A local Fisherman hangin' by the docks.
We approached Dominica with excitement. With all that we had read about the things to do and see on the Island. From everything we had heard it is a very welcoming and safe island with beautiful waterfalls and hikes throughout and wonderful fresh fruit and veggies to choose from.
Some of the colourful boats you can expect to see in Dominica.
Lawrence of Arabia, one of the boat boys greeted us about 2 miles out. We were expecting them from everything we had read and heard from other cruisers before our arrival. They come out to greet you in their bright coloured boats and big smiles, happy to guide you to one of their mooring balls in the anchorage. It is nice to feel welcomed but we have mixed feelings about this because it all comes at a price. Since we are seasoned sailors we don’t really need “help” picking up a mooring, in fact we would rather anchor as much as possible. It is not mandatory to take a mooring however you feel a big obligated to take one as opposed to dropping your anchor. We always prefer to use our anchor rather than a mooring because we know it will hold. While the boat boys assure you that the moorings are all sound we know we can count on our anchor for sure. In the end we ended up taking mooring at a rate of $10/day.
Now that we were settled, our designated boat boy Marcus was eager to help us with anything we wanted to do on the island. He can take us on tours and fill our entire itinerary with sights to see for our stay in Dominica. This all sounds great and Marcus came highly recommended from some friends however, once again there are fees for all this. When we travel we love to get out and experience the entire island and get a feel for the true culture, taking guided tours is not usually our first choice.
Some of the sights we come across as we walked through town, this is the real Dominica.
We like to be able to take our time in some places and zip through others and when you are on organised tours it limits these kind of options and spontaneity. The locals need to make a living which goes without saying and we do our share to contribute where we can but I must say that I feel we as cruisers are a bit of a mark.
Fresh vegetables for sale at the market.
Cole meets one of the friendly locals as we walk through town.
The rates for tours and services are often the same you would pay back in Canada or the States will facilities that don’t match. I’m all for an authentic experience and don’t need things to be pristine but rates should be set accordingly. I think we would have seen and done more in Dominica if this had been the case.
The Indian river is famous for its role in The Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
We did book a tour with another cruising family to go up the Indian river, the same river that the infamous Jack Sparrow and his fellow pirates travelled up to find the Witch in Pirates of the Caribbean. We saw the Witch’s hut and Cole and his friends loved it ! They even got to go inside. It was fun to imagine ourselves in the rickety row boat that Jack and his mates took up the spooky river.
The famous Witche's hut from Pirates of the Caribbean.
The kids doing their best Pirate pose.
The windy river, this is not made by the movie company its all real!
The river was beautiful with winding curves that lead us through lush and dense forests. The roots of the trees that lined the river were like works of art weaving across the ground and in and out of the waters edge. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the trees.
Check out these roots!
I told you I couldn't stop taking pictures of them!
Our guide, Marcus is a biologist with plenty of knowledge of the local flora and fauna so he was able to show us many interesting features of the plants and flowers that surrounded us. One of the group favourites were these tiny red seeds that fall out if tiny pods.
This is the natural colour of these seeds, amazing!
We collected handful after handful of them to make necklaces with once we got back to the boat. We really enjoyed the tour and without Marcus we would have missed many of the unique things that the river and jungle had to offer, but did find it to be quite expensive for where we were.
One of the many crazy trees along the river.
As a family we try to keep our spending in check in order to make the money last and pricey tours can quickly blow the budget. I guess we all pick and choose what we spend our money on.
To keep up with our friends we decided to move on from Dominica to the Amazing Martinique! Hope you stay with us for that. Also if you would like to see the river tour in video check out our YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdAPAmdnkdFsH5R2Hxevucg
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