12 October 2017
Oh Dominica. This island is the most unexploited island in the Caribbean from what we've seen.
Between the tropical rain forest, waterfalls and trails, it is the most beautiful. We loved the time
we spent there. The islanders don't have much in terms of materials things. They don't need
things. They have a richness in their lives that can only be explained by the beauty that
surrounds them. Boudah is a tour guide we met on a couple of occasions. He is a botanist and
healer. He said if you go to bed hungry on Dominica you are stupid. There is always something
in season to eat. Growing on his property alone was, cocoa, coffee, soursop, papaya, pineapple
and many other things I don't even remember. The abundance was pretty spectacular.
The devastation caused by Harvey, then Irma and finally Marie in a single season to the
Caribbean was unprecedented in our lifetime. As each of these hurricanes spun through, there
was a distinct quietness in the cruising community as everyone was waiting to hear news of
people they knew. As Marie made its way through Dominica all I could think of was the
destruction it was bringing to the people and their island.
Dominica has to basically start over. From housing to farming, nothing was left undamaged.
Houses are in ruins and the crops have been wiped out.
As major governments were bringing aid to their own protectorates, a big concern for many was
Dominica. They don't have a protector. They broke from the in UK in the 70s and are completely
independent. It was heartening to see how many people were thinking along the same lines.
While Dominica doesn't have a big brother, they have many friends.
One such friend was the Flying Buzzard and the people who organized aid from the
communities on the islands of Grenada, St Lucia and Antigua. It's not government sponsored.
Mike and Jules on the Flying Buzzard offered the services of their boat and crew if the
communities could fill it they would deliver the aid. They've done just that and as of this writing
they are heading to back to Grenada to pick up another load which they will deliver. They've
also delivered Medics and native Dominicans who were struggling to get home to help their
I spent 3 days with the Buzzard loading the cargo holds. Met an amazing group of people. It
was a heart warming experience. We packed 30 tons of cargo onto the boat. They've delivered
that cargo and are coming back (after rounding up stores from St. Lucia and Antigua) to
Grenada for round 2. Uproar will heading north before they arrive back in Grenada, but we still
feel the need and want to help.
Thanks to many MAST (Milwaukee sailing group) friends we've collected close to $1,000 USD
to purchase materials needed in Dominica. The items will range from building materials to food
and cleaning supplies. We are planning to head to Portsmouth (the main town at the north end
of the island) and drop off supplies. The supplies will be for whoever needs them but we hope to
connect with Boudah and bring him some items he needs to rebuild his life for him and his
family. And so he can share the beauty of Dominica once again.