the entrance, you can see the other shore. The photos are a bit washed out as it’s before dawn, and I’m shooting a higher ISO than I should have (shot on automatic as opposed to manual).

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Those look like nice homes, but I would be worried about the day some Costa ship rams that point, slicing it off, and dumping the homes into the sea.

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

This is where we were heading . . . very, very slowly.

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

We would eventually dock behind and at an angle from the Silversea’s Silver Whisper. That ship holds a tad more than  1/10th the number of passengers carried by the Royal Princess . . . 382 passengers and a crew of 302.

The view on the other side . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Understand that it was dawn . . . lighting be bad, ISO be high, photos be grainy. BUT, you can see originals HERE, in the SmugMug St. Lucia Gallery. You can also click on the photos for a larger version (but less than original resolution).

The two photos above contain things I tend to focus in . . . boats:

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . and ruins . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

As far as I remember, every island had ruins . . . this one to me looks like the remnants of a prison, or maybe the compound of some religious cult. Regardless, they be all gone now.

Oh, look . . . more boats . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

The first is the Chale . . . I searched the Internet, but found very little on this mystery ship.

Other than . . . THIS, and THIS, and THIS. Apparently, it’s a tug.

The other ship just sailed past the harbor . . . it’s the Europa 2, part of the  Hapag-Lloyd Cruises stable of ships. Much like the Silversea line, these ships cater to people with more disposable income than people sailing on the Regal Princess.

Here’s another look at the other two ships . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

That’s a panorama from two separate images . . . note the people playing soccer in the background. Very early in the morning . . . they must really like soccer.

There was another ship docked . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

That’s the Insignia, part of Oceania Cruises . . . we did not know it while we were there, but that same day they had a fire on board, and three people died. HERE is the news story.

I’ll have other photos of the ship later on in the post.

So, here we are . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . ever-so-gently moving sideways to kiss the pier.

“What are them buildings?” you, oh gentle and most esteemed reader, ask . . .

Well, they are what greets all disembarking passengers at each port of call . . . a shopping center. Typically owned by the cruise lines, these places have an abundance of  diamond and precious stones vendors . . . don’t believe me? Read the St Lucia Shopping guide.

Of course, you can leave the gated shopping area, and venture out on the island proper.

Here are the St Lucia Patter, the St Lucia Port write-up, and the St Lucia Excursions.

The thing with St. Lucia’s excursions is there were few that did not include either riding in an egg-beater, riding on a boat, or swimming, and those few were already booked, and not by us.

I snapped a few more photos as we formulated our plan to eat breakfast and head out for a 3-4 mile walk. We decided that because it looked like buildings and shorelines were within easy walking distance.

So, a few more shots of what could be seen from the deck of the ship . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . including the deadly Oceana ship . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . and I stepped away from the railing.

By the way, we did not even notice the singular lack of passengers on the Insignia . . . not surprising as I usually try to ignore people. I probably thought I was being particularly masterful at doing so.

I already wrote about our experience when we ventured out for our walk, but for new readers . . .

The pleasure of walking (something we really enjoy doing) is greatly diminished when about every twenty feet you are accosted with people who own taxis, or work for people who own taxis, or work for companies who hire people to drive their taxis.

Look, I get it . . . the big boat comes in full of fat bastards who obviously have some money since they are tooling around on a half-billion dollars boat. It would be nice for these fat bastards to hire some of the locals and thereby part with them precious dollars.

I kid, but I feel for the people . . . they are trying to make a living. Except . . .

. . . we were walking on a straight sidewalk next to a street literally lined with bumper-to-bumper taxis. That means that, conservatively, every twenty feet or so (that’s roughly seven steps) some guy, and sometimes multiple guys, accosted us explaining the many reasons why we need to hire a taxi, and specifically, their taxi.

Never mind they just saw me turn down a string of twenty people before them, the last seven of which were well within earshot of me saying “No, thank you; we just want to go for a walk”.

It gets worse . . . there is obviously a hierarchy to where taxis park. The farther we got from the ship, the . . . ahem . . . less reputable the solicitors became. Gone were the uniforms and cars with taxi signs and numbers. Instead, some guy would saddle up to us, walking along with us, pull the cigarette from his mouth (it looked like a cigarette, so I’ll be generous and assume so), point to a beat-up vehicle, and explained the many reasons why we need to hire someone to drive us around, and specifically, that we should hire him.

