|Update: Cruising Dominica
left Marin a little while before sunset on 19th April and passed between
Diamond Rock and the mainland before heading north west up the coast of
Martinique and then across the Martinique Channel. With a good easterly
trade wind of 15 - 20 knots we had a great sail all the way. As we approached
the coast of Dominica at dawn, we were welcomed by dolphins and a beautiful
The luscious rain-forested island of Dominica was largely swathed in cloud, and we were met by Ronnie, who helped us to pick up a mooring by the Anchorage Hotel just south of Roseau, and Graham was whisked into town in Ronnie's water taxi to clear in with customs.
We spent 5 days there before heading north to Portsmouth. We experienced strong gusts of wind coming off the coastline, up to 30 knots at times and variable in direction, and mostly we were under reefed main and headsail.
We motored around Prince Rupert Bay and anchored in the north side, just off the Mango Restaurant.
When we came to leave Dominica on 27th April, the dolphins came to wish us a leaping farewell.
by the Caribs as "Waitikubuli" meaning "Tall is Her Body", Dominica is
a largely unspoiled island, which is now known as 'the nature island',
rich in wildlife both above and below water and with interesting geophysical
characteristics. They say the island has a river for every day of the
year and a volcano for every day of the week.
The Carib people, once fierce warriors, still live in the north east of the island and are now better known for their practical and decorative basketwork.
We found the people here to be very relaxed and friendly and felt very much at ease and very welcome everywhere we went.
mural in Roseau, containing the following inscription
we know. The earth does not belong to Man.
Chief Seattle, Squamish Tribe, 1851
is the capital with a smart new seafront and a mixture of old and new
buildings. The older buildings give the town masses of charm, with their
gingerbread trim and weathered or brightly painted exteriors. We visited
on a Saturday morning when the market is alive with people from all over
the countryside, and many vendors around all the streets, offering fresh
produce for sale. We found some great bargains here, including grapefruit
at 5 for EC$1 (25p), and spent some time in the Corner House Internet
There are several good eating places, and we were glad to find our favourite Caribbean dish, chicken roti, at two of the downtown restaurants, La Robe Creole and Ports of Call.
Right: market stall with baskets and other Carib handicrafts
took a tour into the interior near Roseau and had a most delightful day,
including visiting the sulphur springs, the hot and cold springs at Titou
Gorge, Trafalgar Falls, and the Botanical Gardens, where we saw the national
bird, the Sisserou parrot.
At the hot and cold springs we took a refreshing two-temperature shower, and then swam through the gorge, where the rocks almost meet overhead, with overhanging greenery way above us. As we swam through the eerie cavern, it felt like some extra special adventure, and at the end of the gorge, we reached a fast rushing waterfall, whose surging waters swept us back towards the pool once more.
Trafalgar falls have less water than they did before the hydro electric scheme was implemented, but they are still impressive. After a jungly walk and a hot scramble over boulders, the refreshing pool and falls are a delight. Graham followed our guide "Batman" against the current, until they were right up behind the lower part of the waterfall.
Left: Trafalgar Falls
our way north to Portsmouth, we stopped at the Castaway's Hotel, Mero,
where we picked up a mooring, and went snorkelling on their artificial
reef before having lunch ashore. We were not given permission by the authorities
in Roseau for an overnight stop here, so continued on to Portsmouth.
Right: dive boats on the jetty at Castaway's, with Oasis in the background
Rupert Bay is huge - about two miles wide and a mile deep, with boats
anchored all around. Sadly, the waterfront of the town of Portsmouth is
littered with the wreckage of ships allowed to drift ashore during hurricanes
and storms, and there seems no law to obligate the owners to remove them,
so the rusting hulks remain.
We found a good internet cafe in town and bought some very reasonably priced fresh fruit and vegetables at Zyleing's store. We also had fresh fruits delivered to us by "Sugar Daddy" who conducts his trade by paddling out on a surfboard. Many other services are offered by the floating vendors and guides in the Portsmouth area and we were met 3 miles out by Jeffrey on "Sea Bird", who offers tours up the Indian River.
Left: wrecks along the shoreline of Portsmouth
Bottom: Saturday street market
Below: traditonal style buildings
Bottom: sunset from the anchorage
|More photos from our Island Tour and Portsmouth on the next page