Saturday, October 30, 2010

Roseau, Dominica

We had a fabulous sail from Fort de France. We left at 0700 and the wind was 10-15 knots ENE. Even on the leeward side of Martinique we were able to travel between 6-7 knots. The passage between the islands saw the wind build to 20 knots and 1 meter seas. We averaged 8.5 knots across the 25 miles of open ocean. One of the better days we have had on the trip North!

 The toothed whale skeleton.
 Roseau waterfront just south of town
 The anchorage
We rented a mooring in Roseau, the capital of Dominica, and settled down to a glorious sunset. In the morning we went for a run and found this skeleton of a whale in the Anchorage restaurant. Only a few of the parts were plaster.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tobago Cays

Couple of pictures of the sunsets we are enjoying. Currently just put the anchor down in Roseau, Dominica.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rum Factory after the Waterfalls

After hanging at the waterfalls we decided a trip to the Rivers Rum factory would be in order. They have been making rum here for centuries. We sampled some of the spiced version at low alcohol; but the big product is 70%. Needless to say out of my league!

The factory has very few new concepts employed as they still shovel the crushed cane into the fires to heat the boilers. All in all a short good tour of an industry that has not changed in the islands for a long time.

 Here is the wood they use to fire the stills
 Crushed sugar cane to be used for fuel
 Water wheel built in 1700s still powers the cane crusher

 Molasses fermenting. A very nice smell
The Stills

Mt. Carmel Falls

Dave and I were caught up with boat chores and decided to join Graig and Diane of Seaquest to ride the public bus to Mt Carmel and visit one of the many waterfalls in Grenada.

The buses are inexpensive in Grenada and it seems every car is a bus! It took us 1.5 hours and three bus changes to get to Mt Carmel. As it had been raining, the trail was slick clay but only a couple of the group ended up sliding and falling. Great day in the mountains of Grenada.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Grenada Prison

Dave Ford from Mazama, Washington has joined the crew for the next three weeks. Dave used to be the Business Manager from Alaska Local 751 Ironworkers.

We had a little down time and Dave read in a guide book about the prison overlooking St Georges, so off we went. Built in 1670 it is one of the oldest in the Caribbean and recently held Maurice Bishop before his execution during the 1984 coup here in Grenada. That is when Reagan sent in the Marines to rescue the American students at the medical school. We went to the prison gates and asked about a tour. We were told no tours or admittance unless we were sentenced. We decided to visit the fort above the prison instead. Fort Fredickson.. The French started the fort after capturing Grenada from the British during the Napoleonic Wars. After the Treaty of Versailles the English were given back Grenada and they finished the fort. No shots ever fired in anger!

                 A great view of the Capitol, St Georges
     The Fort above the prison
 Fort with prison in background

Sunday, October 3, 2010

SCTW95 Class

Walking down the main road in Chagauramas I met a Norwegian friend , Jurgen, on his way to Trinidad Tabago University. It appears this is the cheapest place in the world to take the SCTW95 course. This course is required if you want to work on ships, yachts  or whatever. I would need it if I am able to charter in the BVI.So I signed up for the course that is to last 5 days.

So all last week I have been in school from 0830 to 1930 doing first aid, fire fighting, safety at sea and personal relation classes. Wednesday and Thursday were enjoyable as it was hands on days. Although being in a fire fighters turnouts in 95 degree heat with 95% humidity was brutal. Then approaching fire was over the top.

 Before we start we learned care and handling of hoses. This is Alexandra from Switzerland
   Trinidad Firefighter Ellis instructs two of the group in the use of the fog nozzle.
 Alexandra approaches an oil fire with a dry chemical extinguisher.
         Joe from England and Jurgen prepare to battle a oil fire using foam.
                                  Under control after 5 minutes of foam.

                                                                 Thursdays Pool Time

                                    One of the exercises involved righting an upside down life raft
Here I am at the end of the day. Exhausted and still have to go into a smoke filled building with breathing apparatus to perform a simulated rescue. Visibilty was zero and the inside of the building was too hot to touch in most places. We moved about by touching the wall and shuffling along the floor. The partner would follow behind with their hand on your back. Truly the blind leading the blind!The class pretty much confirmed my thought about avoiding fire at sea at all costs.The young woman in the picture is a German named Sabena. She was my partner in the rescue attempt.

The class had 3 Trinis ,1 Norwegian, 2 Swiss, 1 Ozzie, 1 German, 1 Brit and a Brazilian and myself the lone American. I was twice as old as most in the class. It made for an interesting class.