Saturday, 29 March 2014

11/2014 Dominica

Hi from Clare,                                                  Friday 28th March 2014

We arrived in Prince Rupert Bay Dominica last Sunday in time for the BBQ which is put on by the Professional Association of Yacht Services (PAYS). The BBQ is a fund raiser and pays for security patrols for the many cruising yachts that anchor here. The anchorage is run by the local "Boat boys" who in addition to ensuring security, arrange tourist trips, laundry, garbage collection and anything else needed.


The infamous Sunday BBQ
We went to the BBQ with our Dutch friends Martin and Anna on 'Acapella'. As you can see by the photos a fun night was had by all. The dinner of fish, chicken, rice and salad was accompanied by a never ending supply of rum punch. It was fun dancing with the boat boys but even more fun watching them dance by themselves and sing with eyes closed, arms extended and swaying to the beat.

In total contrast to this rowdy evening we next went on a very peaceful boat trip up the Indian River. This is a National Trust site and no motor vessels are allowed. The boat boys are qualified guides and row visitors one kilometre up the river which is quite an experience. The river quickly narrows and gets completely overhung by bloodwood trees and other long vines dangling over the river. The little shack in the photo was built for a television series called Naked and Afraid. Some scenes for Pirates of the Caribbean were also shot on this island. Our guide was very knowledgeable pointing out interesting flora and fauna and giving a brief description of the history of the area. We also enjoyed moments of utter tranquillity just gliding along the shady river listening to the bird life.


Indian River scenes with Albert our guide
We met an Aussie couple Max and Sandy on 'Volo' who have been cruising for thirty years. They designed and built their current aluminium yacht and have extensively cruised both North and South America including Alaska and Cape Horn. We had drinks on Eye Candy and heard many of their tales. They marvelled at our digital radar and commented that thirty years ago they only had a sextant and paper charts. They are currently heading for Labrador in Canada but before they leave, we are having return drinks and more tales on their boat tonight.
We also had our Dutch friends Martin and Anna for drinks on Eye Candy and last night we joined them on Acapella for return drinks. The good news is that Martin and Anna are also travelling south to Curacao so hopefully we will be able to enjoy their company for some time. It is terrific to have some friends to play with.

Yesterday we went for a bush walk through the Waitukubuli National Park. There are many hiking trails that are well sign posted. It was a very pleasant walk and mostly in the shade. We ended up in the little township along the waterfront.

Bush trail walking in the National Park
The local shops are small and have limited stock. There are many street stalls selling local fruit and vegetables. Late in the afternoon the fishermen return to sell their catch. It is certainly a lot different than buying fish at home which is usually beautifully displayed on ice and in an air conditioned shopping centre. Here the fish is thrown on a wooden table by the waterfront. The fisherman scales the fish flicking scales all over himself and anyone how stands too close. He chops the fish up with a huge knife and mallet and the flies are kept away by sloshing buckets of sea water over the table. However we happily bought a kilo of Mahi Mahi for $8.00 which was mouth watering and succulent. I'm happy to report that on the outskirts of town is a well stocked, air conditioned IGA supermarket. The price for imported goods is twice what I paid in America but I am just glad to have the products available. Local products however are very inexpensive; a double headed ice cream was less than $2.00.

We will stay in this bay for a few more days while the north swell drops down. We will then move down to the capital city of Roseau on the south west corner of the island.

Love Candy xx

At 11:05 AM24/03/2014 (utc) our position was 15°34.76'N 061°27.70'W

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