Day 161, Year 6 A Little Play, A Little Work
Date: Sunday, April 3, 2011
Weather: Sunny and Beautiful
Location: Roseau, Dominica (one mile south)

I just asked Steve what I should say about today and he started by reminding me that we deviated from our normal granola breakfast and had French toast and bacon. I had forgotten that detail of today. After a nice relaxed breakfast, we then went to Sea World to meet Pancho and our guide for today, Indiana Jones-at least that is what Pancho calls him. Actually our guide introduced himself as Mr. Jones and off we went. He took us to the waterfront in downtown Roseau to check-in, but no one was there as the officials were aboard a cruise ship that came in last night. We knew the cruise ship meant that our walk to the Trafalgar Waterfalls was going to be a crowded affair, but we decided to go on and return to check-in after the tour.

Dominica rises straight up from the sea and Mark was immediately glad that he wasn’t driving. You just go up and up and up and the narrow road has deep culverts on the sides. If you misjudged and went into the culvert, your car would be done for. As we drove higher and higher into the rainforest, the liquid sunshine started coming down. Jones explained that it rains high in the mountains much of the time. We entered the western edge of Morne Troise Pitons National Park and then walked up to the Trafalgar Falls with lots of cruise ship tourists. The good thing was that all of the cruise ship tourists were going only as far as the viewing platform. Steve, Mark, and I trekked on toward the base of the falls. There are actually two falls, one high and one much lower and broader. We came to the hot Sulphur springs area. The rocks are yellowed from the Sulphur and the water is really very warm, but we wanted to go on to swim or sit in the pools of water at the base of the broader fall. We climbed among rocks as slippery as glass, but we were very careful and made it to an area where we could sit in the pools of water. Making it to the base of the falls looked impossible, so we gave up that idea. It was raining intermittently so getting photos without getting the camera wet was a bit of a trick. We hiked back to the parking area to meet Jones and then we headed on to Wotten Waven Sulphur Springs. Jones hooked us up with a young boy that walked with us to the springs. Our young guide was a nine-year old named Kessler (we think) and he was absolutely delightful. He pointed out some of the local plants and had all of the vocabulary of adult guides, reminding us to take our time and watch our step. He was just too cute. He made sure we understood everything about the hot sulphur gases belching from the earth and he even reminded Jones to make sure to stop at the bridge on the way out so we could see the heat rising from caves above the river tumbling down the mountain from Trafalgar Falls. On the way up to the falls and all the way back down to Roseau, Jones pointed out all of the trees and plants along the way. Soon we were back in Roseau and driving through the Botanical Gardens. There is an African Baobab there where half of the tree fell on top of an empty school bus during Hurricane David in 1979. The bus is squashed and rusting, but it is a good reminder of the damage that hurricanes bring to this part of the world.

Once back in Roseau, we stopped at the harbor to officially check-in and then went back to Sea World to our dinghy and back to Windbird for lunch. We all took a shower and then I did a laundry before we returned to town. Steve had hoped to buy some of the local rum, but the only alcohol for sale on a Sunday was in the duty-free shops opened for the cruise ships. We had not brought our boat papers, so buying duty-free rum was not a possibility today. Bummer. We made our way back to Windbird and while I finished the laundry, Mark and Steve cleaned the stainless on the bow pulpit and all the stanchions along the outside back to the gates. This was the “work: part of the day. Mark and I were so glad to get this stainless work done as it means we can now start putting on the safety net in preparation of grandchildren who will arrive in Puerto Rico in less than three weeks. Mark’s sister Mary Ellen called our cell phone today to tell us that she and Lee have definitely decided not to come to St. Martin to cruise with us for a week. They are returning to northern Florida to their daughter Michelle’s to be there when Michelle meets with a new team of doctors this week who are giving her hope that she might not have to go through radiation treatment for her cancer. We will miss Mary Ellen and Lee but we know that at this time they need to be there for Michelle. We haven’t heard from sister Jeanie, but we are assuming she will be arriving in St. Martin next Saturday. So on we go tomorrow to Les Saintes in Guadeloupe.