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Dominica Revisited

January 28, 2018

Heading north in mid January we were keen to visit Dominica once again. We had visited Portsmouth twice before in the previous season; one time going north through the windward chain and again heading south to escape the 2017 hurricane season.

The 2017 hurricane season was not kind to Dominica. Hurricane Maria cut a swath of destruction travelling up the centre of the island destroying much in its path. Being in Grenada at the time left us feeling helpless to assist other than providing cash donations to organizations busy organizing goods travelling northwards by boat.

One of just a few damaged buildings in Portsmouth

Lunch anyone?

During the next few months before leaving Grenada stories of piracy, looting and desperation circulated through the cruising fleet which was readying themselves for the upcoming cruising season.

There was no way to verify the reports other than to keep our ears open for the most recent news. Leaving Grenada in November we slowly made our way north and in both Carriacou and St. Lucia we met up with Martin from Dominica.

Martin from PAYS

Martin was travelling through the windward islands as a representative of the Portsmouth Association of Yachting Services (PAYS) encouraging the cruising fleet to stop off in Dominica.

PAYS helps out visiting yachts with moorage on newly installed mooring buoys, tours of the island, water, supplies and numerous other items that boaters are always in search of.

Despite dire warnings of possible piracy on the Caribbean Safety and Security Net (CSSN) we found no verifiable information on any such attacks but the negative reporting has kept boats from visiting.

We arrived in Portsmouth late January 2018 and could not have had a more welcoming visit. Yes, the island still has a long way to go to recovery but vegetables are in the market, some fruits will soon hit the stores, communications (internet) are on their way and the hillsides are starting to green up. The people are as welcoming and friendly as always and, of course, everyone wants to talk about their experiences – one way to work through their tragedy.

We had a great tour up the Indian River with Eddison. The Indian River was badly

Connie, Eddison and Sue at the Indian River Bar

damaged from the floodwaters with trees down, the thick canopy ripped apart and a few wrecks at the entrance. Out of disaster comes a changed landscape that will provide plants otherwise unseen along the river before, due to a dense canopy, a chance to thrive. Eventually the canopy will again cover over the river and dominate.

We arrived in Dominica late in the day and were distressed to see so few boats in the anchorage. Tourism isn’t big in Dominica and for Portsmouth the yachting community offers a sorely needed business opportunity to get money circulating in the local community. If anyone in the yachting community reads this blog and is in the vicinity please stop by and offer your little bit to help them recover. As a cruiser with a little bit of flexibility with regards to time you can help directly with clean ups and reconstruction on damaged buildings and replacing roofs.

A garden fully recovered

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 28, 2018 12:28

    As usual, you blogs manages to provide insights we would not get otherwise. Thanks. Fred

  2. Darrel and Loretta Smith permalink
    January 29, 2018 19:05

    Thanks for the update. Life can be so cruel sometimes. We hope Dominica gets back on its feet quickly and that yachts soon return in large numbers to enjoy the beauty of the island and the determination of its people.


  3. Patrick Georget permalink
    February 1, 2018 19:32

    Thanks Tony and konny!!!!!! Dominique was my favorite island in caraibe.For carnaval i’ll be in oruro next week( bolivia). Big kisses To you! Patrick.

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