It’s a calm, clear night with a light breeze keeping us cool and keeping uninvited mosquitoes away. Brian, Bill (S/V Calico Skies), and I are sitting in the cockpit sipping ti punch and conjuring constellations from the display of anchor lights below a starry sky. Detour is anchored at Jolly Harbour, Antigua; the harbour is familiar, we visited previously before touring Guadeloupe and Dominica. Upon approach this afternoon, Antigua seemed barren in comparison. Music plays along the distant shore line, probably a fancy-schmancy resort pumping up the tourists on this Saturday night. I realize that we can hear the beat, often not recognizable and the lyrics not audible, and this returns my thoughts to Dominica; the beachfront bars would blare music nightly, so loudly we would recognize songs during the intro and clearly hear the lyrics from inside Detour, even after we’d closed the hatches at 02:00 to catch a break until music finally ended at 04:00 and we’d drift soundly to sleep.
Dominica, The Nature Island, is true paradise not yet ruined by tourism. Although, the Dominicans would certainly benefit from a decent airport enabling them to fill the available guest rooms throughout the island. Dominica is a lush wilderness, abundant with fresh food and water. People of Dominica are fantastically friendly, and willing to share with inquisitive guests all the island has to offer. We spent two weeks at Dominica and it was not nearly enough! During our visit we were joined by several friends; so when not exploring the island, we were often aboard one-another’s boats cooking, playing games, strumming guitars, and of course passing ’round the rum!
Antics were had by: S/Y Tilly Whim, S/Y Mira Polaris, S/Y Java, and S/Y Calico Skies
The rain forests would not stay so lush if not for the rain…and boy, oh boy did it rain! Downpours, passing sun showers, all day drizzle, any type of rain you can imagine we experienced at Dominica. But that didn’t dampen our spirits! On a particularly rainy day, these crazy cats decided to take an island tour with a guide and driver. We were completely drenched by the time we’d all dinghied into the town dock, and the driver was late no doubt thinking we’d not show. Nine soaking sailors piled into the van, when it finally arrived, we sat in soggy clothes and immediately wiped the condensation from the windows for hope of seeing anything. A day of hilarity ensued!
The best ending to a very rainy tour day was our stop at the Pointe Baptiste Estate Chocolate Factory. The proprietor educated us on the production of chocolate making, from raw material to finished chocolate bar, and welcomed us to enjoy a stroll through his beautiful property as well.
Our own, carefully planned tours, found us at marvelous sights after trekking through mud, through rivers, beneath rain forests, over mountain ridges, along roadsides, through towns…and this was just the first taste of Dominica!