Alone Like a Rolling Stone

Dominica's rainforest

 Dominica is definitely the greenest island we have visited in the Caribbean so far. From Roseau we sail along the west coast to Batalie Beach Bay, just north of Salisbury. Around Cape Grand Savanne, a gust catches us at 35 knots. We drop off and ride out the squall. Luckily we only have the main up, we had already furled the genoa just before the cape. After recovering the mainsail, we grab the only buoy in the bay, which belongs to the Sunset Bay Club. Here we stay one night and paddle with the StandUp to the nearby beach. If you want to sail along the coast of Dominica, you need a permit, which you have to get from the customs. Otherwise you will be sent away in case of an inspection.

Sunset Bay Club, Dominica

The next day we continue to Prince Rupert Bay to Portsmouth. In this place you find the original Dominica. Of course, there are also large hotel complexes here, but they are all outside. The town itself has kept its Caribbean character. Here, on market days, you can buy fruits and vegetables on the street at reasonable prices. We meet Bärbel and Michael from the Julia and take a river trip in the Indian River. Besides many crabs and birds, we can see bizarre tree and root structures. Of course, Jack Sparrow was also here, and we see the pirate's old cabin.

Portsmouth, Dominica

On Saturday is market day and we cover ourselves first of all again with fresh fruit and vegetables. We also need gasoline for our dinghy. In the afternoon we visit Fort Shirley, which is located on the north side of Prince Rupert Bay between two hills. From here we have a wonderful panoramic view over the bay. On the way back we walk along the beach and run into the boss of PAYS. PAYS manages the mooring buoys and organizes all kinds of things for the boat people. Among other things, excursions and the legendary Sunday BBQ. We let ourselves be persuaded and say for the next day, to an island tour, to. The trip is a bit more expensive than in the south of the island, but we are excited about what awaits us in the north. We end the day in a beach bar with a sundowner and a delicious dinner.

Anchorage in Portsmouth, Dominica

For 20 minutes we have been walking through dense greenery, past countless giant fern leaves and rhododendrons. Again and again we stop and smell lemon grass, cinnamon or nutmeg. In the meantime we have reached a creek bed in which we make only slow progress. We hear the waterfall for quite a while and finally we see it right in front of us. A large pool catches the water masses that fall from about 40 meters into the depth. We jump into the pool, whose water is much cooler than what we are used to from the Caribbean Sea. Cautiously, we approach the masses of water that come crashing down on us from above. It hurts, but at the same time it's a lot of fun. The scenery could not be better. The slopes that border the narrow valley on the left and right and rise steeply are densely overgrown with trees of various species, in between always huge green foliage. We are thrilled. On the way back, we find a pineapple field planted in the middle of the jungle. A ripe fruit is selected and distributed to all present. It couldn't be fresher. The trip continues to the east coast of Dominica, to Calibishie. Here one finds the Red Rocks, a rock formation directly on the Atlantic Ocean. There is also the Pointe Baptiste Chocolate Factory. It is interesting to see how simple the process is, from the drying of the cocoa bean to the final product, the chocolate bar. Nevertheless, the price, of 5€ the bar, but quite a bit to pay. At the end of the excursion we take a look into a volcanic crater. We hike down and reach the "Cold Soufriere" a bubbling pool of cold water, which is caused by a volcanic vent. Yes, nature has some surprises in store.

Waterfall, Dominica

Of course, we do not miss the BBQ on the beach of Prince Rupert Bay, and as always we are among the last to leave the party. There is grilled fish and chicken, plus rice and salad. And, not to forget the essentials, rum punch to the bone. Unfortunately, my motor skills stopped working reliably at some point during the party, so that I could no longer wave them off and had difficulties with my sense of balance. On land, all this was initially no problem, but when entering the dinghy, the space, for the roll backwards, was limited and insufficient for the action. I landed, after all on my feet again, with Prince Rupert. The problem was getting back into the dinghy from the low position I was now in. At least there was the mark 10 for the roll backwards from Gaby.

Bourgh, Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe

The next morning we leave for Guadeloupe. More precisely, we want to take a look at the group of islands, Iles des Saintes. The islands are located about 10 nautical miles off Butterfly Island. As we get out of the shadows of Dominica, speed comes into the boat. With partly 10 knots of speed, we take the 3m high wave crests, with course to the southwest passage of the archipelago. The otherwise so wide entrance, becomes quite narrow under these conditions. Nevertheless, we hit the target optimally and cover the rest to the buoy under motor. We need just 4 hours and moor off Terre D'en Haute at a mooring buoy. On the island we visit Fort Napoleon, which closes its doors for a month during the season and does not open again until June, and stroll through the picturesque village of Bough. We like the island very much, but not least due to the rolling anchorage, we move on after two days to Basse Terre, on the southwestern tip of Guadeloupe. How we like Guadeloupe, we will tell you next week. Until then, as always, fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.

Under palm trees, Guadeloupe