November 10, 2009


It has been a busy week. Isabelle turned 4, collecting enough princess, fairy and doll house loot to keep her quite busy and happy. Jake has lost his first tooth, which had been loose for about 2 weeks. He is very proud of his hole.

We sailed to Dominica from St. Lucia and nice 100 mile leg. We took off again for an overnighter, though suffering some rougher seas this time, had great sailing conditions under the still nearly full moon. Fishing has been a bit of bust lately, netting only one barracuda on this last trip.

Dominica is an exceptional island, having been much slower in development of the tourist industry than the other islands. Now with the agricultural base eroding due to competition/changing importation tariff protections from Europe they are feeling the economic pitch resulting in lots of land being sold to developers. The island has 11 volcanos, 7 still active, 365 rivers, lots of water falls and some interesting geography resulting from the volcanic activity such as the red rocks. The island also protects about 60 percent of its forest as national parks maintaining very nice hiking trails and informational stands at the more interesting sites. The island was th site for several of the scenes from the second Pirates of Caribbean movie; 1) the Indian River, which you go up in a row boat, was the site for the visit to "Tia Doma" 2) Hempstead beach where the Black Pearl was beached 3) the area where they battled on the water wheel and fought through the grove of palms.

Guide books lead you to believe that the last of the Caribe Indians live on Dominica, those same Caribe's that were to have been wiped out by Europeans, many jumping to their deaths from cliffs into the sea to avoid forced labor in the plantations. Well supposedly Dominica was just to wild with all the mountains and river gorges so a handful were able to hold off the Europeans and survived. We went to tour their village. It was a made for tourist reproduction, we were led by a tour guide and met several people who did look "different" from the average Dominican of African decent. We were also told that the Caribe's did not practice cannibalism, even though the history of the Arawak Indians tell a different story. The tour guide actually said "the bones that the Europeans saw hanging in our homes were from those that died naturally but were so revered in their life times, like great warriors, we would keep a bone from their body before burying them." Lets say I am a sceptic on many of the Caribe accounts provided in the "tour".

Needless to say we have had some fun exploring thus far on the island.

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