Sunday afternoon we headed over to the other side of the bay to spend the afternoon on the beach – but as we got closer to the dinghy dock it was clear that most of it was completely wrecked and that waves were breaking through high into the sky…. Hmmmm that’s not a place we could possibly land dink let alone leave him…so we turned around and went back to the other side of the bay and ended up spending a nice few hours in Big Papas catching up with the internet and having a light lunch.
Back on board, got cleaned up, and went ashore for the weekly beach BBQ hosted by the PAYS boat boys for all the cruisers in the bay. Great value – EC$50 each (£12.50) – for as much as you can eat and as much rum punch as you can drink…. Anyway we were enjoying catching up with other sailors and just generally swaying to the beats when all of a sudden all hell broke loose. All the dinghies were surfing huge waves and ending up on top of each other and one had actually sunk – so everyone rushed to take their dinghy off the dock and pull them up the beach. The beach boys were great and kept the local drunk nutters away who were trying to help but actually nearly sunk a dinghy in their inebriated state…. Richard used strong working class language to persuade the local drunk to leave dink alone. Phew – all safe – and relax….and get on with the serious business of partying! Great time had by all……
On Monday morning – sore heads and all – we met up with the others as we planned to visit a waterfall and the rum distillery. Well we found out that the cost of hiring a van for the six of us was cheaper than hiring a cab so we got one and off we went. Arriving at the Macosine distillery we asked for the tour and were told it was not possible today…. Oh well…. Disappointed but we moved on towards Syndicate Milton Falls – and ended up in the Morne Diablotins National Park first – which is where the rare parrot that Dominica have on their flag still lives. The place was deserted, even the office was closed that takes the money / checks the visitor permits. Have we stumbled on a Bank Holiday that we didn’t know about???? Oh well…not going to complain….and we took off for a little trek through a mysterious rainforest full of huge rooted trees and large plants that I recognise from home, except that we keep them warm indoors and in pots, and here they are bigger than us! But the place is utterly devoid of any noise – a bit spooky – expecting bird song and bugs at least – but nothing! Weird… In the car park we found some wild oranges but they were like lemons – eek! Really sour….
Moving on we went to the waterfall and clambered up and down paths, across rocks, crossed the flowing river twice, and eventually ended up at our destination……. Oh what a disappointment – this had previously been the water supply but had been found to have high iron content so was no longer in use for this purpose – but the waterfall pool had been fenced off and now opened up again. Pretty place especially without the barbed wire in the way! We snuck through the hole in the fence and enjoyed the moment and then back to the car….. We also enjoyed eating some sweet grapefruits that had fallen onto the path as we walked around. Yummmmm…..
Driving around looking for somewhere to stop for food and we failed miserably – but with loads of luck we ended up at the Portsmouth Beach Hotel and had a really nice very late lunch watching, from the safety of the shore, the waves bashing up the dock and breaking up into the leaves of the palm trees. Really wild out there….and really enjoyed it as a backdrop to our last meal together. Back at the anchorage we got a water taxi back to Morpheus and bid our fond farewells. Hot Latte Tudes are heading direct to St Croix on Tuesday and Ron and Demi are jumping ship from Jolly Friends and joining them for this 200+ mile passage as they wanted to go to Puerto Rico anyway.
Early night followed and we were up early Tuesday as we are going diving again. Went to two amazing dive sites which are listed in the top 100 in the world – unfortunately the conditions weren’t great with currents and poor visibility due to north swells – but we still had a great time and enjoyed seeing two very different sites. The first one was caves and caverns and we meandered along, under and through different places and then really enjoyed watching the huge amounts of tropical fish playing in our bubbles that had seeped through the rocks and coral. Amazing! The second site was very different with a drop off down steep cliffs and huge tropical fish life….I think I would have called this one the aquarium if I was naming it. We are really enjoying our diving here – no-one else but us in the water and the dive time only restricted by our air consumption….
Tuesday afternoon on board we were lazing around having got Morphie covered in all our dive gear drying in the sun….and we bade final farewell to Hot Latte Tudes as they went past at 4pm to start their passage… And the girls were well behaved but the boys decided to moon at us on the way past and Richard responded in the same way. Men eh??? Still naughty boys at heart… Us girls were much more refined shouting out things like ‘be careful, we’ll miss you!!!’…… Early evening we went ashore for happy hour and to watch the sunset – and then went back on board for a quiet evening and a nice steak salad dinner….
This morning – Wednesday – we decided to explore the island more so have hired a little jeep for a couple of days to take us around. We travelled all the way to the bottom of the island to Roseau, the capital, and up into the mountains of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park (an UNESCO World Heritage Site). More waterfalls, sulphur hot springs, lush rainforests and scary roads which are virtually vertical and come up / down to hairpin bends that defy explanation! This place is so amazingly beautiful – and you really have to be adventurous to explore it fully – and is so wild that I feel like an extra in Jurassic Park and am expecting a dinosaur to pop his head round a tree at any minute! Walking up and down windy paths with mountain goat climbs over huge boulders to waterfalls have become the norm. Enough from me….hope you enjoy some of the photos of our trip today….
Bye for now