Phil's Logs


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DATE: March 18, 2007
LOCATION: Dominica

Dominica is of English heritage and is one of the islands where the Eastern Caribbean currency is used. Dominica is known as perhaps wildest and most undeveloped of the islands. It is unmatched in natural beauty and you could spend days exploring its mountains, rainforests, tropical rivers and splendid diving. The Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed in part here and as I mentioned in an earlier log the production people from the Survivors are in Dominica filming a reality show and in fact the cast and production crew have the entire Anchorage Hotel in Roseau to themselves. I didn't see the pirate ship or her Bosun that I had met in Antigua but I noticed the survivor production people had diagramed the ship on sketch boards in the hotel dinning room. Dominica is very poor and visiting yachts are seen as well, fair game. Many of the locals especially the boat boys in Rupert's Bay have every ruse known to part sailors with their money often quoting in EC then collecting at 3 times the rate in dollars or Euros. I failed victim to this ruse once, you just have to keep in mind that these folks are very poor and the visiting yacht their main source of income. You have to lock in the price in the currency paid, in advance and be ready to bargain hard and then enforce the bargain at the end, as the price will surely change. On the other hand some of the guides that offer eco and nature tours out of Ruperts Bay have organized into various associations and are very professional. I used Martin who runs Providence tours and found him extremely informative and truly passionate about Dominica. The diving in and around Dominica is spectacular. But the dive outfits continue to be disappointing. Cabrit's Dive shop near Portsmouth is both expensive and not particularly good but maybe the only game in town for the Cabrits reef. Their two tank dive covered really only one dive site when there were very interesting structures only a short ride away and could and should have been part of the two tank dive. If your diving use the dive shop in the Anchorage hotel in Roseau , these folks are reasonably priced with good dive boats and actually have some desire to offer a varied and interesting dive experience. The reefs in and around Soufriere Bay on the southern end of the island offered some of the best reef diving I have seen. I have so many good pictures it was difficult deciding which ones to post. I divided my time in Dominica between the anchorage in Ruperts Bay to the north and the anchorage/moorings off the Anchorage Hotel near the capitol city Roseau to the south. Anchoring was tougher in the south and after spending one night stern to a rope to a palm tree I took a mooring when the bow anchor begin to slip the next day. Cruising friends in mono-hulls complained of the rolly anchor but most times in a catamaran you barley feel the rolls. Roots and Pancho run the local moorings and help with stern lines for Seacat Tours based right there at the anchorage. Roots helped me avoid some damage when my boat slipped its anchor and then I helped booth Roots and Pancho re-secure a couple of the other boats that had slipped their anchors with their crews away. Good guys. I slipped the mooring Sunday about noon headed for Bequia part of the Grenadines, some 150 miles to the south. I was a half-mile offshore when I saw Roots and two kids roaring towards me in their red and yellow skiff, just to come along side and offer their goodbyes and best wishes for a safe journey. A nice way to leave.

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