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Author Topic: Recent (Oct 2020) St Lucia trip  (Read 446 times)

Wetstuff

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Recent (Oct 2020) St Lucia trip
« on: October 28, 2020, 02:08:06 PM »
This is a copy/paste from our local kite forum...

"We had heard of a kite spot in St Lucia from several people that I kited with in Turks & Caicos called Coconut Bay Resort. My wife surprised me with a trip to Coconut Bay last January, however it took 3 tries to finally get there. January and February are the best months for kiting there, but they have strong winds almost year round, with the exception of late summer/early fall. Coconut Bay is a very large resort with accommodations for up to 570 people. There is a family friendly side with water park/lazy river, adults only side, and upscale adults only with butler service. All areas are all inclusive. We were originally booked at the adults only Harmony area with the last room available. Fast forward a cancellation and two Covid cancellations, we finally were booked at the upscale all inclusive Serenity for the same price as Harmony. Serenity has about 20 rooms which are about 700SF each with their own pool and outdoor bar area.

All inclusive is really all that there with a restaurant and bar centrally located with all meals prepared individually with no buffets. There were about 6 honeymooning couples there and few other couples. Staff to guest ration was 2 to 1. Serenity is one of the few hotels in St Lucia that is Gov’t Covid approved. Temperatures were taken before every meal and masks required for all off location excursions. There was a 2 hour wait to clear the Covid screening tent on arrival to St Lucia. There is a very low incidence of Covid on St Lucia.

There is a dedicated kite shack at the end of the beach at Coconut Bay in which you could rent anything that you needed including foils and directionals. There is 3 person staff on location to assist or do lessons. Air line was available that had a set up to limit the pressure that could be sent through the kite valve, very clever. As this was off season, I was the only kiter at the resort. Linus (pronounced Leenis) was super helpful even performing a repair to one of my kites and giving some additional lessons for which he did not have to when I rented their foil for my third attempt at foiling.

There is a large beach which was super simple to launch and land from, a relatively shallow section of sand and grass, and then multiple levels of reef structure which I had not experienced before. The reefs were almost exposed at low tide. I rode my 17M the first day in light winds which did not really amount to a lot of kiting. The second day I rode my 14.5M OR Aluula Flite. I did get a good half day on the 14.5M. The reef structure really did not break down the waves like they do at other Caribbean islands so there was a good bit of chop. Once you got to the outside, there were some pretty substantial swells you could ramp off of. As I was out there by myself, I didn’t partake of too much jumping on the outside being worried about dropping my kite in the wash over the reefs to the inside. I rode the kite shack’s double agent foil for the rest of the afternoon with varying degrees of success as the wind was very light and keeping the kite in the air proved just as difficult as trying to keep going on the foil.

Another issue that I had not experienced before was the current on the inside of the reef structure. Essentially with the wind from the NE it drove a 3-4 knot current down the inside of the reef. This coupled with the light wind made for some slogging and working the kite to get back upwind.

The next two days were spent on excursions on the island in which we travelled over an hour one way to see the botanical gardens, active volcano, mud baths at the volcano, and lighthouse hill which overlooks the entire Southern part of the island. The second excursion was a snorkel trip on a catamaran to Sugar Beach and off shore of Jade Mountain on the East side of the island. The excursions were very good. Big takeaway here was that I don’t know that I would rent a car and travel on island like I have on many other Caribbean locations. There was very little infrastructure that catered to tourists. It is like the island is made up of very small towns that are run and frequented by the locals.

I kited the final morning before flying out at 3pm back to Miami. Bummer of the trip was waiting 4 hours for our 8pm flight to National and then having it canceled and having to fly out the next morning. Sorry for the length, but I find the long descriptions that are written by many of us are very helpful in finding new and exciting places to kite. I would go back to Coconut Bay but probably would go in high season, even though basically having the beach and launch to myself was pretty cool too."

...sounds like a good spot to bring a wing.

Jim

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Wetstuff

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Re: Recent (Oct 2020) St Lucia trip
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2020, 02:12:03 PM »
His reply to: "My only complaint is food and lodging cost."

"Your complaints are 100% valid. We usually go to the grocery store and make most of our food, and we stay in places that have some sort of kitchen. We use VRBO.com 1 to find the best deals. If you don’t drink, you can save the most money. Most expensive alcohol cost I have seen anywhere I have traveled.

I have not traveled there in the high wind season due to cost as well. Even in shoulder season, Long Bay is one of my favorite places anywhere to kite."


Jim
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Wetstuff

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Re: Recent (Oct 2020) St Lucia trip
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2020, 02:32:46 PM »
....this was buried within another question about flying to Padre Is.    Jim

"I just got back from St Lucia. Plane was completely full on all flights; DC to Miami, Miami to St Lucia and back. Airports were reduced in capacity somewhat but full lines in customs and airport security. Spent 2 hours in a line to get Covid screened at St Lucia. Had a negative Covid test in hand from 3 days prior to travel. Everyone had masks on at a minimum, many had full face shields. I really didn’t hear of anyone complaining about the additional requirements. Full field report to come. Spoiler alert, the wind was incredible…today, the day after being there for a week in light wind. I stayed at Coconut Bay’s Resort area called Serenity for a quarter of the normal cost. It was pretty epic all inclusive."
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APPST_Paddle

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Re: Recent (Oct 2020) St Lucia trip
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2020, 07:03:54 AM »
I was actually just looking at St Lucia and that resort for Feburary. I hate the idea of an all-inclusive, but if the price is right, the wife would probably be pretty happy.

Question - any waves outside of the reef there? I've heard a bit of hit and miss. I'm down for a only kiting trip, but I want a wave, I'm over twintip riding.
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Caribsurf

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Re: Recent (Oct 2020) St Lucia trip
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2020, 07:30:47 AM »
If I am not mistaken, that southern part of the island is quiet and not as many resorts, restaurants and bars as Castries and Rodney Bay areas so an all inclusive would be good because not a lot around.

Years ago when they first opened Hewanorra International Airport, there was very little there in the way of hotels and amenities and it’s a 1 1/2 hr drive to Castries. 
It may be different now, but when I first flew in there, it was pretty isolated.
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APPST_Paddle

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Re: Recent (Oct 2020) St Lucia trip
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2020, 01:55:13 PM »
If I am not mistaken, that southern part of the island is quiet and not as many resorts, restaurants and bars as Castries and Rodney Bay areas so an all inclusive would be good because not a lot around.

Years ago when they first opened Hewanorra International Airport, there was very little there in the way of hotels and amenities and it’s a 1 1/2 hr drive to Castries. 
It may be different now, but when I first flew in there, it was pretty isolated.

Probably the same, pretty sparse, I don't see much of a wave there like Barbados. I wish I could make it to Barbados, but with the secondary test and quartantine until it comes back pretty much kills any vacation.
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