Monday, April 03, 2006

Still in Dominica

Hello all, finally found an internet cafe so we can share some pictures. We are doing great and having a wonderful time. Since leaving Nevis we have visited Guadeloupe, The Saintes and Dominica. We sailed overnight to Guadeloupe bypassing Montserrate because we had a wind change and layed anchor at 6:00 AM at Pigeon Island Anchorage in Guadeloupe. The Jacques Cousteau marine park is here around Pigeon Island with a very small town. We could not check in here so we went down to Basse Terre to try to check in at the Marine Rivere, however, they were closed - we were told by another cruising couple we met in Nevis that is was really hard to find a customs office open in Guadeloupe and checking in and out could be very difficult, it's true!!! We didn't want to stay at the anchorage in Marine Rivere because we were anchored on a shelf with a huge drop off and the shelf was not very large, so we decided to sail to the Saintes a group of Islands just off the coast of Guadeloupe to try and check in---we could not---surprise, surprise. We needed to find someone to fix a stanchion on the boat so we sailed back to the main Island in an achorage called Pointe Pitre and finally were able to check in. The anchorage was outside the main harbour, on a little islet which was very pretty, but the other side of our view was a big city and lots of we provisioned, made some phone calls and went to a little anchorage around the corner called Grosier to wait for a weather window to head back to the Saintes where we were told we could check out with the Police. Grosier was very nice for a couple of days, quiet until the weekend. It is a local hangout and on Sunday the little bay was filled with power boats, day sailors and jet skies. We enjoyed our stay there and left for the Saintes when the weather was right. We only stayed overnight at the Saintes and left the next morning for Dominica. The Saintes were very pretty, but there anchorages were very crowded.
We had a great sail to Dominica and arrived in 6 hours. The landscape is so beautiful here, it is all green everywhere. We came in Portsmouth and anchored in the secluded part of the bay on the south side. We were greated by and Indian River Guide, Martin on Providence (the name of his boat) who would arrange for the tours on the Island. The Indian River Guides will also help you arrange to get your laundry done, take your garbage and other services. Martin arranged a land tour for us, with Jeffrey as our guide, it was an all day tour with some hiking and swimming. The island of Dominica has every spice, fruit or vegetable you would want, as well as excellant fish, teas, coffee and cocoa - and plenty of it. On the tour Jeffrey showed us various spices, such as Bay Leave, Cinammon, lime leaves, nutmeg, lemon grass, vanilla, just to name a few. We even got to take some leaves back to the boat. We stopped at a little hut on the way that was the local bay leaf distallery, the local farmers bring their bay leaves here, crush the leaves and slowly burn them keeping the oil to bring to the refinery in Roseau, the capital of Dominica. A large use of this oil is for mens aftershave lotion. Our next stop was a cold water sulfer springs. This part of the island is the oldest so the water has cooled and it bubbles up very cold, still good for ailments though so Kim took some and and washed her face, she looks 20 years younger :) There was a very strong sulfer smell there and many ponds. Jeffrey showed us all kinds of different plants such as the sensitive plant that closes when you touch it, many beautiful flowers and one special plant that allowed you to tatto yourself. Kim got here first leaf tattoo....The interior of the islands has many individual farmers whose farms lie on very steep hills. The farmers are very hard working and grow bananas, grapefruit, mangos, papayas, provisions-which are root vegetables, cabbage, and many many more. We stopped along the way and bought some fruits and vegetables from a local farmer who had just picked them. They bring them to a little hut and sort them out and package them to bring down to the town market or for export. We traveled down the coast and saw the location where they filmed Pirates of the Carribean 2 then went inland again to take our final hike to a fresh water pond and take a swim, it was so refreshing, crystal clean water. We just moved to the north end of the anchorage which is closer to town and a dock so we can go ashore more often. The internet cafe is here also. We have a tour tomorrow with Martin to go up the Indian River, which is supposed to be very beautiful. He rows you up the river under a canopy of vegetation with lots of birds and a little hiking on land, we will share pictures of that later. That is all for now, we are waiting for some mail then a weather window to start heading south again. Would love for anyone to leave comments on the site and to hear from you!! Cheers Mike and Kim
For Robin: we couldn't upload the pics on yahoo...but here they are.


  1. Anonymous4:34 PM

    Great photos!! & 20years younger!!
    Look at those tan fingers on camera, wow ;-) Bev & Paul

  2. Anonymous5:32 PM

    Thats what I like, pictures with my stories - they are great - what fun - I hope you rubbed some of that magic on your toe - love mom

  3. Anonymous1:56 PM

    We love keeping up with your adventures. Johnny is envious, He thinks this would be the ultimate.
    It looks so beautiful.
    Love, Barbara, Johnny and Charley too



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