Once landing in the Caribbean after 19 days at sea, we wanted nothing more than to spend a few relaxing days bumming around Martinique with the family and drinking coconut milk. We should have known better. Our “to do” list for the boat was big by the time we pulled into port, which is always a killer of coconut-milk drinking dreams., and then Richard and Wendy were forced to make an early exit from the islands back to California thanks to an annoying, but now solved, medical problem. So after a bit of delay and a loss of a few team members, we’re now getting down to business and seeing what the southern end of the Caribbean has to offer.
We’ve explored three islands in the past week: Martinique, Saint Lucia, and Dominica. Martinique is known for its stunning white sand beaches and we think it deserves the reputation despite its minor tourist infestation problem. We didn’t see much of Saint Lucia – the purpose of our hop there was to drop off where he’s hopping aboard another boat for a while (we’ll almost certainly catch up with him further up in the Caribbean). And our favorite Caribbean island so far, Dominica, is where we’re now sitting on the anchor waking up to a gorgeous day.
We like Dominica because it has no real airport, no big hotels, and no American brands (except KFC)… all of which helps to keep the tourist problem to a minimum. You really get the feeling you’ve landed in a raw and unspoiled Caribbean island where the locals are super friendly and the island is open for unrestricted exploration. Our trip to the Trafalgar waterfalls area was a perfect example of this. If these waterfalls were anywhere else in the world, they’d need to put up barricades to keep the tourists from destroying everything (including themselves), but here there are no rules, no signs and no barriers, so you’re free to climb the falls and swim in the hot pools as you please. It’s an ideal place for adventurous travelers, and that’s what we’re here for.
Today we leave Dominica and head north to Guadeloupe, another French island which, like Dominica, is known for its lush mountainous interior. The wind is howling out there today so we’re preparing the heavy wind sails for this 25 mile hop.