An overnight sail for the 60 miles from Martinique to northern Dominica saw us catch the sunrise over the Dominican rainforest covered mountains, and left the day ahead for exploring.
[dropcap]P[/dropcap]ortsmouth was our stop in Dominica and we had a fast overnight sail with up to 8 knots of speed at times; perfect trade wind sailing with the wind on the beam and the water fizzing past the hull. The sunrise over the mountains was simply stunning and as the sun got higher in the sky it was a privilege to see the undulations on the hillside that reached down to the sea.
As we dropped the hook, our guide, Alexis, was over in minutes, and after a well earned breakfast we jumped in a car to go exploring.
Rainforest & Waterfalls
Alexis was a great guide and took the time to explain about all the fruits and spices that grow wild on Dominica; it’s truly a gourmand’s paradise as we tasted freshly picked grapefruit, oranges, mangoes, cinnamon, lemongrass, sugar cane and even cocoa….when picked this is a soft fleshy fruit with with pulp that turns brown as it’s dried and baked. You would never think to look at inside of a cacao bean that it could later become a bar of Cadbury’s!
Our guide led us a 30 minute walk through beautiful forest plants and trees to a lovely waterfall, although the surrounding barbed wire was a little off-putting. It didn’t stop my hot, weary crew however from finding a way through for a memorable swim under the thundering water….definitely a highlight of the trip and I got some amazing pics.
We lunched on barbequed chicken and drank freshly made local fruit juices near to the Medical School and then headed back to Portsmouth.
As the sun was starting to get lower in the sky Alexis headed for the Indian River in his little boat. No motor driven vessels are allowed on the river so he turned off his outboard and picked up the oars. It’s a wonderful and atmospheric trip with beautiful evening light on the trees and just the knocking of the oars as we glide through the water.
The wildlife is quite limited in the area, with some fish and crabs in the water and a few egrets flying about. There are also iguanas, but they’re difficult to spot.
There’s a little bar at the end of the river trip built from the local trees and nicely landscaped to blend in with the jungle. We had the obligatory rum punch in the shade of the trees and sat on the seats where Johnny Depp had his beers after filming on the river.
Sadly the next morning it was time to leave Dominica for Guadeloupe!
Much of the footage in the following video was shot on this trip from Grenada to St Maarten, including our tour of Dominica rainforests and waterfalls:
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