Once we had our alternator installed and working we were free to enjoy Pointe a Pitre for a couple of days, enjoying friends on Tribute and the lovely market in town. Then it was off to Dominica.
Dominica (well, their marketing firm) calls itself “the Nature Island”, and rightly so. This volcanic island rises 4,000 feet above sea level, with rain forests and 365 rivers, many with amazing waterfalls, to explore. We made sure that we were there for our 5-day Salty Dawg Dominica Rendezvous. 30 Dawg boats came and we all had a wonderful time with barbecues, waterfall hikes, shopping and cooking local foods, scuba diving, and touring the chocolate factory.
Mark joined 5 other hardy hikers and trekked up 3,200 feet to the Boiling Lake and the Valley of Desolation, the active rim of a volcano, which sits in a field of paint pots and fumaroles and boils like a pot on high heat. He is glad he went, but was sore for at least three days after it. Five days was the right length for the Rendezvous. Any longer would have exhausted us all.
From our immersion in nature we sailed south to Martinique along with Kalunamoo and Pandora. First stop: St. Pierre where the anchorage was so uncomfortable that we didn’t even stay long enough to eat at our favorite Alsatian restaurant. Then on to Fort de France in time for Carnival. Think Mardi Gras with wilder costumes, long parades, loud drumming and music, less drunkenness, and so much fun. We old people could only be there two of the five days.
Our attendance was complicated by the fact that the Fort de France anchorage was so full we decided not to try so we went across the bay to Trois Ilets, a lovely town with a miserable anchorage, and took the ferry across. The ferry was great, but getting from Roxy to the ferry dock was a wet, bumpy ride and when we arrived to the shore by the dock there really isn’t any place to leave the dinghy. We won’t be going back there.
From Trois Ilets we took a short sail around the end of the bay to Grand Anse d’Arlets. This is a resort/beach town with lots of restaurants on the beach and not much else. A lot of boats in the anchorage, and clear, clear water with turtles and fish. The three boats hung here for a few days and the Kalunamoo and Pandora left for Sainte Anne but we are not in a hurry, so we are still here. We’ve met a few of the boats around us (all catamarans) and enjoyed their company. We will follow in a few days, but for now; this is just lovely, thank you.