tiistai 21. joulukuuta 2010

December 19th 2010

Dominica

15º 34.83’ N, 61º 27.85’ W


We didn't go to Marie-Galante after all. In fact, we skipped Guadeloupe altogether and sailed through the night to Prince Rupert Bay, Dominica. Dominica is the southernmost of the Leeward Islands and our favourite amongst them. It is also the only island that still has Carib Indians living on it, the once fierce warriors who have given their name to the whole Caribbean area.
There is a nice story also about Dominica. It tells how Christopher Columbus, after returning to Europe, tried to describe the topography of the island to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain. When he thought of the landscape of Dominica and found himself lost for words, he resorted to crumpling up a sheet of paper to illustrate the dramatic shape of the island with its majestic mountains and deep, narrow valleys.



Back in the 1970's, Hurricane David hit the island with devastating force pushing ashore all the vessels anchored in Prince Rupert Bay. The rusty wrecks are still there, dotting the shoreline of the town of Portsmouth. Now, more than thirty years later, there is a Panamanian vessel anchored in the Bay and rumour has it that the wrecks are finally taken apart and the scrap metal would be shipped to Panama to be used as raw material for steel. We do hope the rumour is true!
Soon after our arrival, a small boat came alongside Sarema and a man called: 'Hey, I remember you. Welcome back to Dominica!' He was Albert who had taken us on a tour along the Indian River last time we visited Dominica, but that was more than five years ago! I guess it is easier to remember us than many other boats thanks to our (over-)energetic boatdog Latte.


This time we wanted to see Sisserous, a parrot that is the national bird and emblem of Dominica. Albert arranged Alec to take us to the mountains where the birds reside. The only problem was that they live in a rainforest and although we did everything in our power (which of course is very little) to bring the sun out from behind the heavy clouds, it was pouring the whole time we were in the forest. Despite the weather, however, we did see a few parrots flying noisily over the treetops or sitting on branches under lush vegetation seeking shelter from the continuous rain. Although the parrots we saw were soaking wet, they looked very much like the one shown on Dominica's flag.
Back on board, we changed into dry clothes, had lunch, and set sail for Rodney Bay, St. Lucia.

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