Saturday, May 16, 2015

Surfing "to" USA

We are making our way back to USA, and the wind is just about perfect. Downwind all the way.

We left Dominica to a steady 20 knot breeze for a 240 mile journey to St. Croix (USVI) where I was hoping to make a phone call and take care of a few things back home.

The phone reception was very bad, so we stayed only about 4 hours in St. Croix and decided to make another jump (about 90 more miles) to Salinas, Puerto Rico.
We stayed in Puerto Rico a couple of days, rented a car to go to Costco and re provision some food as our storage was starting to look rather empty. We also took a trip to the top of their highest mountain. We like Puerto Rico.

 The next day we sailed around Puerto Rico to go to Mayaguez to use it as a launch pad for our big journey, we went to town to try and get some souvenirs. There were older men on the beach playing cards. They started talking to us, and were full of advice, not only that, a couple of them got a car and drove us to the "Plaza" were we were able to pick up some souvenirs. On the way back, one of them showed us what he just bought for himself in the neighboring town - a nice carved dish for mashing things. Phyllis loved the dish  - so he sold it to us for the same price ($20) and told us that he would go and get another one for himself. What a gesture. So we got our souvenirs and had delightful talk with the locals. Did I mention that we love Puerto Rico and its people?

Phyllis made a great guacamole in it

We left Puerto Rico that evening as the wind was supposed to be strengthening in the next 3 days around the Dominican Republic, and we wanted to be out of that area within 3 days. To get to the first island in the Bahamas (Mayaguana) is about 500 miles.

We had really nice downwind sail. Galaxy was a speed demon putting around 180 mile days. We could probably do a 200 mile days, but we decided to put 2 reefs in the main sail to slow her down a little bit - because Galaxy was doing 13, 14, and yes we saw even 15.7 knots of speed going down those waves. Those 2 reefs in the main sail were due to us being too scared seeing those high speeds.
From Mayaguana we sailed straight to Georgetown (200 miles?). From Georgetown we sailed straight across the Bahamas to West End in the Abacos where we are now. We will stay one night, check out of the country and hit the Gulf Stream in the morning.
See you in the US of A!

View all pictures

Friday, May 8, 2015


Dominica is truly hikers paradise. I'm talking about the English speaking Dominica - don’t mistake it for the Spanish Dominican Republic - very different countries. The guide book calls it that Dominica is as close to the Garden of Eden as anyplace on earth. There are hiking trails, mountains, water falls, volcanoes, and rain forests everywhere you look. So we took advantage of it. We hiked and hiked and hiked. Every day. Until we were unable to walk - and then we did it all over again the next day. 
Dominica was beautiful. Definitely worth a visit especially if you love nature. View more pictures from our album.

This post is more of a summary of the trails and places we visited for our future recollection, but hopefully you can see a little bit of beauty in Dominica through these pictures as well.

Dominica really only has one anchorage (Portsmouth in the north) and it is out of the way of all the best waterfalls as many are in the south of Dominica, so we anchored the boat in southern part of Dominica in Roseau on a mooring ball for a week (as there is just no place to anchor) and rented a car for several days as this is probably the best and cheapest way to see all the sites. 
Armed with the “Adventure Guide to Dominica” as well as talking to some neighboring boats we took off.

Roseau - the capital City of Dominica - we walked through the city several times as we like to just get the feel of the vibe and the people and how people live.

Botanical Gardens - nice large well maintained garden with many different trees. There is this monument to Hurricane David – a crushed school bus trapped under a giant baobab tree that was uprooted by the 1979 storm.

Soufrière Bay
We visited an old Catholic church that has stood near the beach since King George III was ruler of England. It has beautiful murals of village life.

In  Soufrière  we also hiked to Sulfur Springs and hot water pools which is one of the most recently active volcanic area in Dominica. Jordan especially liked it since he is so interested in minerals and seeing the volcanic vents up close and personal and feeling the heat from them was a nice experience. So of course we had to divert from the trail and hike all the way up to see the source and feel the vents up close and personal. It was hot and was hard to breathe in there, but very nice.

We also hiked (by mistake) to Tête Morne, where we had a sensational view of Grand Bay on the Atlantic coast.

On the very south tip of Dominica lies Scotts Head - a village and a nice hill on which we climbed. Scotts Head is named after Captain Scott, an English soldier who helped snatch the island from the French in 1761.

Trafalgar Falls - consist of two waterfalls known affectionately by islanders as Father (Papa) and Mother (Mama). The taller "Papa" on the left drops into hot sulfur springs where you can soak - and soak we did! It was a bliss! ! ! We were the only ones in there so we stayed for hours. The Mama fall on the right is cool and refreshing water, so we alternated between the cold stuff and the heavenly warm stuff. 

I'll have to make this post somehow shorter. 
So in short, we visited the following places
- Freshwater Lake and Boeri Lake - Two pristine fresh water lakes situated 2800 feet above sea level. The trail to Boeri Lake is very picturesque.

- Middleham Falls - a rather strenuous hike

- Victoria Falls - definitely worth seeing it. You have to walk, jump rocks and wade through a river to get to those but they are great falls.

- Emerald Pool - this is the easy (10 min walk) where all the Cruise Ship visitors are taken to. Nice to see but make sure that the Cruise Ship is not in port that day.