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 Soufriere - Profile

Location

Soufriere is a small, rustic, picturesque town, set amid a scenic wonderland dominated by the towering Pitons. When approaching Soufriere Bay from the North, beware of the shoal which extends out from the South side of Anse Chastanet.

Position 13°51′N, 61°04′W (bay entrance)

Security

Noonsite has received reports from cruisers who have had their boats burgled while out at dinner and have been boarded and burgled during the night, when moored on mooring balls at the Bat Caves in Soufriere. You may want to speak with the locals about hiring a watchman to keep an eye on things while you are ashore, and remember to secure all hatches and doors when ashore or asleep.

Efforts by the Saint Lucia Police Force to improve security for yachts on the west coast seemed to be having an effect, and the situation here did improve in 2016 (see comments at bottom of page by Chris Doyle). 2017 break-ins however are now being reported, so visit this area with due diligence.

Also in Soufriere, in March 2016, cruisers were 'mugged' at the Hummingbird Resort dock when returning back from dinner to board their dinghy to go back to the boat. See this report for details.

Last updated February 2017.

Clearance

Soufrière is an official port of entry.

Customs are open 7 days a week from 0800-1630, otherwise Tel.+1 758 459 5656.

See Noonsite/StLucia/Clearance for the details.

Last updated October 2015.

Docking

The whole area between Anse Cochon and Gros Piton is part of the Soufriere Marine Management Area (SMMA) and anchoring is strictly controlled to preserve the underwater coral reefs.

https://www.facebook.com/SMMAInc

Moorings

Moorings have been laid down in Anse Chastanet, just north of Soufrière Bay, off the Hummingbird Beach Resort north of Soufrière town, Malgretout just south of Soufriere and between the Pitons. Although the mooring systems are well maintained by the SMMA, as indicated by a yellow tag on the pick-up line, make sure your buoy is holding the vessel as intended, and that the system is secure.

Important Note: In 2016 the marine park has had some management and finance problems and quite a few moorings have been lost. Locals have put down their own moorings to accomodate visiting yachts, but they are nothing to do with the SMMA and the moorings are of unknown quality/too close together. All the private moorings are right off Soufriere town, If a vendor approaches you to put you on a mooring say you want to be on an SMMA mooring not a private one. Only give him the tie up fee.

Fees

The use of the moorings requires a Coral Conservation Permit. The cost of the permit depends on vessel size and length of stay and must be purchased from a uniformed SMMA Ranger. Call SMMA on VHF channel 16 if in doubt.

Permit fees can be found at http://www.smma.org.lc/fee/

There is also a fee of US$2 per person/per day.

Anchoring is forbidden within the SMMA, except in the designated areas for which a permit is required. Anchoring is only permitted during daytime hours of 06:00 to 18:00. Due to the depth, it is necessary to tie off the stern of your boat to a palm tree.

Authorised members of the Soufrière Water Taxi Association will help tie stern lines and are available for all water transfer services. Rates are standard and they also provide watchman services when boat owners are ashore.

Updated April 2016.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Dec 22, 2016 11:17 PM

16 December, 2016
Anse Canaries (north of Anse Chastanet & Soufriere)
Reported by CSSN

A yacht anchored just north of the Canaries fishing village discovered their in-the-water, but cable locked dinghy/outboard, had been stolen overnight. The thieves apparently used a crow bar to pry the cable/lock eye attachment from the dinghy transom. The theft was reported to the police and to Soufriere Marine Management Area (SMMA) officials.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Mar 09, 2016 10:35 AM

Posted by Chris Doyle‎: Saint Lucia Cruisers Discussion Facebook Group
Good news. The thefts around the bat cave have stopped now for some months. The new manager, Michale Bobb, is really trying to make the park work.
Soufriere town is full of very nice ladies in uniforms, willing to answer questions and make sure you are not harassed.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 17, 2015 12:24 PM

Posted on Caribbean Navigator Facebook Page:
Pitons in Southern St Lucia.
At this time there are only five mooring balls, very close to shore, but still in 65 ft of water. One of the five is a bit more to seaward.
Arriving just an hour after sunset, we were reasonably confident that we could see the large white mooring balls with our new killer LED flashlight. There was no moon, and the halogen glare from the floodlights in the shoreside hotel facility made the approach difficult. Three of the four yachts already there had anchor lights but the shoreside glare, lack of moonlight and haze rendered our spotlight useless. We've been there many times and the depths carry right up to shore.
Out if the mist appeared a local " boat boy" in an inflatable dinghy. He has seen our nav lights from Soufriere and had zoomed around the point to meet us.
"One ball left" he said, and led us to it. Usually the gentlemen in hard pirogues who hand you moorings in this area will leave paint on your topsides. This was an exception, and he was kind, respectful and appreciative of a cold beer and his normal fee, + a tip because we would never have found that ball in the dark without him.
While we don't like to overpay the so-called " boat boys" of St Lucia, $20 EC seems to be the going rate for mooring ball service. Chris Doyle's guide says that he pays 10 EC ( take it or leave it). Unlike some islands such as Grenada ( minimum wage $6.50 EC) St Lucia has no minimum wage regulations for workers. Giving more than $10 or $15EC for a simple 10 minute task at a mooring is probably not to anyone's benefit. You'll still have to pay the park boat for the ball in the Soufriere and Pitons Marine Protection Area when he comes around to collect at sunset.
At night there may be working barge anchored in the area as the hotel has ongoing construction. The barge has only two patio lights as anchor lights.

Suzanne Verbessem
Suzanne Verbessem says:
Apr 11, 2015 01:47 PM

Watch out for the fisherman mooring buoys in the SE-side : one morning we woke up in the middle of the bay drifting around with the mooring buoy attached to our boat

Harry Hewson
Harry Hewson says:
Dec 30, 2014 10:32 PM

Watch out for a guy who calls himself "Dr Feelgood," driving a red skiff named "Jah Provide." He intercepted us about 2 km south of Soufriere and talked us into retaining his mooring services. He got us tied to a ball just off the rocks on the south side of the village (opposite side of the bay from the Bat Cave) and hooked us up with a taxi to some places we wanted to visit. Problem was, he quoted the cost to us in $EC, then come payment time insisted that he had quoted in $US. This is apparently a common scam in the area.

Wildswan
Wildswan says:
Feb 06, 2014 10:38 PM

The service of Benny no exist anymore.... The best watchman is ITHIOPIA , with a black Boat !!! Hè give very good rates And services for excursions to sulphar springs and waterfalls

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St. Lucia, Marigot Bay - Cruisers Robbed in Street  (28 Nov 2009)

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Rudder loss on ARC Racing Yacht  (24 Nov 2009)

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Light Winds for Start of ARC 2009  (22 Nov 2009)

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Countdown to the Start of ARC2009  (19 Nov 2009)

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A truly international ARC fleet gear up for departure later this month  (09 Nov 2009)

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NEW – Caribbean Pre-Arrival Notification System  (17 Jan 2009)

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First ARC Arrivals at Rodney Bay after a slow crossing  (08 Dec 2008)

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ARC Fleet Gears up for Departure  (12 Nov 2008)

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Yacht Attacked At St Vincent  (04 Jan 2008)

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Yacht Attacked At St Vincent: Comments  (03 Jan 2008)

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Cruising News from the southern Caribbean  (03 Nov 2003)