Pirates of the Caribbean!
13 February 2010 | Le Marin, Martinique
Jen - it's Hot!!
No, we haven't seen any real pirates, however, we have visited many of the sites on Dominica where the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were filmed. Since we hadn't seen the 2nd and 3rd movies in a long time, we had to brush up on our movie knowledge to understand what we were seeing. We have a few photos from the black sand beach where the Black Pearl washed up - and it was by vote of everyone on board our favorite beach yet! We actually felt it was more like Gilligan's island - along with other boat families: Bojangles and Free Spirit. The kids built rafts in the beautiful river leading to the crashing beach, and collected bamboo, palm fronds and vines to build a hut. The men couldn't help themselves and joined in the building of the lean-to, while the women made sure that everyone shampooed and got clean in the delicious fresh water (a real treat for us sailors!!).
On the south side of the island, we connected with a couple on the catamaran Hands Across the Sea who we had originally met in Bermuda oh so long ago. Their mission is to help out schools down here with supplies as well as providing their skills and time for projects. Our friends on Stolen Hour had already managed to do some volunteer work with a few schools in the area of Roseau, and Jen was able to help one day with painting a lunch room at one of the local primary schools. They will be collecting more books for schools to pick up in Newport this summer - so if anyone has some books to donate, please let us know - we will try and collect them and make sure they get to the kids who can really use them! Check out their website too at: www.handsacrossthesea.net
We spent the remainder of our time in Dominica on ADVENTURE. Along with Stolen Hour, we finally did an afternoon ropes/zip-lining course in the jungle for Peter's birthday. The 8 of us had the place to ourselves, and really enjoyed seeing the forest from a different perspective! Zipping over the river on a long zip-line at the end was the best, and everyone received a certificate stating that we had completed the course. The next day was a full-day adventure and tour with our guide - SeaCat. We hiked up to several impressive waterfalls, and had a proper Rastafarian pumpkin soup prepared for us for lunch after our exertions. Scott and Peter climbed up part of the waterfall at Victoria Falls and jumped into the water - and I'm happy to report, they both survived. The water is so fresh and clean coming from these waterfalls, that as we crossed the rivers many times, Matthew would just bend over and drink the cool liquid. Again, the fresh water was such a treat!!
We came home from those several day outings with a plethora of grapefruit, coconuts, starfruit, oranges, and many other fruits that I have no names for. All just dropping from the trees into our hands. This island truly could be the garden of Eden!
Then, it was time to move on to Martinique, although we hope to go back to Dominica to explore even more when we turn back north. We were sad to leave all the fresh produce, but happy to be back in the french islands where they provide us with croissants and baguettes! This is truly a french speaking island - our junior high french classes are coming in handy - although we realize how much we cannot say! We spent a few days in the lovely village of St. Pierre, in the shadow of the Mt. Pelee volcano which wiped out the town in 1902, killing all but 3 of the 30,000 inhabitants! It was interesting to see the town rebuilt on top of the ruins from the eruption (it was mostly the poisonous gasses which killed the masses), and we explored the old theater and prison whose thick walls managed to protect a prisoner who survived the eruption. We also toured a local rum factory, and were able to see the entire process by which rum was made. The popular local drink is called ti-punch, a mix of cane syrup, rum and ice - which has become a new favorite on board Safari Tu!
Now we have made our way to the southern part of the island where we just were hauled out to have our original refurbished max prop put back on the boat (you might recall the trouble we had getting to Bermuda...) and are dealing with many other boat maintenance projects. Our timing here is perfect, as it is Carnival time. Carnival activities have been warming up since we arrived here, but the real deal is this coming week - stay tuned for the photos of those festivities in our next blog update.
We plan to continue south to St. Lucia, and then on to the Grenadines - so we send many warm thoughts your way! We'd love to hear from you - feel free to leave comments on the blog!