Roseau, Dominica

We split our time on Dominica between the northwestern port of Portsmouth and the southwestern port of Roseau, the capital of the island. So, on Monday morning we weaved our way through the boats at anchor in Portsmouth and proceeded southward for twenty nautical miles. It was a pleasant motorsail in the protected waters in the lee of Dominica. Columbus spotted Dominica on Sunday, November 3, 1493 and called it Dominica (literally, Day of the Lord). It is a very mountainous island with lush rainforests and unspoiled natural beauty. In fact, it is said that if Columbus returned to the Caribbean today, the only island he would recognize would be Dominica due to its still rugged and mostly undeveloped appearance.

Along the west coast of Dominica

Along the west coast of Dominica

The quick passage down to Roseau took three hours. We were tied to a mooring ball just off the Dominica Marine Center by 10:45 a.m. After a quick lunch, we went off in search of Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke, or Diet Soda of any kind! But, there is no diet soda to be found on this island at all! We ran out two days ago and can’t find anymore. We looked in several stores in Portsmouth and in a couple in Roseau. I guess I’m taking a break from Diet Pepsi! What’s wrong with these Dominicans! I had called Sea Cat, the most highly recommended tour guide on the island, upon arrival in Roseau. His assistant motored over to Beatitude in the late afternoon to let me know I could join in on some hikes over the next two days. I was excited!

On passage

On passage

Approaching Roseau

Approaching Roseau

Securing the mooring lines

Securing the mooring lines

Around six, we took Dalí the one-hundred feet from our stern to the Dominica Marine Center Dinghy dock. We’ve gotten a little more diligent about our security now that we’ve worked our way further south in the Caribbean. I have the motion detector alarm inside Beatitude working and set when we are away or asleep. We’ve got our taser and bear spray at bedside. We’re also locking our dinghy and outboard motor to the dock whenever we go in to land. So… we locked Dalí to the dock and walked less than 1/2 mile toward town to the Fort Young Hotel for a wonderful evening meal. The hotel is set in an eighteenth century English fort. The ambience was special. We walked in and were offered free rum punch and h’ordeuvres in the bar area in the courtyard. We then partook of a scrumptious buffet in the main dining area, eating more than we should have. The 1/2-mile walk back to the dinghy dock was therapeutic.

Beatitude at the end of the rickety old dinghy dock at the Dominica Marine Center

Beatitude at the end of the rickety old dinghy dock at the Dominica Marine Center

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Green's Supermarket is in this awesome old stone edifice (but still no Diet Pepsi).

Green’s Supermarket is in this awesome old stone edifice (but still no Diet Pepsi).

Beatitude moored in Roseau Harbor

Beatitude moored in Roseau Harbor

African Tulip Tree in front of the Dominica State House

African Tulip Tree in front of the Dominica State House

Fort Young Hotel

Fort Young Hotel

Enjoying the swing chair in the bar area before dinner

Enjoying the swing chair in the bar area before dinner

Free rum punch and snacks.  What could be better?

Free rum punch and snacks. What could be better?

Dinner at Fort Young

Dinner at Fort Young

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On Tuesday, I was picked up from Beatitude by a Sea Cat team member. I then joined Sea Cat (whose real name is Octavius) and the three other members on our tour today: Collin, an Englander who captains Summer Breeze, and his visiting friends from Montreal, John and Sandra. Sea Cat took us to various sites around the island in his van, stopping multiple times throughout the day to pick fruit from roadside trees, climbing them or throwing rocks into the branches as needed. We sampled papaya, guava, cashews, cocoa beans, coffee beans, starfruit, cinnamon, lemongrass, and who knows what else I forgot. Our first official stop was at the sulfur springs, where the ground beneath me was felt like a heated carpet, and the pools and springs were bubbling with volcanic, sulfurous gas seeping from the hot core below. Cool! (Actually, Hot!)

Three-masted motorsailing cruise ship moored next to us (24 passengers, 12 crew)

Three-masted motorsailing cruise ship moored next to us (24 passengers, 12 crew)

Cattails by the sulfur springs

Cattails by the sulfur springs

Sulfuric gasses and steam rising from the depths of the earth

Sulfuric gasses and steam rising from the depths of the earth

We then drove up into the heights of Morne Trois Pitons National Park to visit one of the freshwater lakes which sit atop the volcano. We were definitely in the clouds at this point as the lake was totally obscured at times by the thick, rolling fog. From there we visited the Titou Gorge, a series of natural “rooms and ponds” with water flowing through, formed by high cliff walls (formed as molten lava cooled and split apart) and canopied with trees above. This was another site used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. The crystal clear water, which was quite cool at first, turned out to be quite refreshing. It is necessary to swim through the gorge since the water is about 15-feet deep throughout.

