As you have been reading we loved checking out all there was to do in Soufriere and the Piton Management Area, but it was time to move south and get to the Grenadines. I chose for us to cruise down to Vieux Fort at the southern tip of St Lucia to explore a bit and clear out of the country, so we could see the whole western coast of St Lucia. Bad plan!!!!!
It is only 12 miles from the Pitons to Vieux Fort, but it is to the southeast and usually into the wind. The shore is all cliffs and Steve made the observation that it looked like some simply took a knife and slice a piece of cake off. The only anchorage along the way is the village of Laborie. Both Laborie and Vieux Fort are small fishing communities and don’t see a lot of cruisers or tourist, so if you want to get away for a few days these are nice options.
If you want to check out then get ready! Vieux Fort is a port of entry and the office is up from the commercial dock. When we came by in the dinghy the dock, yard, and buildings all looked abandoned and we figured there was no office anymore. This was reinforced by the fact the cruising guide and customs in Rodney Bay said to check out at the airport.
For this reason we took the dinghy over to the nicely protected, fully enclosed fishing port and walked half an hour to the airport. It was a pleasant walk right through town where we saw everyday life as the people sold fish in the proper fish market and vendors sold fruit and other stuff along the main street. It was ironic they were set up right along the street where there was “NO VENDORS” painted over and over down the street. Anyways, we get to the airport and they tell us they can not help us and we have to go to the commercial port, which is in fact open (the active building are several hundred yards back from the dock). ☹ We chose to take a taxi back in town to save some time. Once we found the customs office he cleared us out and was very nice, but he said Immigrations was not in their office so we would have to go to the airport to have our passports stamped to finishing clearing us out. WHAT?!?! NOOOOOO!!!!!!
It would have been so much easier to check out of Soufriere and then sailed straight south to St Vincent instead of motoring to Vieux Fort and trying it from there!