Well I finally made it to Dominica after the two long days of sailing from Virgin Gorda (check out Sunday’s blog to read about that part of the adventure). I sailed into Prince Rupert Bay around lunch time after sailing 25 miles from Guadaloupe in 20-25 knots of wind. The funny thing is that when I arrived in the Bay the wind was as strong and coming straight down the mountain from ahead. I was greeted by Daniel at the head of the bay. He is one of the Boat Boys in Portsmouth and a part of PAYS, which is a group of professional boat boys that I highly recommend you only using if you want security, friendliness, and professionalism. He helped me hook up to a mooring and explained the lay of the land so to speak. I spent the rest of the day walking through town and checking into customs, which cost me a total of $3!!!!! Boys and girls, we are no longer in the BVI!!!!!! HAHA
One of the things Daniel recommended is to take an Indian River tour that runs right through town. Dominica has 365 rivers coursing down the mountains that are covered in rainforest and is known as the Nature Island. I had read about the Indian River and wanted to do it, but you are not allowed to use engines or dinghies, so I said sure. He prefers to go early in the morning to get up there before it is crowded or hot so we could see more animals. Boy was he right. We had the whole river, up and down, to ourselves.
As soon as we went under the bridge he cut off the engine and started rowing his huge wooden boat up the river. I am amazed at how professional the guides are on Dominica, because he knew the name, any medicinal qualities, and where to find all the plants, animals, and birds. Every time he saw another thing to show us he would stop the boat and maneuver it closer to have a better view.
The whole tour was just over two hours and went up to a bar and dock upriver. We got out and walked among a botanical garden before heading back down river. He even showed us where a scene in Pirates of the Caribbean 2 was filmed, but the set was destroyed by Hurricane Maria (there is talk that they will rebuild it). My favorite things to see were the beautiful buttress roots (which are wide and flowed into artistic patterns), the herons, land crabs, and flowers. It was so worth the $25 fee ($20 for the guide and $5 for a park pass) and if you make it to this magical island I recommend you start with a tour up the Indian River also!