Angel Trumpets

Angel Trumpets

False Birds-of-Paradise

False Birds-of-Paradise

Sea Cat climbing a roadside tree to bring us a cacao pod.  (The beans inside, from which chocolate is made, are covered in this delicious, sweet, syrupy, white substance.)

Sea Cat climbing a roadside tree to bring us a cacao pod. (The beans inside, from which chocolate is made, are covered in this delicious, sweet, syrupy, white substance.)

A view from the roadside as we ascend the mountain

A view from the roadside as we ascend the mountain

Sea Cat:  A man with a knife and he knows how to use it (on fruit)

Sea Cat: A man with a knife and he knows how to use it (on fruit)

Freshwater lake atop one of the mountains.  The clouds would roll in and obscure the entire lake in a matter of seconds.

Freshwater lake atop one of the mountains. The clouds would roll in and obscure the entire lake in a matter of seconds.

A wooden (teak) water pipe which carries water from the mountains down to the hydroelectric stations which supply 40% of the island's energy needs.

A wooden (teak) water pipe which carries water from the mountains down to the hydroelectric stations which supply 40% of the island’s energy needs.

Miss Crab in a hot tub

Miss Crab in a hot tub

A look down into the gorge, through which we swam

A look down into the gorge, through which we swam

The cold, cool waters of Titou George (the location for a scene in Pirates of the Caribbean).

The cold, cool waters of Titou George (the location for a scene in Pirates of the Caribbean).

Sea Cat then drove us to another part of the National Park to Trafalgar Falls, a famous “twin” falls with the larger “Father” falls to the left and the “Mother” falls to the right. Sea Cat and I climbed over boulders and through streams up to the base of the “Father” falls. It was quite a hike, but well worth it. Just before arriving at the cold pool beneath the falls we stopped and sat beneath the flowing water of a hot spring which joins in with the water flowing from above. The plunge beneath the falls was invigorating… and amazing! The force with which the water pounded the rocks and pools below is hard to imagine without being there.

Lobster Claw

Lobster Claw

The twin falls of Trafalgar falls

The twin falls of Trafalgar falls

Sea Cat and I standing at the base of Trafalgar falls.  (If you zoom in you can see me just to the right of the falls). :)

Sea Cat and I standing at the base of Trafalgar falls. (If you zoom in you can see me just to the right of the falls). 🙂

On our way down after swimming in the pool beneath the falls.  the red rocks above my left shoulder are stained that way from the hot springs which join the water flow there.

On our way down after swimming in the pool beneath the falls. the red rocks above my left shoulder are stained that way from the hot springs which join the water flow there.

After the falls we stopped at a mountainside cafe for a late lunch, and then returned to the seaside for the return trip to our vessels. What a great day!

Lunch in the mountains

Lunch in the mountains

This tree was blown over and crushed the bus.  Undeterred, it continued to grow vertically from its roots.

This tree was blown over and crushed the bus. Undeterred, it continued to grow vertically from its roots.

Banyan tree

Banyan tree

Roseau Cricket Stadium

Roseau Cricket Stadium

The lower section is a Cashew.  Who knew?

The lower section is a Cashew. Who knew?

Later in the evening, we met my newly made friends and tour-mates for dinner and drinks.

One of the many rainbows seen in Dominica

One of the many rainbows seen in Dominica

My beautiful bride.  We dinghied to this restaurant for dinner.  It was closed, so we dinghied to another.

My beautiful bride. We dinghied to this restaurant for dinner. It was closed, so we dinghied to another.

Sperm Whale Skeleton at the Anchorage Hotel Restaurant where we had drinks and dinner with friends.

Sperm Whale Skeleton at the Anchorage Hotel Restaurant where we had drinks and dinner with friends.

Cindy with my fellow tour-takers.  Collin (who has been cruising for 30 years and has multiple Atlantic crossings), John and Sandra.

Cindy with my fellow tour-takers. Collin (who has been cruising for 30 years and has multiple Atlantic crossings), John and Sandra.

Starfruit snack (Sea Cat picked for us earlier in the day).

Starfruit snack (Sea Cat picked for us earlier in the day).

Sunset in Roseau.

Sunset in Roseau.

6 thoughts on “Roseau, Dominica

  1. I think you are approaching Eden!! Absolutely gorgeous! About the cashew, I heard they were poison to eat without cooking first?

  2. What a beautiful place. I am so happy to be sharing this journey with you! Yes, it is truly a paradise on earth! Enjoy you journey!!

  3. Those hot springs were cool! First time I’ve seen a cashew before picked etc….interesting Love learning & experiencing things thru your blog!

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