1493 - Christopher Columbus visits the island on a
Sunday in November and names it Dominica (Sunday Island). He passed it
1805 âAfter many battles with the French, the
island finally remains in British possession
1834 - Slavery abolished.
1960 - Britain grants Dominica
1978 - Dominica becomes an independent republic
within the Commonwealth.
A mountainous, forested island with a year-round
tropical climate, national parks, rare indigenous birds and
the second-largest boiling lake in the world, Dominica is
potentially a great tourist attraction, but with poor
infrastructure and the absence of a large airport has impeded the industry's growth. Plans to build an airport capable
of taking large jet aircraft have raised concerns that an
increase in visitor numbers and the rise of eco-tourism would damage the finely-balanced environment.
Although it is among the
poorest countries in the region, Dominica has a relatively low crime rate for
The island has a high percentage of centenarians,
the most famous dying at 128 years of age.
The country is vulnerable to hurricanes
1979 â Hurricane David slammed into Dominica and
has been recorded as the 18th most destructive storm in all of recorded history.
1999 - Hurricane Lenny causes widespread
2004 November - An earthquake damages buildings in
the north of the island. Prime Minister Skerrit says repairs
will cost millions of dollars.
2007 August - Hurricane Dean wipes out 99% of
Dominica's banana crop.
2004 March - Dominica cuts diplomatic relations
with Taiwan in favour of ties with mainland China. China
agrees to give aid worth $122m over five years.
With few natural resources and a fledgling tourist
industry, Dominica is attempting to reduce its reliance on
bananas, traditionally its main export earner.
Having motor sailed for 20 miles up the coast we
arrived in Portsmouth and Prince Rupert Bay, which is Dominicaâs best
anchorage. Eddison, one of the official boat boys came to meet us and was
keen to sell trips around the island. One of the trips included the Indian
River trip â a mini Amazon trip up the Indian River, a protected area in the
Fort Shirley Reserve. Later the veg. man (who was a little high on
something!) appeared at the side of Nimue to ask us if we would like to order
anything from him.
View of Prince Rupert Bay, Portsmouth
with Beez Neez leading the way
The anchorage and Eddison trying to
sell his trips
The ship is behind you Michael
Wrecks from recent Hurricanes washed
up on the shoreline
This Pelican has found a good look
out point on one of the wrecks
Starting point for the Indian River
We also took the opportunity to have a look around
Portsmouth and meet some of the locals. The people are so friendly here
and always asked where we were from. On one occasion when we came
ashore to dispose of the rubbish, we couldnât find a bin, so one of the
locals offered to take it, as he was not happy that the bin had been taken away
and that this was no way to encourage yacht tourism. Anyway, he only
went and dropped it off in the local Police Station a few hundred yards down the
main street! He just wanted to make a point!
Perhaps a UK sales advert would
read Cosy, but in need of
A quick drink stop at the
Sea View Restaurant (although the view is now totally blocked by a wrecked
ship). As we were going back for lunch the owner did not want paying until
later (very trusting people and this certainly would not occur in the UK). A
brisk walk around town before we were hit by another torrential rain storm, so
we decided to have lunch a little earlier than planned. Lunch was a
typical creole style meal of chicken or fish with rice and beans, but all cost
less than a fiver a head, including drinks.
Sea View Restaurant for
A strange place for a bottle opener
The lovely Sea View restaurant owner
and us of course
What a colourful little chicken;
outside the local Chandlery store
Read next instalment for trip around