I’m an old guy, but I’m reasonably athletic, I work out, and I specifically carried my monopod with me. It’s aluminum, and it’s topped with a camera head that weighs over a pound. I was constantly shifting from one side of Melisa to the other to intercept oncoming would-be drivers. It was less than relaxing because these guys would consistently come well within my comfort zone for strangers approaching me.

However, about a mile from the pier, the assault abated, and we just walked along the road and water.

One thing about tropical islands . . . they are warm, and they are humid.

Still, I shot some photos, bravely ignoring my progressively uncomfortable clothes, the heat, and the stickiness. We now live in Colorado . . . we have forgotten (and worked hard to do so) the evils of combined heat and humidity. They. Suck!!

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

We walked a little farther, entering a nice little park, and then we heard it . . . softly at first, but then progressively louder. And not one thing, but multiple things . . . the A/C, the shower, the International Cafè, doughnuts, iced tea, panini, ice cream . . . they were all calling us.

We tried to shut them out, but eventually succumbed, and headed back. By now my leg was bothering me, so the decision to forego further exploration was a pretty easy one to make.

This time we took a shortcut through the St. Lucia Fisheries Development. I wanted to snap a photo of the murals, and in the process found out the Project  for Fisheries Development was donated by the Government of Japan (you can’t read it here as it is too small, but that’s what the plaque on the wall says) . . . I guess Japanese people like fish; who knew?!

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

I was particularly pleased that I could name all the fish . . . Alfred, Jim, Brian, Dipesh, Ali, Dave, John, and Mike. I think the shrimp’s name is Bob, but I can’t be sure . . . they all look alike to me.

I also wanted to take closeups of the boats I had seen from the ship.

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Even got me one of them there composed and artistic shots people like.

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

This is where I solidified my opinion of the island of St. Lucia and, if not all the people, at least the ones we came in contact with.

The island is not one I’m keen on visiting again, and the locals I interacted with are assholes. Let me explain.

The sidewalk is wide enough for two people to pass shoulder to shoulder, and on the side next to the road there is additional room to step off into nicely manicured grass. On the other side there is a six inch drop-off into muddy and unkempt dirt.

Mud and dirt we had to step onto because said assholes purposefully blocked the sidewalk and the manicured grass. Hence, not impressed with the island or the locals, and when I become a multimillionaire (my lotto numbers are bound to hit soon), see if I build an obscenely expensive compound on St. Lucia. (hint: not happening)

Safely back on the ship, we took turns showering as the other person went for snack runs.

These are typical snacks . . .

20141204_125130_DIGI

We could have opted for these . . .

20141204_131852_DIGI 20141204_131908_DIGI

. . . but usually gravitated to these . . .

20141204_132018_DIGI

20141204_132143_DIGI

20141204_132159_DIGI

I just don’t trust fruit in foreign lands . . . they look  . . . unsafe.

Then we went to eat lunch. And then we grabbed more snacks and some coffees for the room so that I could sit on the balcony with my 400mm lens and snap away at anything that struck my fancy.

Mainly, we were waiting for the reservations we had for dinner, and it’s not good to let one’s stomach shrink in between meals. Besides, if you go to dinner hungry, you end up eating more.

Anyway, I took photos of ruins (or buildings on their way to becoming ruins) . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . of a few birds (egrets) . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . of boats (of course) . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . of the panorama unfolding before me . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

The first photo shows the entrance to the harbor . . . it looks wide, but this is a big ship.

Here’s a closeup of what was likely a post guarding the entrance to the harbor.

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Can you spot the cow?

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Occasionally I would capture a boatload of people returning from their excursions . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . looks like fun; now I’m sorry we missed . . . I can’t say it with a straight face; nevermind.

Here’s a couple of panoramas of the two sides of the harbor entrance . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,  Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . and of the Egret tree. I always thought they hatched from eggs, but apparently I was mistaken . . . they grow on trees.

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

This house looked like a very nice house . . . although it would not bother me, I was surprised to see it that close to the lighthouse.

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

This was odd . . . I could not figure out if it was a working gym, or something abandoned by the natives as they opted to pursue a life of taxi driving. 

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Here’s a few more panorama shots . . . 

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . a few more ships . . . 

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Notice the soccer players are gone . . . I guess I too would opt to play in the cool morning air as opposed in full sun.

Despite his poor choice when it comes to matter of trust, I like the old man in the front of this boat. That is exactly where I would want to sit.

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

I captured a few random houses . . . 

