|Devon on the Indian River|
Our fellow passengers were French-speaking,with little kids, so we got all our questions answered because the French weren’t listening. We passed the frame of the sea-witch’s hut used in the filming of “Pirates of the Caribbean- At the World’s End”. Aspects of the trip reminded us of "See Rock City".
|The sea-witch's hut, from Pirates of the Caribbean....funny!|
|At the Bush Bar|
We disembarked with the other boats, had a rum punch, and walked down garden and woodland paths with our guides to see what’s growing. We met up with Skipper Chris from Antigua who wanted to borrow Randy’s rivet gun, and Edgar from Hawaii who Di enjoyed chatting with about her old cruise ship days in Hawaii. Randy asked Devon to show Di how to select and break open the sprouted “bread” coconut, which is good eating, and easier to open than a brown or green nut.
We arranged with Titus for an island tour around the north half of the island, and had “Uncle Sam” as our guide. Our fellow tourists again were French from Guadeloupe who spoke little English, so the tour was bilingual. We enjoyed sign language communication with French yachtie Olivier and his little daughter Ohana, who was Di’s shell collecting buddy. We left around 9am , and headed clockwise around the Island, through the villages of Calibishe and Marigot.
We continued on past Castle Bruce, past beautiful views of sea cliffs and misty mountains, thru deep gorges and forested valleys. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant overlooking the sea, and had chicken stewed in mild brown gravy, “provision”( the local assortment of boiled starchy veggies, including green banana, cassava, eddoes, and dasheen) ,green salad, yellow rice and my new favorite pigeon peas, with sugar cane and coconut cake for dessert
|Dominicans love to adorn their yards and roadways with colorful plants and flowers.|
|Carib basket ladies|
Continuing on, we shot past a dug-out canoe being made, but made the driver back up. Made from a single “gamb-yay “tree, it was nearly 50 feet long. They were steaming it with hot coals on the outside and water on the inside, to shape the hull. It will be raced inter-island against the Team Guadeloupe.
|Cloud forest with tree ferns|
|On the trail to the waterfall.|
Martin stopped by and invited us to join a trip around the north end of the island on Easter Sunday with his wife Florian and some other cruisers. Among this delightful group were Martin’s old friend Chris Doyle, the author of the popular cruising guides to the Caribbean, and his lifelong friend Paul Tobias, cruising together this season while their ladies stayed in New England.
|Di, Paul and Chris|
|Thanks for the Doyle guide, Steve and Diana. |
We use it all the time!
We hiked into the woods to see Cherry Falls, learned to identify vanilla, cinnamon, lemon grass and David’s orchids, and walked back through a ferny valley to see Cold Soufriere. This volcanic site features bubbling pools of cool sulfurous water, rather than boiling ones (those are at Hot Soufriere). A jolly good time was had by all.
|Vanilla orchids. They must be hand-pollinated to yield the aromatic bean.|
The cool bubbling sulfur-mineral water at Cold Soufriere.
On Sunday nights, the PAYS group hosts a fundraiser BBQ . For $20USD/ $50 EC you get all-you-can-eat tossed salad, grilled chicken drumsticks and mahi, yellow rice, and seriously strong passionfruit rum punch in little cups. The DJ plays great soca and reggae music until about midnight, and the cruisers and boatmen "skank" and “wind “ all over the dance floor. Everyone was smiling and having a ball. However, no water is served, and the result was a “big head” and increased sensitivity to light all day Monday for some of Sinbad’s crew who shall remain nameless.
|With Tom and Jerry, our Dutch cruiser friends aboard Argo|
At the party, we sat next to the crew of Jessy III, a catamaran owned by Martin and Barbel from Germany and with Andy and Eva from Austria.
|Thanks for sharing the photos, Eva.|
|Everyone spoke impeccable English except us!|
|Aboard Jessy III|
|On the trail|
The forest birdsong, hazy sunlight drifting through the canopy and the soft gurgling of the opalescent water created a magical feeling. Later, at dinner at the Blue Bay Restaurant, Paul and Chris happened by and joined us for more laughs and chat. Both of them have spent decades aboard boats in the Caribbean, the Med and the Pacific, and with educational backgrounds in Physics and Psychology, were able to discuss almost any topic! We hope to see them again soon.