Alone Like a Rolling Stone

The Green Islands of the Caribbean

 We are on the road again early and drive with the rental car to the east side of Martinique. More precisely, the protected landscape area, Prequ'Ile de la Caravelle, is our destination. Here there is the Cháteau Dubuc, the ruins of a rich French family that once processed sugar cane, coffee and cocoa and shipped them to France. Of course, with the support of corresponding slaves who lived in an adjacent village, next to the estate.

Cháteau Dubuc, Martinique

Louis du Buc du Gailon had the residence La Caravelle built in 1725, which eventually became the Cháteau Dubuc. Two years later, the Cháteau was damaged by an earthquake and a hurricane. Further damage occurred in 1765 and 1766, which slowly ruined the family. In 1786 the property was confiscated and in 1793 the sugar factory was closed down. Subsequently, the castle was plundered by the English. A description of the buildings and their function can be found, with a plan and a media stick, also in German. The descriptions are partly so impressive that you have the slaves in front of your mind's eye. The east of Martinique also has beautiful places that are worth looking at.

St. Pierre, Martinique

After a good week in the bay of Anse Mitan, we sail on to St. Pierre. Here we clear out. As usual on Martinique this is done at a computer, which is located in the tourist office of St. Pierre. The procedure is free of charge, but a donation is required. We stroll around the town for a while, but then make our final preparations for the crossing to Dominica. Since May 1, the remaining restrictions of the small island state have fallen and it is possible to clear in again without a corona test. We sail shortly after sunrise and make only moderate progress at the beginning. The Montagne Pelée, highest mountain on Martinique, shades the northeast trade wind very effectively. After we have crossed the northwest tip of Martinique, we pick up speed. Between seven and eight knots and a relatively moderate wave, we make the crossing to Roseau on Dominica, in less than six hours. We are moored at a buoy with the help of a boat scout. 

Roseau, Dominica

Check-in takes place at the jetty for ferries. Since the jetty is much too high for a dinghy, a small fishing harbor right next to it is a good choice. The landing is rustic. You drive the dinghy onto concrete railroad tracks, jump off the boat, always careful not to slip on the sea grass, and pull the dinghy over the sleepers to shore. With a rope one fastens the dinghy, so that it cannot slip again into the water. Punctual as bricklayers we were at Customs, a German bad habit that we still couldn't get rid of after three years. Of course the person in charge was still at lunch and we were asked to take a seat outside on the bench and to be patient for a moment. After half an hour the official comes and asks us to follow him. Since we had already declared ourselves via Seaclear on the computer, the whole thing was just a formality. We get a Coastpermit, which allows us to anchor off the coast, between Roseau and Portsmouth. All in all it costs 20EC$, so about 7€. Since we don't have a crew change and don't want to stay longer than two weeks, we are already cleared out at the same time. That's what we call practical.

Caterpillars of a giant butterfly, Dominica

Greg from Seacat picks us up the next morning and puts us on a bus that takes us on a tour of the island. Stove, a nice guide who tells us all sorts of things about the flora of his island, makes the trip very interesting. We take a look at Fresh Water Lake and do a hike through the jungle of Dominica around the lake. It is impressive how many different plants grow on one square meter. Around us everything is green. Huge ferns, large foliage and always wafting clouds of mist, create a special mood that is difficult to describe.

Fresh Water Lake Trail, Dominica

The ground is soaked with water and we sink deep again and again. Partly it goes steeply up the hill and of course down again on the other side. Quite sweaty, we run back into the arms of our driver after an impressive tour. We drive on and arrive at a gorge where scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean were filmed. The gorge is called Titou Gorge. Through a narrow gorge, we swim to a waterfall, which pelts down with enormous force. 

Green flora on Dominica

The water is cold and it is pleasant to stand under one of the warm water springs on the way back. This is where the waterfall scene was filmed where Jack Sparrow jumps into the depths. We continue to the Trafalgar Falls. Two over 100m high waterfalls fall into the valley. Here, too, a lush flora. The two waterfalls are called Mama and Papa. Next to Papa there is a hot spring. Over hill and dale we climb up to the rock face where Papa plunges into the depths. Loamy, ocher-colored mud marks the hot water. I stand under the warm water and immediately start to sweat. 

Trafalgar Falls, Dominica

In fact, you can't stand it under there for long. The nature, here in Dominica, impresses us. After a last stop at a hot spring, we return to our Katinka. Tomorrow we will continue along the coast of Dominica. We'll tell you about that next week. Until then, as always, fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.

Rosenau, Dominica