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . a near-empty Insignia . . . 

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . Santa Claus . . . 

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . more houses . . . 

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . a helicopter doing touch-and-go runs . . .

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . more boats . . . 

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . another house . . . 

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

. . . and more tourists returning from excursions . . . 

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

Cruise 2014, St. Lucia,

That was the last photo I took with the Nikon. The original post has a few more phone-photos, but nothing of worth. Some might argue there is little of worth here. Well, excu-u-u-u-se me! I’m new at this cruising thing. 

We went to eat, and had us a wonderful meal, ordering what we ordered whenever we went to a sit-down meal.

Melisa's meal

Melisa’s meal

Emilio's meal

Emilio’s meal

Melisa's dessert

Melisa’s dessert

Emilio's dessert

Emilio’s dessert

I really should do a cruise-food post . . . 

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Antigua, Caribbean Islands, Cruise Ship, cruising, Machines, Photography, Photography Stuff, Royal Princess, Scenery, Travel Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to St. Lucia Redux – Part II

  1. Beautiful. I love the juxtaposition of the old fishing boats and the huge cruise liner.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Even the ship in that small port seems weird . . . then again, that ship only drafts 28 feet.

      I think it would be neat to look out one’s window on an early morning and see this giant floating motel glide by . . .

      I like the idea of island living, but I suspect on something that small it would get old really quick. Now, the Big Island; that’s another matter.

      Like

  2. oneowner says:

    Nice set of photos. And you guys know how to pick desserts.
    I’ve heard others say that no matter where you go you’ll encounter locals that hate tourists, especially American tourists. Can’t say as I blame them. I know so many tourists that behave badly when visiting foreign lands and show little respect for the culture of the people they visit.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      I fully understand the driving force behind the behavior I saw, and especially in places where the economy is based on tourists doing their part and shedding dollars left and right.

      Like I said, I feel for them; I don’t see many ways that locals can elevate themselves beyond providing services to rich bastards from other lands.

      I was never really scared since there were people around, but on the other hand, some of the people get a little . . . testy. Honest, a certain kind of approach and some friendliness might actually have made us reconsider. However, angry-looking people telling me I need a taxi is not going to work. Not there, not here, not anywhere.

      Like

  3. mvschulze says:

    Been to a few islands, and this reminded me of some – not so inviting. But to be fair, you’d probably (but not necesarily) have to get more than a working harbor’s view to get an better feel. Thanks for the view, and the cow. M :-)

    Like

    • disperser says:

      I qualified the statement, but . . . we went on excursions on a few of the islands. Invariably, when we would get somewhere, there is the expectation you should buy something. Sometimes vendors would strike a conversation with you, and you were captured for 3-4 minutes just because you don’t want to be rude.

      The problem is that when you only have 15 minutes at a site, you really have no interest in buying stuff. We even had people trying to hand us stuff (which we refused), expecting we would buy it.

      So, yes . . . we are seeing a very specific segment of the population. On the other hand, that is all we saw, and it was consistent. I think Barbados had the least of it, and I’ll write about that as well, along with why I thought that might be the case.

      Also, to be fair, the cruise line is much the same way. They want to take your picture, accosting you, trying to steer you to the photographer, acting all friendly like, but not recognizing the intrusion. Except, with the cruise line people we could be a bit more firm . . . we were, after all, already their customers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha! Thanks for telling us the names of the fish! :-D
    I did see the cow! A brown cow! :-)
    I never tire of your photos of the sky and water and birds! They so captivating and beautiful! :-) And I LOVE seeing all the ships and boats! :-)
    Thank you, again, for taking us along on your trip! I’m so glad you and Melisa had such a good time! :-)
    HUGS!!! :-)

    Like

  5. Oh…and Santy! Wow, he stood out like a sore thumb! ;-) :-D If he ate all those snacks and desserts he’ll keep his shape for Dec 2015! ;-) :-P

    Like

    • disperser says:

      I have a confession to make . . . I used pseudonyms; fish are kind of private about their names.

      Glad you are enjoying the tour. It’s also a good way for me to imprint the memory in my mind. And to miss the food.

      And yes, it was weird seeing the jolly perv out and about. Although he looked as if he needed to hit the buffet a few more times so as to better fill out the outfit.

      Like

  6. AnnMarie says:

    Definitely a mixed bag, is St. Lucia. I think I’ll concentrate on the lovely tropical landscape.

    Liked by 1 person

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