We took the local bus, a minibus as usual but it was airconditioned which is not usual for a bus, down to the capital Roseau. There were two cruise ships at the docks so the usual vendor and taxi feeding frenzy was taking place. Gisela and I have learned that if we just say "we are not from the ship" this seems to turn off the spiel.
We walked around the streets and it was amazing, by the time we got 100 yards inland from the docks area we were back into normal Dominican society with almost no trace of cruise ship visitors.
Wwe visited the Botanical gardens and hoped to see the endangered parrots but as they are apparently busy "BONKING" we were not allowed watch and had to tip toe past.
Instead we climbed Jack's Stairs to Morne Bruce a great view point overlooking the city.
Cabrits and Fort Shirly
Gisela said "not another fort" but we dinghied over and went exploring.
The first small battery appears to have been erected in about 1765. Then Thomas Shirley built the first major battery and supporting buidings in 1774-1778. From then on construction of the garrison was a sporadic affair till 1825 completing one fort, seven gun batteries, seven cisterns, powder magazines, ordnance storehouses, barracks and officer's quarters to house and provide for over 600 men on regular duty. With the end of hostilities between Britain and France, the garrison became obsolete and was finally abandoned in 1854.
Although the Cabrits never saw action, it succeeded as being a deterrent to attack on a number of occasions particularly during the French invasions of Dominica in 1795 and 1805. The most important naval battle in the Caribbean, the Battle of the Saints, 12 April, 1782, was fought within sight of the ramparts and Fort Shirley was the scene of the famous revolt of the 8th West India Regiment in 1802.
Fort Shirly is a bit over restored but we hiked to the Douglas battery and were enchanted to find it looking like it had not been touched since 1854.
BLOWING OLD BOOTS
The "Christmas Winds" blew through our anchorage for 48 hours with the smallest boat, the oddly named Flying Teapot
and the largest a freighter both dragging anchor and causing chaos and confusion.
The pic show the freighter heading out to sea and it was an hour or so before they got the engine[s] started and bought her back in. She dragged at least three times that day.
Sailing to the Saints
The wind dropped so we tucked in a reef and blasted up to the southerly islands of Guaeloupe called the Saints today.