IGY Crew Olympics & Lots to do on the ARC Programme
As yachts continue to arrive from sea, the ARC Programme shoreside is packed full of activities, offering a welcome change of pace for weary crew members.
To kick the weekend off, IGY Marina staff hosted the 'Crew Olympics' earlier today, which saw dozens of crews from the various ARC yachts competing against one another and an IGY staff team. Events included kayak football, tug of war and other fun and games, all fueled of course by local Piton beer and Chairman's Reserve rum. Indeed there was the requisite beer drinking contest as well.
This evening, a local ferry boat will make a run down to Anse La Raye for the sleepy fishing villages Friday evening Jump Up and Fish Fry. Close to 100 people are expected to take advantage of the sunset boat cruise and enjoy a part of the local culture here in St. Lucia.
Those remaining in Rodney Bay can sample some local culture of their own next door in the village of Gros Islet, a short walk from the marina. Every Friday night the locals hold their own Jump Up street party, always a popular late-night activity for ARC participants year after year.
Tomorrow the ARC Forest project gets underway in the morning. Some thirty participants are expected to take the local taxis into the hinterland to give back a bit to the local community on the ARC's tree-planting project. Following the morning expedition, crews will get a chance to explore the village of Dennery, another small fishing village on the souther, windward side of the island.
The events on the programme this year reflect the beauty of St. Lucia as both a posh resort destination and a haven for local Caribbean culture. IGY Rodney Bay Marina caters to the finest clientele and operates at the highest standards, from their pontoon facilities to their variety of restaurants and cafes, and Rodney Bay village itself is designed for tourists. But further afield (indeed just next door in Gros Islet), the islands local flavor is obviously apparent, there for the taking for those with just the slightest interest in adventure.
High atop the islands lush interior, quiet villages cling to the hillsides, local farms and banana plantations providing the livelihood to the locals. It's quite a dramatic departure from the busy hustle and bustle of the marina, and the friendly islanders normally welcome visitors with open arms, especially during the festive holiday season.
139 boats have finished the ARC 2012 thus far, with dozens more yet to come.