Sunday, February 7, 2016

Dominica Days

Yesterday was incredibly windy - 20 to 25 knots with gusts to 35.  So for most of the day we just hunkered down on the boat.  During a lull Azaya came over for a visit in their kayak so we spent the afternoon yakking.

Anyway, we started to think about all the stuff we've been doing so... better write it down!

The day after we got here one of the PAYS guys, Alexis, had arranged to take a couple on a tour to show them some of the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Erica this summer.  The couple, Clair and Mago from Macario, is hoping to do some humanitarian work here on the island and Alexis thought they might have some ideas on how to help the local farmers.  So 10 of us crowded into Alexis' van and we took off for the day.

Washed out by the torrents of rain

Mixed farming - this is callilou/dasheen


Farmer's workshed

Waiting for the meeting of the farmers


Scoured out by the river

Washed away
Saw the mixed farming going on... but Alexis says that the farmers are discouraged since they don't have access to larger markets and infrastructure is falling apart. So the farms are being neglected and the farmers are depressed.

There is a farming area here called Syndicate.  Not sure why it is called that... something out of the past? We met with the farmers from there.  Makes sense that the Syndicate farmers should be the Syndicate Farmers Cooperative.  Or just maybe... wait for it...  the Syndicate Farmers Syndicate?

They talked about the need to work cooperatively to try to get things done.  The general mood was that they need to spearhead the group and then choose a few attainable projects that would give them momentum to tackle some of the larger problems.  It was a privilege to listen to them working to solve their problems.

Anyway... later in the day we saw all the washouts caused by the raging rivers from Erica's rain.  Quite a mess for a poor country to have to fix up.  Before Erica these rivers flowed lazily through tropical forests making for tourist paddle tours and lovely back yards.  It's a mess that will take years to recover from.
Got back just in time to get cleaned up and have a drink before heading into the PAYS BBQ.

Our man Seabird (Jeffrey)
Mary Clare and Axel from Azaya

Fish - and then back for chicken

Very professional group of guys
We spend lots of evenings with guests on our boat or as guests on other cruisers' boats watching the sunsets.  We've learned that the much-talked-about Green Flash is quite a disappointing green blip as the sun finally dips into the ocean.  We were expecting something quite a bit more explosive.

Azaya next to us in the neighbourhood

Tall ships at sunset

One day last week we watched a Norwegian flagged Bavaria 44 named Lea come in, captained and crewed by a group of young Norwegian women.  I think they might have come over on the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) from Europe to St. Lucia.  The captain showed great skill as she picked a spot, maneuvered into position and dropped the anchor... with no help from the crew.  Right beside us!!  After setting the anchor she leaped into the water and snorkeled to check that she was happy with it all.  For the next few days we (mostly me) watched them cavort about in their tiny bathing suits; laughing, swimming, and generally having too much fun,  Sadly, they left after only 2 days.  Pam thinks they would have stayed longer if I'd have stared a little less.

Lea - crewed by lady Vikings... Vikettes?
When Azaya arrived here in Portsmouth they were accompanied by  about 5 boats that they'd met down the island chain.  We have joined them for some of their adventures and on other days they take off as a group.  On one of those days when the Azaya group was gone, Maureen from "A Good Day" came around the harbour, knocking on hulls inviting boaters to a Cruisers Potluck.  We joined about 20 others for salads, lionfish, tuna, pork tenderloin, pizza and topped it all off with brownies.  Yumm!  Lots of great stories... lots of great food.

Landscaping the PAYS building

Cruisers Potluck

Antonio wearing a Yale Lions t-shirt.  Wonder where he got that?
So it's time to start thinking about getting back to Antigua so we can take care of the damaged chainplates on the lovely Blue Pearl.  We are looking to leave here on Thursday, apparently a low-wind day.  We'll head up to Les Saintes and then on the next low-wind day head to Deshaise at the north end of Guadeloupe.  We are hoping to cross paths with our German children from last year - crossing our fingers that we can make a familentreffen  ("family reunion" for you non-German speakers) work in Guadeloupe.  Also looking forward to connecting back up with Quest.

Pam will be flying home February 25th while I stay and watch the chainplate process.

It's time to go ashore and make arrangements to watch the Superbowl.  I wonder how that will work?

Go Panthers!


  1. I just read the past 4 - 5 far behind on hearing about your adventures! Such interesting stories....sorry, we cannot be there!

  2. We're looking forward to hear about your upcoming adventures in Mike and Ron's new toy!

  3. A real shame that you still have not seen a decent green flash!


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