"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

Sailing from Dominica to Bequia

>> Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The following song is to the melody of the Christmas Carol "Let it Snow" written by Mr. Graham and Jen of C Watch, performed at our Almanac meeting held daily at sea on the spacious quarterdeck of the Harvey Gamage.

The weather up north is frightful
But down here it’s plain delightful
Off Nova Scotia a gale does grow
Let it blow, let it blow, let it blow
When we finally reach Bequia
The barometric pressure will have dipped down low
If you steer our schooner right
We’ll be there by tomorrow morn
So our schooner is really sailing
The diesel is no longer wailing
We’ve 140 miles to go
And poor Toh is stuck up in the snow

2/20/2010 underway Dominica to Bequia

Comments on the Open Market

Being in a Dominican market is like being at a flea market for the first time. People are everywhere, deals are happening and people are trying their best to get rid of everything on their table. Every table consisted of more then six different types of vegetables or fruit, mainly breadfruit. There were huge amps blaring Bob Marley tunes, people are singing and dancing along to every song. Being in the market you experience and entirely new culture right in front of you, nobody standing still and the air is scented with a mixture of Bar-B-Q and fresh produce. My favorite part of the market was the friendliness of the people trying to sell their products. They will do practically anything for you to buy their goods, not from despair but their desire for you to try and have a new experience.
- Jesse Prothers

Walking into the open market in Dominica, I first take note of how different it is compared to our basic American grocery store; each isle, as we might consider it, is lined with stand after stand of colorful fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs. If you need it, chances are you are going to find it. Each stand is tended by the owner, proud to be selling their goods. The were kind enough to give us samples, walk us half-way across the market to help us find something, explain how they get the produce they sell, and how to use these local foods in preparation of a meal. Not only did the attitudes of the local purveyors make the experience worthwhile, it stirred my interest in them as people rather than just looking to purchase goods from them.
- Kaitlin Orne

Thoughts on the Carib Territory

The two and a half hour drive up the beautiful Dominican to the rural Carib territory was quite a journey. Every fifteen minutes was a stop in heaven. Locals brought fresh fruit and vegetables on the side of the road for tourists and travelers to enjoy. The Dominicans’ faces grinned as we sped up the hills and halted to share a piece of their culture. On our first stop we enjoyed one of my first tasting of grapefruit and coconut. The grapefruit was filled with an everlasting sweet and sour sensation of pure juice; the coconut was as tropical as you would imagine when smelling Suave coconut shampoo. We used a piece of the coconut shell to scrape the coconut jelly inside which was fun to eat and amazing to taste. We also drank the coconut’s milk that was thin, filling and refreshing. We walked a couple of feet to sample wild sugarcane. Our driver cut the cane, squeezed limejuice on it and handed it over our eager group. After this sweet tasting we continued on our drive to our final destination, passing more locals and their delicious goods on the way. On the outskirts of the territory were a few women and girls selling their handmade jewelry and baskets. On the other side of the road were three men selling fresh fruit and nuts they had just collected. We enjoyed our first breadfruit that was heated over a fire and tasted like gushy sweet potatoes. Soursop, a delicious sweet and sour fruit that tastes great in smoothies. The local Caribs were so generous to share their knowledge on how to cook the fruit, and where and how to pick them. Another half hour drive and we entered the private land of the Caribs. Many are not able to do what we did. We entered the territory with open arms and so did they. We were welcomed in such a kind manner, we were even given the opportunity to make chocolate. The dried coco seeds were crushed in a grinder with brown sugar and milk. After the grinding was complete we were able to have a finger-lick {or more} of the rich, brownie mix-looking chocolate. After one taste bud had touched the rich chocolate, all of us smiled in such pleasure and complimented on the recipe. The Caribs talked with all of us and were really intrigued by where we had come from and how we were traveling. Dominica was one of the more welcoming countries I have experienced full of memories to hold forever.
- Judibrown Sample

Yesterday we spent the entire day riding around the Carib territory with our guide, Sea Cat. At one point we stopped at the side of the road where a local man was selling fruit he had picked from his backyard. With a huge smile on his face he used a machete to chop open a large coconut. First, he let us drink the cool, sweet milk before he took it back, chopped it in half and scooped out the soft jelly for us to eat. It didn’t stop there, though. He gave us fresh grapefruit that seemed to contain more juice then was physically possible. The tart and sweet taste exploded when you took a bite. Before we could even lick our fingers clean he passed around sweet cacao seeds. We were instructed to suck the soft, candy-sweet flesh off, but make sure not to bite into the actually seed it unless we wanted a very unpleasant surprise. After being served up such a vast variety of fresh food; I found myself wondering why anyone here bothered cooking meals in the first place.
- Ian Leavitt


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