Sundays at the Beach
When vacationers choose a Caribbean Island for their vacation, most people assume quality beach time will be part of the itinerary, as well it should be. But, all beaches are not alike. The physical terrain of an area has a lot to do with the appeal it has to tourists. And, of course, the body of water that the beach is on also has something to do with how enjoyable the beach is. For example, are there waves that are so large that it makes it difficult to be in the water? Do waves wash a lot of trash up on the beach? The answers to these questions help determine how enjoyable the beach will be.
One, of a number of beaches in St. Lucia, that is a great place to spend some time while in the Soufriere area is Malgretoute Beach. This is a beach that is well maintained and the people who frequent the beach are a nice mix of local residents and tourists. It is one of our favorite beaches on Island.
Malgretoute Beach is located in Soufriere. This Beach is a local favorite and a popular stop for boaters who are sight-seeing or just “cruising.” Being right at the Pitons, makes it a spectacular site to see from the water. The sand on this beach is not your white, fine grain sand. This sand is great for constructing great sand castles or whatever you choose to make. There are plenty of waves that come in from the sea, some of which are firm, especially when the wind conditions are right. This only adds to the allure and adventure of the water.
This is a beach that attracts family groupings, couples, and individuals who want to enjoy a beautiful day at the beach. On this day, it was especially nice to watch a group of kids who played soccer (also known as football in St. Lucia) then later played cricket right on the beach. The older kids were showing the younger ones how to play the games and helping them hone their techniques. The atmosphere was very positive as the older ones helped the younger ones. And it was instructive to those who don’t know the ins and outs of the games (like me.)
But, on this day, our eyes kept being drawn to the water where a number of boats were mooring to enjoy the view from that spot. There were a couple of “water taxis” and a couple of private boats who had been drawn to this beach to enjoy its beauty. There were also boat handlers on hand to help boaters get anchored by tying their ropes to trees on shore. At one point there were so many boats, they had to scramble to keep them from bumping into each other. They were successful, but had to stay alert to avoid mishap.
While we were there, a party cruise sailed in. You could hear their music way before they were ready to anchor. The party cruise stopping here is a weekly occurrence. Some of the people were dancing onboard as they came close to shore. When they anchored, some people from the boat dove into the water and swam ashore (others got on the dingy and were rowed ashore.) It appears they were a charter group of St. Lucians, probably from the Castries area, as some who came ashore knew a number of people at the beach that day.
Sometimes the party cruise is full of tourists who have signed up for a party cruise. The boat usually stays about an hour; bringing their party to all at the beach.
In addition to the party cruise, there were other boaters out on the water who came to shore to enjoy the beach on this day. The number of boats who came to shore is what accounted for the “fun” the boat handlers were having that day. Our hats were surely off to the handlers as they averted several bumps and scrapes.
It was great to relax at the beach, look out at the Caribbean Sea, enjoy the saltwater bath, and enjoy the people gathered at the beach that day! This is one of the things that tourists to St. Lucia can be a part of, enjoy the gathering of people, and learn more about the local culture.