Position 15:48.2N 61:32.6W
Plan: Sail north along Guadeloupe west coast and on
We slipped our mooring off Roseau Dominica on Monday 31st at 0715
under sail, being seen off by a friendly turtle in whose domain
we were apparently located. We soon had to motor to make reasonable
headway up the western coast, the high hills providing shelter from
the easterly Trade Winds. We passed the cruise ship Silver Cloud
disembarking its passengers for day tours ashore and providing a welcome boost
to the island's economy. The spectacular natural and unspoilt beauty
has to be savoured and admired - there are 7 potentially active
volcanoes. (Dominica is a former British Colony, now an independent
nation. It has, however, reminders of years under French rule; eg place
names). We passed Prince Rupert Bay at the north west corner, a
spectacular sheltered spot and another favourite stopping point with over 20
yachts seen to be at anchor.
Once we cleared the norther tip, we experienced a steady 15 knot east north
easterly breeze which allowed a pleasant sail across the 15 mile-wide Dominica
Channel leaving the easterly Iles de Saintes, Terre de'en Haut, to port
before turning south into its large sheltered bay off the small town of Bourg
des Saintes. As you may have guessed, the islands are French and have been
since they were colonised in the 17th Century. Perhaps uniquely no
slaves were imported and there remaimns a strong link to the north of
France. It also benefits from European Union project funds.
It feels like a French version of the Channel Island Sark and located
in the Caribbean - charming (and the sea is warmer for bathing!).
There Jerome provides a water hose conveniently located on a "water buoy"
in 4 metres and a quick radio call turns it on - 30 Euros for as much as
you want. We refilled our 3 tanks with 300 litres before anchoring amongst
over 30 other yachts of all nationalities in the clear warm waters. It was
too late to complete Customs and Immigration formalities (fermee a cinq
heures) and these waited until the following morning (Tuesday), the
yellow Q flag remained flying all night.
The main task for today was to clean the grey water tank and service its
pump (water from the basin and shower is collected in an onboard tank, allowing
discharge at a convenient and environmentally acceptable location).
Probably put off for too long, increased on board showering had finally caused
the pump to fail and action was urgently required. We now have a very
clean, sweet smelling and working installation. We look forward
to exploring this pleasant location, possibly on hired motor
scooters, and experiencing some French cuisine. More to
Ross, Al, Alex