A short but steep walk in the Caribbean with my new canine friend Brownie

This is nothing to do with sailing, strictly speaking, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do ever since I started covering the ARC rally in St Lucia many years ago.

It’s me (and a dog called Brownie) summiting Gros Piton, elevation 786m, or 2,619ft.

Brownie came along for the walk. His owner used to be a guide but when she got an office job in Soufriere, Brownie just stuck to his old routine and attaches himself to the first person to make the climb each day.

He’ll follow you all the way up and down, occasionally breaking off to chase stones he’s dislodged down the steep slope. When you’re back at the foot, he’ll set off with someone else and will happily make the round trip three times a day.

Should you ever find yourself sailing by St Lucia, this is an enormously enjoyable way of stretching your legs. It’s pretty steep over the last half. Actually the whole thing is quite strenuous as the 2,000ft ascent is over a distance of less than two miles, but the trail is great and the view superb.

On a clear day you can see Martinique to the north and St Vincent very clearly to the south. On this particular day a rain squall was just edging into Jalousie Bay, between Gros Piton and Petit Piton, and there was an almighty downpour about five minutes after these photos were taken.