While sailing to Dominica, we realized through the AIS that we were followed by two boats of Suisse friends, two couples that we met in different situations and one of which did the passage with the Cornell Odyssey. We were all heading to Roseau, the capital of Dominica (on the south leeward coast of the island). We moored at the buoy field of the Dominica Marine Center, managed by a guy named Marcus, the boss, who enforces the security in the area.
Roseau is a very live and colorful small city, full of shops, little restaurants and bars, featuring an open market with a good selection of vegetables and fruits, where we could even source some rosemary (at “only” 3 euro for a few sprigs) which is apparently quite rear in the area. Yes, in general prices for vegetables and fruits are incomprehensibly high all over the islands we have visited so far.
Dominica is famous for its beautiful vegetation; the rainforest covers the inner part of the island and 365 rivers flow from the mountains to the shore.
We hired a taxi for a day with our Swiss friends; Armstrong, the driver, drove us through the highlights of the island: the Emerald pool, the MiddleHam falls, Titou Gorge, and the Trafalgar Falls, where we climbed to the pool filled by the “Papa” fall (guess how is called the second of the Trafalgar falls…). At the end of the day we also visited the botanical garden, where there are still the “left overs” of a school bus after the last hurricane.
Unfortunately we were not able to visit the Carib territory where some 3500 descendant of the original pre-Columbian Caribs live. Apparently Dominica is the only island where some Caribs survived to the massacre perpetrated in turn by the British and the French colonizers, thanks to the refuge offered by the intricate forest.
The day after we took a public bus (better described as collective taxis…) toward Scott’s Head, the tip point at the south of the island. It is a great place for snorkeling, we spent a couple of hours observing all kind of colorful fishes. A bit norther is Soufriére, that is the submerged caldera of a prehistoric volcano. Here you swim between the warm bubbles that pop up from the sand, and can take a hot bath in a mini natural pool.
After 4 days spent in Roseau, we moved to the northern coast of Dominica, reaching Portsmouth where we relied on the PAYS (Portsmouth Association of Yacht Services) organization – to get a mooring in the beautiful Prince Rupert bay. PAYS members manage the security of the place and organize visits to this part of the island.
Jeffrey guided us through the Indian River, a short stream of water covered by a lush vegetation.
All in all Dominica is an island where tourism still needs to be developed, with all the good and bad that comes with it.