Sailing Dominica

Many moons ago the Prince Rupert bay in Dominica was known for being a favourite spot for malaria mosquitoes. This is luckily now far away and we feel very safe. On March the second, we weighed anchor in Point-a-Pitre, Guadelope, and motored out on the channel. It was a calm early morning, but suddenly we heard a strange mosey sound form the motor. The exhaust hose connected to the motor, was loose once again. We went to the side of the fairway and turned rounds upon rounds on the quiet sea while Anders was fixing it. Unfortunately we came too close to a sandbank and almost got stuck until we could start the engine and motor out on open water where easterly winds were awaiting us. We hoisted the mainsail and genoa and had a wonderful 8 knots sail to Dominica.

When Covid19 struck the Caribbean islands, they agreed to include all islands into one bubble, but as it mostly is when you blow some bubbles, they burst or divides in several smaller ones. The French islands; Martinique and Guadeloupe had their own European bubble. St. Lucia had its own and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua, Barbuda and Dominica another. As many other places in the world, the islands close their borders and change their restrictions as the infections rise. The shortcut in to the bigger bubble is through Dominica, as we only have to stay in quarantine for five days and not 14.

One PCR-test on the first day and another one on the fifth day, plus 48 hours waiting for the results and we are ready to cut the orange badge and have our release party! Time flew fast in quarantine as we had a lot to read and even though we couldn’t meet during the quarantine, it was very nice to have two Norwegian buddy boats, Ticora III and Emelin around.

Ydalir, Ticora and Emelin released out of quarantine

The Commonwealth of Dominica became independent in 1978 and the language spoken is English. The island has been struck by a hurricane almost every second year, the last one hurricane Maria in 2017 and before that hurricane Erica in 2015, which devastated 90 percent of the country. Dominica has now recovered quite well, but many houses and bridges are still in ruins. The people though, is one of the most humble and friendly we met on our voyage. Strangers greet friendly and ask us what we are up to when they see us on the street. They are curios to know if they can help in a way, not to get a tip, just out of kindness. We are overwhelmed by their warm welcome.

Indian River

In year 2005, Portsmouth was crowded with Hollywood celebrities filming Pirates of the Caribbean 2. One of the locations was Indian River, so we were curios to see the river by boat. It is not allowed to use the dingy engine, so we asked Eddison, a local guide whom we met and found out that we had common Swedish friends, to take us there. It was afternoon and the light was beautifully shining through the green lush vegetation. Once we came a little deeper in to the blood trea forest, having passed giant swamp fern, all became very silent. So still and calm, a real treat for the soul. An injection of fresh green for the eyes.

The ride stopped at Indian River Bar, where we were served a Dynamite drink that was very spicy, but not explosive. On the way back, we had learned to spot different kinds of crabs, tiny red and giant brown ones hiding under the roots. Eddison told us a lot about the flora and of course of his experience during the making of the movie. We took a small detour to the Calypsos cottage and could almost see Jack Sparrow scurry through the thicket.