Saturday, April 4th, 2009
Picton Castle crew could make tourism commercials for Dominica. Every crew member I have spoken with thinks this is one of the most beautiful and unique islands in the world. I continually hear comments about how friendly the people are, how many different activities and sights there are to do and see, and about the natural beauty of the island. The interior of the island is mostly mountains and rainforest, the coastline is mostly rocky with a few black sand beaches. The island is lush with an incredible range of biodiversity. It has been fantastic to introduce crew on this voyage to old friends here, as well as meeting new people.
Two groups have taken trips to the Indian River, in the northern part of the island. This river is a protected natural area with a variety of species of birds, fish, crabs and other fauna. It’s also famous for being featured in the second “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, when they rowed up the river to find Calypso in the woods. Our guide yesterday, whose nickname is James Bond, said that he rowed Johnny Depp up the river in the same boat we were in. All boats in the river must be rowed, no use of motors is allowed because the government is trying to protect it.
Crew have also been discovering the natural hot springs. A group went yesterday to Wotten Waven, which is inland from the capital city of Roseau, to soak in the hot springs at a spa. The hot water was diverted through a bamboo pipe into an oval-shaped cement pool, filling it chest-deep with warm water. Many local people on the island swear by the therapeutic properties of the hot water, saying that it is good for the skin and promotes good health. Dominicans can live a long time – the world’s oldest person was a Dominican woman who died in 2003 at the age of 128, and there are a greater percentage of the population that are centenarians (age 100+) here than anywhere else in the world. I think a good soak in a hot spring is good for mental health and stress relief as well.
Work continues on the ship as well, mixed with some fun. Yesterday’s watch put the dory into the water and started to get it rigged for sailing. The ship’s dory, which has been named Sea Never Dry, doesn’t look much like a typical boat from The Dory Shop in Lunenburg now because of its Caribbean makeover. The boat is now painted a combination of two different shades of pink, some blue hues with accents in some other tropical colours. The sail, made on this voyage from a variety of fabrics, is also unique. Hopefully the watch that is on duty today will get to finish rigging the boat and take it out for a sail.