Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Monday 12th March


15 34.917 N
61 27.821 W

We had agreed on an early start for the trip to Dominica and at 07.00hrs we were hauling up the anchor and hoisting the main sail in the drizzle. As we turned the boat towards the south the wind became very light and we wondered if it was going to be possible to sail but we stuck up the jib and reduced the revs on the motor. We spent the first hour motor sailing and moving along reasonably well and then the wind began to increase so we turned off the motor and sailed for a while until about 2 hours away from our destination we hit some rain squalls which killed the wind and we had to furl away the jib, drop the main and motor the rest of the way into Portsmouth, Dominica. About 2 miles outside the harbour we were approached by a man in a fishing dinghy ( Albert, one of the boat boys) wanting to sell us tourist services, we had already had a conversation with Dale about the “boat boys” that pester you to buy all sorts of things and the best plan was to employ one, Dale recommended the guy on Seabird, Geoffrey, that they used last time they were here so we thanked Albert who had come out in the pouring rain to offer his services but told him that we were using someone else. He cheerfully accepted this and wished us goodbye, I felt a bit guilty and just hoped that one of the boats following us would employ him, he deserved it for his willingness to come out in the bad weather. Once we were anchored in the harbour the guy that Dale had recommended came alongside and we employed him for our stay, he was followed by several other “boat boys” mostly operating on surfboards, with or without paddles, who offered to sell us fruits, bread, flags (we were flying our Q flag until we cleared in but we have a Dominica flag thank you), take our laundry and trash. We declined all services as it is cheaper to get all these things ashore and as we have to go ashore to clear in then we can sort all that out later. We settled in and watched several more boats come in and anchor after us, it seems to be a popular spot at the moment. After a short afternoon nap we went over to Gypsy Palace to have dinner with Dale and Lorie, this time it was my turn to make the salad and Lorie cooked delicious lasagna (? with her rotten meat). We were all pretty tired so we made it an early night, arranging for the men to go together to clear in tomorrow morning.
A final note on our engine – we had no problems during the period of motoring and the exhaust smoke seems to had vanished, hopefully the problem has been solved, fingers crossed!



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