AUTUMN 2009I sea& iI39 Amerindians, and then pirates, the island today abounds with walking trails and historic remnants of its service as a military base. One such example is an 18th century fort that was built as a lookout to spy on French ships during numerous conflicts over the island. During that century the island changed hands 14 times between the British and the French, and, although it is now English- speaking, remnants of its time under French rule are reflected in the place names, Creole cuisine and French patois that many of the islanders still speak. Alongside Pigeon Island is Rodney Bay, St Lucia's main resort area. A bustling hub of shops, restaurants and bars sits alongside the long sandy Reduit Beach and Rodney Bay Marina which, along with Marigot Bay, is one of the main yachting destinations on the island. South of Pigeon Island and Rodney Bay is the island's capital, Castries. Its market is a bustling meeting place, especially on Fridays. Castries Port is a day stopover for many of the large cruise liners and is devoted to duty free shopping, for which there are two options at either end of the port: La Place Carenage and Pointe Seraphine - great places to head if you need some retail therapy, but to be avoided if you desire peace. THE BIG BLUE The island is surrounded by waters that are rich in marine life. The warm waves also play host to migratory whales during the winter months and are the main home for stunning underwater life year round. Soufrière Marine Park is perfect for snorkelling, as is the coral around Anse Chastanet. Just north, you can swim with turtles at Anse Cochon, while the east coast and Grand Anse are the best places for turtle watching. REST EASY Described as being the most beautiful bay in the Caribbean by author James Michener, Marigot Bay has provided shelter to mariners for centuries. The bay has been a favourite of yachties for years, and even starred in the original Doctor Dolittlefilm. Today it houses the Discovery at Marigot Bay resort, which includes a marina, spa, fitness centre, restaurants, shopping and 57 suites overlooking the docks. Combining sustainable, low- impact design, the suites are built on the hillside over-looking the bay, and are terraced so that every suite has a view from the private balconies. The resort's main pool is surrounded by lush vegetation and blends into the scenic backdrop of the hillside. A winding boardwalk links the suites, pools, ?