Roseau, Dominica

Ocean Gem
Geoff & Eileen Mander
Mon 15 Apr 2013 15:40

Position: 15:17.236N 61:22.633W

Date: Monday 15th April 2013


On Monday morning I went ashore early in St Pierre, to get to the Tourist Office when it opened at 8:00am, in order to clear out of the country.  I did not want to leave our departure for Dominica until late in the day.  All went well, I was the second person in line at the office, and it opened on time, but then the computer that they use to complete the clearance procedure would not power up. The lady who ran the office had no idea how to fix it, so the other guy and I spent half an hour removing cables, cleaning them, and re-attaching, before the computer eventually sprung to life.  


It was around 10:00 am that we eventually managed to leave St Pierre and head towards Dominica, the next island north of us.  We had another superb sail, with 20+ knots of wind from the beam, sunshine and seas that were not too big.  With just one reef in the main  and one roll in the jib we still averaged over 7 knots. At one stage Rainbow, one of the recently re-built J class yachts, crossed paths with us.  It was heading in a reciprocal direction making something like 12 knots and was a beautiful sight to behold. 


We arrived in Roseau and picked up a mooring buoy (one serviced by SeaCat) and I had a long dinghy ride to the customs dock to complete the checking in procedure.


The next day we arranged to take a tour of the Roseau valley. Dominica is a mountainous and heavily forested island with lots of rivers, lakes and waterfalls.  They make a big thing of their eco credentials.


We were picked up by our driver, Craig, at around 10:00am and set off to see the countryside.  Here is a picture of Craig looking his best.


And a view over Roseau towards the cricket pitch




In the botanical gardens they have retained a fallen baobab tree with a crushed school bus underneath it.  The bus was donated by Canada but never got to be used.  It was parked under the tree as one of the hurricanes struck, and the falling tree turned it into scrap metal.




As we entered the rain forest area the vegetation became much thicker.



We left the taxi to take a walk through the forest.  Unfortunately the footpath was having a crisis of identity and thought that it was a stream.





Eventually we found the river and followed it upstream to a small waterfall with a deep gulley where water gushed through.  We were assured by Craig that this was the location of one of the scenes in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film where Mr Depp rolls down a hill and lands in water.



This is the view from the small restaurant where we stopped for a lunch break.





We then moved on to an area where two waterfalls emerge on different sides of a tall rocky stack before joining together to form a single stream.



There is still a lot of volcanic activity in the area.  We saw a small pool of water with sulphurous gas bubbling up through it.  Going for  a swim would not have been a good idea as Craig told us that the water temperature was close to boiling point.




Then it was time to head back to the boat to watch the sunset with an appropriate beverage in hand.