Saturday, 27 July 2013

Wildlife of the Caribbean

Wildlife spotting is one of the many pleasures of sailing and hiking in the Caribbean.  We often didn't know exactly what we were looking at (and, in spite of searching in several places, never found a good wildlife guidebook), but - whatever it was - there was a lot of it.

We often saw pelicans diving for fish or sitting, statue-like, on moored boats.

We were delighted to see turtles regularly. They would often appear near the boat in various anchorages, staying for half a minute or so before diving down.

We think this is a green sea turtle, about two feet long.
I've no idea what this is..

We saw several of these large, fat caterpillars in Martinique and on other islands.  They're a good 10-15 cm long and feed on frangipani.

Not exactly wildlife..but I liked the photos.


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Prince Rupert Bay, Dominica (5th to 9th April)

We were nearing the end of our time in Roseau. Sara and Phil on Lochmarin were about to head south to the Grenadines, and it was almost time to say goodbye. Before doing so, we spent a day out with them at the Champagne Reef near Soufriere. We packed our snorkelling gear, flagged down a passing bus and enjoyed the sunny ride along the coast road.

The reef is one of those 'must see' attractions much frequented by cruise-shippers, so I was ready to be entirely unimpressed. The reef was pretty dead, accessed off a pebbly beach, and the 'champagne' effect, caused by volcanic gases bubbling up through the sea floor, could be easily and cheaply achieved anywhere by hiring a flatulent 10-year old to swim beneath you. Perhaps I was getting a bit jaded?  On the plus side, there were some large and interesting fish, and we spotted a couple of evil-looking, if small, moray eels. We had a great lunch at a roadside restaurant shack, and chatted to a forthcoming local lady who now lived in the UK. She wasn't enjoying it, missing the weather and the friendly people of Dominica.  It was all too easy to see her point of view.  

Roseau had been great, but it was time to move on.  We waved goodbye to Phil and Sara, who had shared so much with us, hoping that we would see them again sometime, somewhere.  We headed for Prince Rupert Bay, at the north of the island. We tried to sail, but the lee of Dominica is a big windshadow. We were on a dead run, the wind gusting and shifting unpredictably, so - after one anxious moment too many - we ended up motoring.

Prince Rupert Bay and Portsmouth, Limbo on the far left.