Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Seven potentially active volcanoes dominate the Dominican landscape and as Montserrat shows you can never be totally at ease on an island like this especially when you are walking up to one of the old forts that litter these islands and the ground goes all shaky pudding on you. The guide at the fort said that they have been having these small quakes all year.

But the people are laid back at least at this end of the island, perhaps in Roseau the cruise ships will give a bit of “giddie up” to the vendors but here when I went looking for some limes having missed the early morning market a lady in a little shop kindly went and picked half a dozen off her tree and presented them to me and then apologized for not having any of the meats that I was after but directed me to the house of someone who had just killed a bullock and had beef to spare.

I missed the market as I decided to move anchorage due to the swell and of course as the normal winds and waves return it is a case of moving back so I am sitting just off the Purple Turtle and the sea breeze effect is just dying down and boats are pointing everywhere. I am debating lazily with myself about putting out a stern anchor to hold me bow to the swell.

Well I did put out the anchor and it did its job holding me bow on to the swell but in the small hours I was awake and rolling again. I thought I might just need to adjust the anchor but a pull on the rode showed I was no longer in contact with the anchor and the rode was frayed through. I was lucky enough to find the missing anchor next morning after a short snorkel and it was duly recovered. It was also a reminder as to the need to anchor on chain out here in coral country. The lump that cut through my stern anchor rode was not large but it did the job in less than a day.

Anyway I am trucking on South as hurricane season starts officially on Tuesday and I am further North than I like to be. Roseau for a night and then St Pierre in Martinique.

JUNE to soon
JULY take care
AUGUST you must
SEPTEMBER remember
OCTOBER all over

This is the bit of doggerel that gives you an idea of the relative frequency of storms in the Caribbean.


Well Roseau was really rolly and to cap it all the only anchoring space there is now full of mooring buoys so I was forced into taking one. I hate doing this without diving on the mooring to check it out but as the depth sounder showed 135 feet I knew this was one that I would have to take on trust.


A fast sail down to St Pierre and I could see that the big swell that had been disturbing the quiet anchorages of Dominica was going down. St Pierre was made famous in 1902 when the local volcano sent a pyroclastic flow over the town and anchorage killing almost everyone there and laying waste the buildings.

Even the stoutly built church did not survive the flow and more than half the church was destroyed. It was eventually rebuilt but with a tin roof and less impressive towers.

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