Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dominica

Woooo hoooo Dominca!!!  (Dom-in-eeka)

Adventure cruise ship in Portsmouth
We cruised into Portsmouth and looped around looking for a good spot to anchor.  On our first loop we noticed a boat from Vancouver, made a mental note and then went on to anchor nearby.  On our way to Customs, we stopped by the boat.  "Vancouver? Actually Saltspring Island.  Oh, we're from Abbotsford.  Oh?  We lived there for 25 years before we moved to Saltspring."

Turns out, the Bishop/McIntyres are retired Abbotsford doctors (now winery owners) and weirder, their son, David, was a student at our school while Glen and Pam worked there.  She used to attend our Parent Advisory Council Meetings.  Thankfully, he was a good student so we all had good memories of our connection!!!  There are other parents that we would prefer not to meet.

We were invited for sundowners on their boat - but we had an important mission that couldn't be compromised.

Our dear friend Brianna has a friend Jeevan who is attending Ross Medical School in Dominica and we had made arrangements to meet with him and tour his locale.

So at 2PM, we met with Jeevan and he took us to Ross.  Now, as you can guess by his name, Jeevan is normally more brown that we are... but at all the security stations we were asked if we were his parents and it just got easier to say yes.  BUT NO, we are not sending him an allowance!!!

We had a lovely time with Jeevan... cool guy.   The university is VERY impressive.  It was a Saturday - no classes - but the classrooms, labs and library were jammed with folks pouring over lecture materials and notes.  Jeevan tells us that the average age of students is about 27 so they are a mature group.  There are about 90% from the US and 10% from Canada - probably some others areas as well.  The facilities are first rate with High Def TVs everywhere, wifi, etc.  The cadaver lab was amazing... and spooky.  Someone could film a great sci-fi movie here.

We spent some time in some of the student bars but it was obvious that Jeevan had given up some valuable study time to be our tour guide so we gave up on buying him dinner and instead had a few beers and appies and headed back to the boat for an early night.


Go Canucks!!!

Ross Football field
View from Champs of Portsmouth

Killer wings at Tomatos

Sunday is the local "Boat Boy" BBQ and so we did boat chores until happy hour.  We enjoyed learning about vistas south from "Spray" - our doctor/vintner friends until it was time to boogey.

The BBQ is a highlight!  There is a great rum punch - this rum punch is a lot more than juice - lots of PUNCH.  We met with "Jalan Jalan" - Jean and Wayne from Ontario on an IP 485.  Very fun couple and they have connections in BC and Alberta - maybe we will see them there in the summers.  The DJ was having a difficult time getting cruisers to dance... so, having spent years honing our ballroom dancing techniques, we tried doing the foxtrot to "Get up, Stand up. Stand up for your rights."  We thought we were outstanding.

Portsmouth Area Yacht Services BBQ

Captains exchanging techniques

Hey Buddy... down here...  Can you spare a wing?

Michael Jackson puts a move on Billy-Jean
So with fuzzy heads (at least one of us) and a late start, we moved down to Roseau to stage for Martinique.  We got ourselves organized at Sea Cats on his mooring balls close in to shore.  This island is steep-to...  that is, it is 200 feet deep until right before the shore.  So we will sleep more comfortably knowing we are  well hooked.

Not a bad rainbow!

Desmond guides us to Sea Cat's moorings
We hiked in to Roseau to have a look.  We could have taken the dinghy in closer to town but we needed the exercise and it was fun to check out the businesses and houses on the road leading into the town.  We got rained on a couple of times and just as we got into town it was like a vacuum had sucked all of the air.  It was stiflingly hot and no breeze.  So obviously time to check out a bar in one of the restored brick buildings.  The buildings in the town are quite impressive.  Great huge thick stone and brick walls designed to withstand hurricanes.

This has survived hurricanes???
This one didn't
Had a farewell dinner with Jan and Richard at the Westport Tavern near Sea Cat's.  WOW.  Great food and terrific prices.  We had lionfish - which is a non-native species invading the Caribbean waters.  Agressive fishing is needed to discourage it's prolific growth - so we pitched in and did our part.  It was delicious.

There is a West Indies vs Zimbabwe cricket match on Wednesday that would be a unique experience.   We would be with Limeys (Jan and Richard from Morpheus) who could explain what is going on.  (Stickey wicket - what, right?) I think these matches take several weeks, don't they?

However, we are starting to feel the pinch for time so we will head off for Martinique in the morning.
We are trying again for a rendezvous with cousin Duane... we'll see if that works.



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