Please select your home edition

World ARC 20/21 participants enjoy the scenic adventure tours tree top Canopy tour

by World Cruising Club 11 Jan 20:11 UTC
World ARC 20/21 participants enjoy a day zip-lining through the Saint Lucian rainforest © World Cruising

Ahead of crossing the start line for World ARC 2020, participants have been enjoying a day out swinging in the tree tops of the luscious Saint Lucian rainforest, on a zip lining adventure. We had a record turn out on the first Sunday of the event with 35 crew taking part, and the tour ran again today - with our youngest crew members on Deo Juvante brave enough to come for a second time!

En route as we drive through Castries we learn that there are 78,000 residents here, which is a large amount of Saint Lucia's population. The city is built over a dormant volcano which has created the deep natural harbour, and so the cruise ships which stop here, 3 of which we see in the port today, easily fit in the 72 foot deep basin. We drive past the artisan and handcrafts section of Castries market and see where the farmers market begins. Seon explains about products available to buy here for provisioning for the trip. Interestingly bananas are a chief export of St Lucia - largely going to Sainsbury's supermarket in the UK, and cocoa beans - 80% of which go to making Hershey's chocolate in the US. In Castries market we will also find mangoes and huge avocados. We are now in mango season, and are incredibly as many as 50 different types of mangoes on the island.

Past the market is the island's oldest church, which is two tier and can hold 2000 people. Whilst a number of religions are practiced on the island these days, the island is predominantly Roman Catholic. Next to the church is Derek Walcott square, home to the island's two Poet Laureates figureheads. After reaching the other end of Castries we head up the nicknamed 'Lucky Hill', another rather steep windy road, which was used as a strategic defensive look out point by both the French and British (whichever one owned the island at the time!) Half way up the hill we reach one of the best views in St Lucia, the official residence of the Governor General, before catching a misty view of the island's highest point, the peak of Mount Jimmy.

Once we reach the zip lining centre the participants are geared up in harnesses, big gardening-style gloves, hairnets and helmets. We meet our experienced tour guide Seon, who introduces himself as "the guy that pushes you off the podium if you hold up the line"! He is a real character, and explains about the day - advising us to use the bathrooms at the base before the tour, as the only bathrooms along the route are the natural kind...

Trained guides then took us on the ride of our lives over 12 different zip lines, and walking across 5 net bridges. At first, we tentatively watch the demonstration (keep your legs crossed, hold the strongest arm back and hold onto the lower wire, learning how to stop ourselves... what could go wrong?!) feeling quite nervous. But once we take the plunge on the first line, adrenaline kicks in and it's an experience like no other!

One of the zip lines is the island's longest, highest and fastest - and had to be re-set up in 4 different ways to be able to become safe enough for novices to zip line. The course is designed for maximum thrills and exposed us to some of the best panoramic views of the Saint Lucian rainforest. We take in the magnificent flora and fauna indigenous to the forest, and see some more familiar beings - including a huge bay tree which is used to help make rum in distilleries, crickets, small lizards and even some massive crickets (the length of your hand).

Each line has a different name, showcasing something particularly on that line. One of the lines stands out particularly because it is called 'Serpent's slide'. There are a number of different snakes on the island - including the boa constrictor, and this line is so called due to a boa constrictor found resting on the lines in the morning, on not just one occasion...

After all the excitement we grab our lunch and get back on the coach. On the way back to base camp, we learn a little more about the island's nature from Seon. There are a whopping 162 species of bird on the island of St Lucia - and possibly now 163, due to a few cheeky pelicans arriving on the island last year. Interestingly, one final fact we learnt is that the Butler Geoffrey from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air is originally from the island!

It was a truly great day out for our participants who took part, and a great way to see and learn a bit more about the island from a great height!

This article has been provided by the courtesy of the World Cruising Club.

Related Articles

The Galapagos visit gets off to a uniquely start
World ARC fleet gets off to a uniquely nature-filled start Since the fleet started arriving in from Monday morning, the Galapagos clearance, inspection and quarantine team have been busy visiting all of the boats. Posted on 24 Feb
World ARC last arrivals in Salvador De Bahia
The last World ARC yacht arrived at Terminal Nautico After 14 days at sea, Chao Lay, the last World ARC yacht expected in Salvador, has arrived during the morning of 13 February at Terminal Nautico. Posted on 15 Feb
World ARC Las Perlas to Galapagos leg starts
A close start with Saorsa and Tri II Fly fighting for first over the line After a few days exploring the Las Perlas islands and relaxing after the Panama Canal transit, participants enjoyed a sundowner, prize-giving and beach barbecue at Contadora island on Monday evening. Posted on 13 Feb
World ARC 2020-21 participants transit the canal
37-strong fleet are finally through the Panama canal After a busy week at Shelter Bay and an unprecedented World ARC total of 15 transit slots, the 37-strong World ARC fleet are finally through the canal on the Pacific side, ready for the Pacific adventure. Posted on 10 Feb
World ARC 2019-20 - Leg 15 - Arrival in Brazil
The fleet are back in South America After 13 months sailing across the Pacific, Indian and South Atlantic Ocean the World ARC 2019-20 fleet are back in South America, at Salvador da Bahia in Brazil. Posted on 10 Feb
World ARC 2022 - Entries now open
Are you dreaming of tropical islands and faraway places? Are you dreaming of tropical islands and faraway places? Are you wondering what to do after the ARC? Looking for a safe, supported and social experience cruising the world's oceans? Posted on 1 Feb
World ARC 2020/21 fleet enjoy the San Blas island
Most of the fleet have arrived in Shelter Bay Most of the fleet have arrived in Shelter Bay, having enjoyed the beautiful crystal clear waters of the San Blas islands (and a little bit of rain). Posted on 31 Jan
World ARC fleet begins Leg 2 at Santa Marta Marina
Departing Colombia for the San Blas Islands After an exciting week in Santa Marta, Colombia the World ARC fleet set off on Leg 2, to Porvenir in the San Blas islands - where they will undertake clearances into the overwhelmingly beautiful San Blas Islands. Posted on 23 Jan
World ARC 2019-20 in Walvis Bay, Namibia
The optional stopover in Walvis Bay has been greatly appreciated With the last yacht departed today the World ARC 2019-20 has officially left Namibia. The optional stopover in Walvis Bay has been greatly appreciated, participants enjoyed the area, went on tours in the desert with quad bikes and 4x4 Posted on 21 Jan
World ARC boats arrive in Santa Marta
Enjoying a lively arrival at their first stopover After a breezy 4-6 days sailing from the Caribbean isles towards the vast South American continent, most of the fleet has now arrived into Santa Marta Marina, Colombia. Posted on 18 Jan
Vaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 1iSails 2020 - February - FOOTERGrapefruit Graphics 2019 - Footer