"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

Dominica by Macy Lamson

>> Saturday, February 20, 2010

We have spent three days in Dominica and I wish I could live here! Upon arrival we settled down in our anchorage, we had a pin chase (a competition between the three watches to see who knows their lines best), and then went ashore to have class in the Botanical Gardens and have a crew supper of local creole cuisine.

During our first full day on the island, we hiked up to the boiling lake in the Mont Trois Pitons National Park. It was the most rigorous hike I have ever done! 14 total miles, 3.5 hours each way up countless steps and rough terrain. The smell of sulfur from the geothermal activity filled our noses, telling us we were getting close to the lake. Once we finally made it back down to the trailhead, we swam in the Ti Tou Gorge, one of the most fantastic swimming holes.

On the second day we toured the Carib Territory with Sea Cat, our guide. We tried many local fruits like soursop, raw sugar cane, young coconut, and mango, made chocolate from scratch, and swam a deserted beach. Once inside the territory, I was both intrigued and disappointed. They were selling wonderful crafts like hand-woven baskets and jewelry, but I wanted to see what they did and how they lived when they weren't selling their wares to tourists.

The locals here get a very different impression of you when you say you are not from the cruise ships that call into port each day, but from a sailing school ship traveling for four months. I noticed that they will put on a practiced and perfected attitude with the cruise ship tourists, which somehow seems less genuine that their attitude toward us--we have been welcomed with open and generous arms into their homes and businesses each day we have been here.

This morning we spent in the market, which swells with activity on the weekends. We helped Mr. Hunter provision the ship with fresh produce, learned about local foods, and got to meet some more wonderful Dominican friends.

We are now bound towards Bequia... the ship's company wishes all of our families and friends the best!


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