Matt gets up at about 4:00am to get the boat moving to Dominica. The morning is gorgeous and everyone gets up with the sound of the engine and anchor. We put the main up and pull the jib out, but we still need the engine to get around this point before we can have some good wind. We all just sit in silence, listening to the humming of the engine and enjoying the view. Eventually, we each make our way back to our beds for a little more sleep. Matt stays up in the cockpit, as the Captain of the vessel.
Once everyone gets up I make some coffee and food. We are now using the Aeropress for making coffee. It is ideal for the boat because it is not glass, and it works similar to a french press so the coffee comes out delicious. We have a milk frother that I am in love with to add a little heaven to my cup. Johannes is convinced that using the milk frother is to much energy but he must not appreciate the finer things in life 😉
The waves are big today so the boat is definitely rolling/rocking. After being downstairs making some food I am starting to feel a little sick and go up top for some air. We all seem to feel a little motion sickness but nothing major. We pass the time by chatting and learning about each other. It is interesting to listen to Johannes talk about his experience with Germany accepting so many refugees. In his tiny village they even have a camp with about 60 refugees, all male. He explains that it should take the government about 13 to 15 months to process everyone and that they will most likely accept about 60% since many of the refugees are not even going to be Syrians but people from other countries that just mixed in with the crowd. Germany is currently supporting all the refugees since they are not allowed to work. In Johannes’ village a couple of women have taken it upon themselves to start German classes twice a week. Germany has a labor deficit in certain types of trades such as a baker or janitor or butcher. They hope that with the refugees they can eradicate this deficit.
As we pull into the harbor we see a classy mega yacht and Matt jokingly tries to convince everyone that the yacht belongs to Puff Daddy. Later he looks up the yacht and tells us it cost $1 million for a week plus food, fuel and tip to charter. Wonder who is on that boat in Dominica? We hook up to a mooring ball and get ready to go into town to check in with customs and immigration and see about a car rental. We split up, Johannes and Mary leave to check about the car while Matt and I get us checked in and buy some fish for dinner, we agree to meet at the Fort Young hotel. As Matt and I are buying the fish we see the Chef from the yacht fully decked out in uniform and bringing back the largest mahi and chunk of tuna there. We pay for our couple pounds of mahi and tuna and go back to the dingy. They charge us $10.00EC about $3.70 US per pound for the mahi and tuna. As we are leaving the fisherman says come by to see him tomorrow and he will sell us fish for $5.00EC about $1.85 US per pound. We know what we are having for dinner the next few nights!!
When we met back up and have the information about the car we decide it is a great deal at $40US total per person for 4 days. The boys go to officially reserve the car for the following morning while Mary and I walk to the grocery store to buy some wine and other snacks. As we all make our way back to the boat, strolling through the city, Matt stops to buy some sorrel from one of the ladies on the street. Sorrel is dried hibiscus flower and they use it to make juice. She explains to us that you boil some water and then pour that over the sorrel with cinnamon, orange peels, cloves and ginger then cover it and let it sit for a few hours. It comes out delicious with a mild spicy flavor. We buy a whole bag for $1.85 US.
We stop at a restaurant where our dingy is tied up to have a beer and get some internet, we need to do a little research about our day tomorrow. What adventure will we tackle first? I am so excited to be on this island. It is one of my favorite islands for its beauty, nature, people, and simplicity. While sitting there drinking our beer we spotted a hummingbird flying around the yellow bourgenvilla. My smile is from the inside out.
For dinner we have the most amazing mahi fish tacos with a little ahi tuna steak on the side. This is life!! The crew goes into town for a party, I stay behind because I am tired and probably anxious about getting out into the interior of the island. They enjoy some local music that seems to be nationalist about loving each other and the country.
This upcoming week is going to be full of challenging hikes, incredible waterfalls, a wild road trip, and a few ups and downs as we all do our best to get along.