Daily Archives: June 18, 2013

The view from the back porch


Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Eatin’ pizza, learnin’ about Dominica

Jack and I promised ourselves that wherever we go we’ll try to see the interior of a place and not just the waterfront. We have wonderful fantasies of touring inland on our bikes but so far the islands we’ve visited are much too mountainous, the roads — and drivers — too treacherous to chance it.

Dominica has embraced the cruising community and made it easy to see their beautiful country with engaging and knowledgeable tour guides and a wide selection of destinations. We joined up with the crews of Flying Cloud and Field Trip for an inland tour that took us to a waterfall and through lush agricultural areas to see how some of our favorite foods grow.

Our guide was Winston, who spoke a lovely but tough to understand island English. He piled us into a van and drove way up into the cool mountains. 20130618-105302.jpg20130618-105411.jpg20130618-105522.jpg20130618-105653.jpg

As we drove Winston pointed out lemon grass along the side of the road, little plots of pumpkin and dasheen. Between the volcanic soil and rainfall I imagine almost anything would grow in abundance here. 20130618-111918.jpg20130618-112157.jpg

We poured out of the van and followed Winston to a cocoa tree where he showed us how the pods grow and had us all suck the sweet coating off the raw seeds. 20130618-112524.jpg20130618-112615.jpg20130618-112656.jpg

Then it was back into the van and further up the mountain for the main event, a 45-minute hike along a river to the 80-foot Milton Falls. 20130618-145912.jpg20130618-145956.jpg20130618-150057.jpg20130618-150218.jpg

After a quick dip in the way-too-cold water we retraced our steps back down the river to the van. 20130618-150935.jpg20130618-151053.jpg20130618-151154.jpg

Winston showed us more agricultural delights, including bananas, avocados, mangoes, nutmeg, bay and ginger. 20130618-151758.jpg20130618-151902.jpg20130618-151951.jpg20130618-152140.jpg20130618-152233.jpg

We ended the day with a hike through the forest on the Morne Diablotin Trail. 20130618-152730.jpg

At one point Sarah came up beside me just as I inhaled the fresh mountain air.

“Mmmmm. Smell the air! It’s so fragrant!” I exclaimed.

“It’s my lip gloss. Strawberry banana.”

“It’s nice.”

“With SPF,” she added. 20130618-152830.jpg

The next morning we eight assembled again, this time on our yacht minder Alexis’ boat for a tour of the Indian River. 20130618-153645.jpg

Outboards aren’t allowed in the river so Alexis got a workout rowing us upstream. The river is wild and beautiful. Some scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean and other movies were filmed here and our group recognized the locations.




We went ashore to amble through the jungle and Alexis gave the kids an up close and personal crab encounter. He also made little birds for everyone out of some leaves. We all played in our various ways until it was time to head back down river again.






When we got back to Escape Velocity we launched our dinghy and went in to town to catch the end of the weekly produce market. We came back with a beautiful array of healthy vegetables that we used to make pizza. A little less healthy maybe but oh, so good!



PS. Yes, we need a better camera. It’s on the list.


Filed under Uncategorized

The French and the English

Last week as soon as we got checked in we went in search of fresh bread. Oh just bake some, you’re thinking, and yes, I could do that. But heating up the boat is not high on our list in this climate, so a local bakery usually fits the bill. Or at least it does in the French islands where we ate a baguette or two every day, not to mention pastries. We followed our guidebook’s suggestion and found a tiny bakery with a small shelf of breads and a selection of pastries. I peered at the bottom rack and asked the young girl behind the counter, “What’s that?”

“Coconut cake.” It looked like a big moist, chewy cookie. I got two of those, and Jack chose two round pastries the girl said had cinnamon in them. We also bought sandwich rolls and a loaf of bread. We paid up and as I picked up the bags from the counter my heart sank. They were heavy. Really heavy. I reached in the bag and squeezed one of the rolls.

“Sinkers,” I told Jack. I broke off a piece of the coconut cake and tasted it. Dry, hard, flavorless. Later, back on EV, Jack made a sandwich with the whole wheat bread.

“How’s the bread?” I asked. It looked as dry as the buns and the coconut cake.

“It keeps the peanut butter and jelly off my hands,” he said. And that’s about all you can say about Dominican bread.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized