Named after a singularly unsuccessful Frenchman is the capital and main port of entry, although yachts may also enter at Vieux Fort on the island's SE tip, in Rodney Bay, and in Marigot Lagoon.
The harbor is rather deep and has a soft, muddy bottom. Since it usually blows pretty hard from the E, use plenty of scope. For customs and immigration, anchor close to the large black warping buoy opposite the center of the town docks or, if there is space, go alongside although you may regret this, because the yacht will soon be covered with dust and a multitude of small boys.
Customs and immigration officials share the same office. A cruising permit will be issued, enabling the yacht to depart without having to return to Castries for her final clearance.
On the N side of Castries Harbor is Virgie Cove, home of Saint Lucia Yacht Services, a project started some 25 years ago by Bert and Gracie Granter. Bert of the booming voice was a master Mr. Fix-it, and in the days when his work shops were the only ones between Trinidad and Saint Thomas, we would all rush in with our sick and stuttering Stuart Turners and bulging and bunged-up Blake’s. But "Whiskey Hollow," as it was known among Caribbean yachtsmen, eventually became too much for Bert, and he was forced to move to cooler, calmer climes. Gracie, bless her heart, stuck it out until she sold out to two young American brothers (both positively glowing with enthusiasm) and retired to peace and quietness in England. Castries Yacht Center is also located in Virgie Cove. They can haul your boat and do most kinds of fiberglass and mechanical work. Both Castries Yacht Center and Saint Lucia Yacht Services can supply fuel and water.
The Wind wards and Lee wards Inn.
A wery attractive little restaurant, the Coal Pot, is opposite the marina and is to my mind the best place to eat on the island.
Castries has had a habit of burning down in the past and as a result is horridly modern in appearance. There is good shopping, however. The covered market on Jeremy Street spills out over the surrounding sidewalks and is a good place to restock.
Minerval and Chasternets on Bridge Street is, for the islands, a large department store. Leave the dinghy alongside the main dock and, to be on the safe side, engage a small boy to take care of it for you. Don't fall prey to the many helpful types who will insist that they carry your bags, selling you ice, etc.