March 20, 2009
We bid adieu to Ile des Saintes and sailed 18 miles south to the island of Dominica. We anchored on the northern lee of the island in Prince Rupert Bay off of the town of Portsmouth. This is a great anchorage, very protected with water still like glass and crystal clear. We can see the fish swimming under our boat and we are anchored in 30 feet of water.
We were met by the “Dominica welcoming committee” as we sailed in, a flotilla of homemade boats and rafts painted a plethora of colors occupied by locals even more colorful! We made friends with Cobra who agreed to show us around the island while we are here. We went ashore to the hot spot of Portsmouth- Big Poppa’s- where we sipped their local Kabuli beer and Red Cup rum. While there we met a ton of locals including Friday, Lawrence of Arabia, Chicken, Providence and Big Poppa himself. They all have crazy names here! Big Poppa really lives up to his name- his is larger than the Pirate. The Pirate and he hit it off really well and before long they were arm wrestling. The Pirate won and Big Poppa’s entire posse was laughing.
We can’t say enough about how friendly the people are here. Friday hooked us up with a bag of coconuts for our rum and coconut water drinks. Cousteau caught a 20 pound King Mackerel and shared it with the guys at the dock. In less than two hours, one of them came out to our boat with a giant bowl of fish head stew that he made with the fish. Cousteau loved it, Pirate and Cajun thought it was a bit too fishy for our tastes- but we smiled and ate our share.
Chicken took us on a tour through the Indian River in his row boat. He pointed out the areas that they did some filming for one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. The river was an awesome experience; it was beautiful, lush and peaceful. At the end of the river was the Bush Bar where Cobra served up the most potent rum punches we ever had. They called them Dynamite Punches and the juice was a combination of fermented local berries. Too many of those and you will be hurting the next day for sure.
We really love this place (I know we say that a lot these days J). The prices are cheap, the people are friendly and the island is unique and authentic. There are no hotels at this anchorage and thus no tourists- just boat people and locals. Today we are going with Cobra to check out the rainforests, Carib reservation and authentic Rasta farms. Dominica here we come!