Aft Port Watch
At 1000 hrs we were lucky enough to get fairly close to three whales frolicking on the starboard bow off Guadeloupe.
Shortly afterwards we had the main course, main lower and upper topsails, the fore course, fore lower topsail, main staysail and inner and outer jibs set. We sailed along at 5.5 knots in brilliant sun shine.
By 1430 on the 27th Jan 2011 we had the DOTI boat out in Portsmouth harbour, Dominica, to take lines onto the National Park jetty as the rain came down.
Then there was swimming off the jetty for the courageous in the forenoon, avoiding sea urchins and rigging and an extra rope step to the short steel ladder.
The Indian River expedition entailed two minicabs for twenty-two voyage crew and the medical purser. Cabs arrived 1600hrs Caribbean time which actually meant 1700hrs. We were all slightly concerned when we saw the two vessels offered for the trip. They resembled old timber skiffs which needed baling before being put to use which was ominous!! But it was easy for wheelchair-user Pam to board the four foot wide skiff. David, skipper, rower and commentator, picked her up from her chair and stepped aboard to set her athwart the boat. There were ten of us aboard each ten foot boat, excluding David. It was his job to row us up the Pirates of the Caribbean river in the twilight to see the location of the house where the Goddess of the Sea lived and on up the river to a very rum rum bar in the jungle.Cocktails included, dynamite(?!), passion fruit and lime and coconut or for the more sensible members of the crew, a freshly squeezed grapefruit.
By now it was pitch black and raining with the sounds of blasting reggae mingling with the night sounds of the jungle. Finally we set of back down the muddy track to the rickety jungle jetty, repaired with a door that still had its handles on it.
Could this be the door to Hades?
Next it was down the river in absolute darkness. The moon was not due up for another four hours but we still made it back to ship or the Blue Bay Bar for the rest of the evening, ending on the beach in Big Papa's Bar.
Thursday 28th and just time for a swim and a quick climb to Fort Shirley before having a fantastic lunch on deck. After lunch we put to sea under sail and quickly arrived in French Territory. Looking forward to Canard for dinner on deck at anchor with a view of Les Saintes at sunset.