We’ll start with me because my week is not nearly as pretty to look at. I spent 30 hours of my week emptying the rest of our 10,000 sq ft warehouse,
and spending another 6 hours on a trip to Savannah to repo one of our production vehicles. Luckily I had some great company for the Savannah run.
That didn't leave much time for anything else but I did manage to get the taxes compiled and squeeze in a bit of fun. I enjoyed some R&R (brother-in-law’s band),
Which they watched the second I got back!It was a blur of a week but I was anxious to get back to my sweeties on board Abby.
While I was away…
The morning after I left, Abby and crew headed to the islands just south of Guadeloupe called Iles Des Saintes.
She can truly sleep anywhere!
Even though the anchorage was quite rolly,
In attempts at a better sailing experience Andrew planned to head out at 4am to sail to Dominica, hoping to capitalize on the calm of the morning but it was not to be. A squall developed over them and Abby took the strongest winds we’ve seen yet underway. I hate hearing about how challenging the two passages were without me but I’m pretty thankful I missed them! After a hairy journey, they made it safely to Portsmouth, Dominica where they were greeted by their friendly boat boy, Titus.
Dominica has 9 active volcanoes, the highest concentration in the world. It's beauty is legendary and has long been on our list of “must see” locations. It did not disappoint! Joined by our friends aboard S/V Grateful, Andrew & the girls jumped in the boat of their guide for the day and headed up the Indian River.
Being in Dominica during the rainy season makes days aboard hot and steamy so after 24hrs straight of rain,
Note the friendly little water spout dropping from the sky!and to avoid some serious cabin fever, Andrew rented a car to spend some much needed time exploring ashore.
First stop, Soltoun Falls. Even the parking lot was treacherous, precariously placed atop a cliff with 2 car lengths to turn around in. Andrew said the girls were so freaked out about the parking experience that they were hesitant to even get out. But a little coaxing got them down the path and visiting their first waterfall.
Soltoun Falls, DominicaHaving warmed up to the experience they headed on to their next stop, Emerald Pool. They arrived at dusk and even though it appeared to be closed, there was nothing keeping them out so on they marched. They were rewarded with their first swim in the pool of a waterfall and some beautiful scenery on the hike down.
Emerald Pool, DominicaNow Andrew was on a mission. He wanted to see the best & biggest waterfall Dominica had to offer and the Google search led him to Victoria Falls. Bright and early the next day they headed out for the 2 hour drive to the southeast side of the island. Now, let me explain to you that navigating the island roads in Dominica is more than a little tricky. The maps they provide leave out important details, the roads are not well marked because they would really prefer you use a guide to visit the various locations, lots of the bridges were completely washed out by Tropical Storm Erika which hit the island hard last fall and have now been replaced with single lane, temporary bridges and there are many places where the roads are coned off down to one lane becaus the entire underside of the mountain under the road is washed away. So when we talk of adventure just know that getting there is indeed half the fun :)
The hike to Victoria Falls was pretty intense
Now to the business of wasting time until my flight arrived later that evening, Andrew hadn't told the girls I was coming back yet so he tried to be non-chalet about filling the next few hours. They headed to Sari Sari Falls, which was really more of a spring, and they found another filming location where Jack Sparrow runs away from the cannibal tribe.
It was so nice to be back with my family and I was even excited to see Abby. The girls knew I would come bearing gifts but I was able to surprise them with the unexpected treat of chicken nuggets from Chick Fil A for dinner - their favorite.
We had originally planned for me to meet back up with Abby in Martinique so to get to visit Dominica was a special treat I was glad to not miss and the girls unknowingly saved some great exploring for me to join in. I got to experience first hand the road conditions and exciting challenges of moving around the island, I don't think I could have fully pictured it had I not.
Our trip to Trafalgar Falls was magnificent.
Trafalgar Falls, DominicaI could have stayed all day watching the water cascading over the rocks and swirling at our feet, but there was more to see and do!
After winding our way up the mountain roads, we found our way to Titou Gorge.
Now words will just not be able to discribe this experience and we hadn't quite figured out the new GoPro yet so we don't even have a proper video.
Picture a narrow gorge sometimes only 5’ wide with a 40’ sheer rock face on either side of us.
Andrew was speaking with the man who supervises the falls and got the scoop on how to actually scale the first waterfall and get to see the second. So he and I headed back in for a second time because he is not one to back away from a challenge.
We found the footholds he had described
View of the second falls.
With the adreneline wearing off and the chills setting in, he jumped off the falls and we floated back out. What a rush!
The weather was right to move down the coast a bit and we found a great place to drop the hook and get a little water time in. Roseau is not much to look at on the land but underwater we found it’s hidden beauty. A few exploratory dinghy rides in the rain brought us to Pointe Guignard where fallen boulders helped to shelter the reef and housed some great fish
But the real find was Champagne Reef off the southwestern coast. We saw our first spotted eel who even came to inspect the GoPro up close.
Champagne Reef, Dominica
We topped off our day by having lunch in the sleepy town of Soufriere where the main activity on a Sunday afternoon is hanging out in the hot pools on the beach. The hot pools are no joke! The smallest, hottest section was so hot I couldn't even dip my toes in it and some of the heat vents are under the pebbles on the shore line making them hot enough to scald your feet if you stand still too long.
Dominica was everything we had imagined and more and on the top of our list of places to visit again. It was beautiful, magical, welcoming, and untouched. It was a hard place to leave but the weather was right for us to head to Martinique.
Things learned aboard (and on land) this week:
Stuff does not equal happiness. I walk through my house in the dark, remembering every step and nuiance, same as the day we left. But I am a fish out of water. This is not my home, I don't need these things. I realize now the entire purpose of our journey, to teach me what truly matters most in life.
Change is good and absence does make the heart fonder. As I left, I think we all were a little scared of how everything would work out. But they all did fine without me. And not just survive but really came into their own as members of a team.
They ate well while I was away!I live to take care of them but they were enpowered to take care of themselves and rely on each other and their relationships are stronger because of it. I felt missed and loved and welcomed back, not because they couldn't do it without me but because the team is not complete without me.
This feels like a ...to be continued… because our adventures just keep going in Martinique!
Can't wait to put this week together to share with you all!
Love this pic of my beauties just lovin' life!
31 - 32. It's Not Rio... But It's Pretty Awesome!
31 - 32. It's Not Rio... But It's Pretty Awesome!