Remembering the Boudreau Family – Captain Walter and his Son Lou

Captain Walter Boudreau
Captain Walter Boudreau

There are Saint Lucians who still remember them – the Boudreau family, Captain Walter and his son Robert Louis Boudreau, better known as Lou, sailors who spent many years in Saint Lucia in the Marigot area. It was Walter who was the first of the Boudreau clan to visit Saint Lucia, and the first to settle there.

Walter, who came from a long line of sea captains from Nova Scotia, arrived in Saint Lucia on a schooner with his wife and his first two children.

“I finally found the perfect place in the idyllic lagoon of Marigot Bay,” he said on first setting eyes on Marigot.

Walter, it was said, built a house and a hotel at Marigot. He also had a fleet of schooners in the bay. It has been said that the modern development of Marigot Bay started when Walter made Marigot his base in the early 60s. It was him who restored the legendary schooner ‘Yankee’ as the flagship of his Nova Scotia Windjammer Cruises fleet, made famous in the books “Where the trade Winds Blow” and “The Man who Loved Schooners by his son Lou.

Walter, in 1959 bought land on the south side of the bay and built his family home, now known as the Cliff House. Shortly after he build his hotel. The hotel, ‘Yacht Haven Hotel’ was acquired by the Moorings, a US/Caribbean yacht charter company, which developed a small marina on the south side of the bay. That hotel has since been renamed and redeveloped and passed through several hands during the past years.

Walter spent the last of his days on his boat ‘The High Barbaree’. He died peacefully on November 20th 1996 in Nova Scotia. Captain Walter Broudreaux was inducted into the Charter Yacht Brokers Association of the Charter Yachting Hall of Fame

Lou spent his childhood at Marigot and although well into his years today said he spent many happy days growing up in Saint Lucia. It was said that when the parents were away on one of their schooners Lou and his siblings lived a Robinson Crusoe type lifestyle in Marigot. And he spoke the Patois Language just like the Lucian children his age when he was roaming unencumbered in Marigot during his teenage years.

Lou, the eldest of Walter’s children followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a schooner captain. He recalled his years living in Saint Lucia as the molding for his sea-faring adventures. It was from Saint Lucia, he said, that great seamen sailed their schooners.

Lou writes of his sea-faring voyages in the Caribbean as a teenager, of his friend Lewis, his death and the adventures they had sailing in Nova Scotia.

The Boudreau family say they have a lot of fond memories of Saint Lucia as children and teenagers and although they no longer live on the island, these memories will abide with them as long as they live.

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