Monday, February 23, 2015

Sexy Bones, Rainbows, Mountains and Boat Boys

Stunning Dominica and the Cabrits ahead of Aspen's bow, sailing in from Iles Des Saints.

A view of Portsmouth, Prince Rupert Bay, Dominica with Aspen anchored far below.

One of the tall ships that love to visit during our time here.

 Aspen is in the center of the picture, along with just a few fellow sailors.

A hermit crab using a nice hole in the rock to hide and rest.

A trail high in the Cabrits, the fort area on Dominica.  Notice the abandoned relics at the end of the trail too.

Maria enjoying the peace and solitude of the trails.

The restored fort area has places to rest and relax too.

Cannons litter the jungle around the fort.

An obstacle in the middle of the trail.  You never know what you will find!

Just a few spikes on a tree that you don't want to land on.

Brianna having lunch in Kalingo territory.  She is dressed so colorful!

 The cave high on the ridge with a secret passage leading to the sea in Kalinago Territory.  Yes, it is from my book.

S/Y Aspen – February 23, 2015 – Log #128
Aspen Position: 15 degrees 34’ N  061 degrees 27’ W
Dominica, Caribbean

Dominica, where nature rules your life.  Wave after wave of warm tropical rain showers blanket the landscape creating an island paradise so enchanting and welcoming that Maria and I pinch ourselves to make sure it is real.  The rain lasts only 10 minutes before the sun blazes through the clouds creating rainbows against lush green mountains in front of Aspen's bow.

Then there are the boat boys called PAYS.  These island ambassadors have organized on Dominica and created an environment that is welcoming to sailors as they meet every passing sailboat far out at sea and entice you to stop and visit their island. 

Some sailors remember days gone by when it wasn't safe to stop at the harbor in Portsmouth, Dominica.  Yet today, things are much different.  PAYS provides security in the harbor, arranged for trips up the famous Indian River and around the island and generally take care of every sailor.  Then, once a week on Sunday night, there is the BBQ.

The BBQ brings anchored sailors together for an evening of fun, food, music and strong rum, creating an atmosphere of community for both sailors and the people of Dominica.  It just doesn't get much better than this on any of the Caribbean islands.

Maria and I hiked and explored the Cabrits and the restored fort with many ruins still hiding in the surrounding forest.  The trails on Dominica range from those in the Cabrits to the island-long trail called the Waitukabuli Trail, the longest trail in the Caribbean.

Then there was Sexy Bones, the shaman I talk about in my book, Voyage Into Hell.  It was fantastic seeing him again.  And this time I was able to give him something, a copy of my book.  Sexy Bones was surprised I had written about him.  He was so pleased that he would not stop giving us gifts in his appreciation when Maria and I stopped at his humble house, high in the mountains in Kalinago Territory. 

Maria and I also met with Lennox Honychurch, the archaeologist who restored the Cabrits fort.  He told us Sexy Bones constructed a Kalinago hut inside the museum at Roseau, the capital of Dominica.  It seems that Sexy Bones is very well respected for his Kalinago heritage.

Nearly two weeks after we arrived in enchanting Dominica it is once again time to sail away.  The winds are forever pushing us onward and we hope they are gentle as Martinique glistens on the southern horizon.

Sail on, sail on Aspen…

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