Back in June ….. Heading South
I have been harping on and complaining about our bashes to windward all season, 6 months of sailing hard on the wind sometimes in very messy seas has made the sailing unappealing, uncomfortable and at times very wet (in my opinion!!) So it is with much relief and joy that I can finally report that for our sail from Les Saintes, Guadeloupe to Portsmouth, Dominica the sheets were eased all day and we sailed a close reach – not down wind yet, but it was a very welcome step in the right direction!
Up The Creek With A Paddle
We did a morning tour up the Indian River with our guide Martin (Providence Tours), it was a dawn departure, the best time of course to see the birds and enjoy the cooler part of the day.
Martin was excellent, his ability to spot wildlife was incredible, and his knowledge of the local flora and fauna was endless. We saw countless birds as he quietly paddled us up the Indian River, the extensive root systems of the Bloodwood trees clawed their way along the rivers edge and vines hung down overhead, it was all very special in the early morning light.
How They Look Before They Get To the Supermarket!!!
Above: Vanilla Pods clinging to Cocoa Tree, Passionfruit Vines & delicate Passionfruit flower Below: Jumbo Passionfruit, Cinnamon bark & Cashew Nuts and red or yellow Pod/Fruit
We did another nature trail discovering more fruits, flora and fauna of the forest. passed cultivated gardens etched into the sides of steep hills and then we came winding our way back down to sea level on the north east coast and visited a couple of pretty coves sheltered by outlying reefs, stopping at one for a well deserved lunch break.
Then we carried on discovering landscapes that reminded us of the Canary Islands, a bald outcrop of rich red soil sculptured over the millenniums by endless wind and waves, it stood stark and out of place on this lush tropical palm fringed coastline.