Sunday, 29 May 2016


      Dominica, pronounced Dom-e-nee-ka, is a lush, green, mountainous Island, 75% of which is heavily wooded rainforest. There are no white sandy beaches and no large resorts, visitors come here to hike and discover the rivers, waterfalls and varied plant life.

Our first view of Dominica, sailing down the coast.

    We sailed into Prince Rupert Bay and the town of Portsmouth, at the north end of the Island and were helped onto a mooring ball by Alexis, one of the local guides and a member of PAYS ( Portsmouth Association of Yacht Security). The harbour was previously unsafe for boaters due to thefts, break ins etc so this group of young men formed the association and now patrol an area of the harbour and also help boaters by organizing tours, delivering ice, taking laundry and generally making sure the yachties have a good visit. They hold a weekly BBQ where the cost of the ticket gives you drinks and dinner and a chance to meet other boaters. Word gets around quickly in the cruising community and boaters obviously feel safe here now, during our stay there were at least 40 boats in the anchorage.

   We took in a very enjoyable Jazz Festival and several lovely hikes during our short stay.

We pay a lot for Heliconia flowers at home. Here they grow by the roadside.

Hiking section 11 of the Waitukubuli National Trail.

surrounded by beautiful foliage, it was a steep and wet climb.

we walked with a somewhat eccentric British trail custodian for a while, according to him this is the oldest tree on the Island?? 
Local home. 

Alexis rowing us up the Indian River, no motors allowed. 

Surrounded by huge swamp Bloodwood trees. We saw large crabs and herons and heard many birds and insects.

At the halfway point of the trip you arrive at this bar in the forest! 

So sweet. Alexis presented me with this arrangement. 

A close up to show the hummingbirds he fashioned from grasses.

This is a large Mango tree, absolutely dripping in fruit. 

Looking at Portsmouth and Prince Rupert Bay from Fort Shirley, Cabrits National Park.

Royal Poinciana or Flamboyant tree.

Ruins of Fort Shirley, circa 1700's. The trees growing over the walls reminded us a lot of Angor Wat in Cambodia.

It was an easy hike into Milton Falls.

A Pineapple growing on the ground.

The flower of a Banana tree

Inside the flower. Each bunch of bananas is called a "hand" and each individual banana a " finger".

    On a walk with our guide Alexis we saw growing; mango,banana, pineapple, oranges, papaya, coffee beans, nutmeg, cinnamon, dasheen, christophene, breadfruit, sugar cane, avocado trees ( not in season yet).  I'm sure there was more that I can't remember. Needless to say, the people of Dominica have plentiful access to healthy eating.

   We very much look forward to returning to this charming Island next season and exploring some more.

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