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Experience Dominica – The Nature Island: Dominica Vacations | Exotic Vacations | Honeymoon Destination

Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.


photo of rainbow island A spectacular view of a rainbow from my apartment window in Morne Daniel.

Your Dominica morning news roundup for Monday September 29th 2008:

Dominica and French in turmoil, it appears that some French fishermen boats were seized by local authorities after they were found to have been on Dominican waters. That resulted in some angry French nationals threatening to take action against Dominica.

Dominica Festivals Committee has entered into an arrangement with the Solid Waste Management Corporation for proper garbage disposal throughout the staging of the World Creole Music Festival over the years. We can only wait and see how this works out – I wouldn’t hold me breathe. 🙂

New Pointe Michel Village Council on mission to purge community of its societal ills, and is pleading for more camaraderie and community spirit among villagers. The council was able to engage with several corporate citizens, some of which have decided to assist with community projects.

A Billboard with Prime Minister Skerrit causes confusion at the Melville Hall Airport . Opposition leader Hon. Ron Green, expressed the view that the poster was not appropriate for welcoming visitors to the island during this 30th Anniversary Reunion Celebrations, in that it appeared to be Partisan and divisive. Ok Mr. Green we get the point – but it’s just a billboard… 🙂

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Today is Monday, December 17. Tomorrow we depart from our home in Massachusetts at 4:00AM to catch the first leg of flights that will land us at Melville Hall Airport about 11 hours later. Because we love the Nature Island and the many, many warm people and wonderful friends we’ve made in Dominica, we’re always glad to make the trip. But especially in this time of the year, when we also can enjoy a respite from New England’s harsh winter.

The temperature outside this morning is 14ºF and the snow is piled up. Here’s the walk from our house to the street.We had a 10” snowstorm last Thursday, and another one last night, as you can see from this yardstick measurement:

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At the end of last night’s storm, we had accumulating mist, which at sub-freezing temperatures, created a rock-hard coating of ice. Ice makes it impossible to get our car up the driveway even after a snow-blower has cleared the driveway unless we first coat the driveway with ashes or sand for traction (using salt would kill our gardens in the spring melt). I’m reminded of the children’s nursery rhyme line “ashes, ashes, or we’ll all fall down”. Our driveway looks like this:

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As a matter of fact, I needed to use special grip devices called “Yak Trax” on my shoes in order to be able to stand on the driveway ice and spread the ashes. Without them I would have slid down the driveway and might have fallen and hurt myself. Yak Trax are steel springs over stretchable rubber straps.

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In summer the trees would have leaves and bushes would too, and you would not be able to see to the white area in the woods. That area is snow on top of ice on the lake.This trip is our final vacation in Dominica, for a 4-week stay. The next time we arrive later in 2008 it will be to live in Calibishie in retirement. Dominica, here we come!

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Sand Bay, also sometimes called Middle Bay, is an Atlantic beach in Marigot, the town just to the east of Melville Hall Airport. We only learned of it this year after coming to Dominica for the past 20 years by seeing a beautiful photo of it taken by Dominica’s leading author and historian Lennox Honychurch that appeared on the HHV Whitchurch 2007 calendar.

Sand Bay is a wonderful beach. There’s plenty of soft clean sand and areas to play and picnic. You can opt for sun or shade under coconut (watch for dropping fruit!) or almond trees. The swimming is excellent, with very gentle wave action, no current to speak of (at least not in the bay), and a fine sandy bottom. There are coral-encrusted rocks you can swim to; we snorkeled to them but did not see anything interesting. Mainly the rocks tend to mitigate the wave action, and they make the bay a pretty sight from higher vantages.

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There are paths leading from the road to this beach from near the Marigot police station, from the Marigot hospital (but you will have to wade around a rock at the end) and from the old fishery harbor. Every path has steps cut into the area’s characteristic red clay, because the bay is sheltered. That means you’ll have to go up and over and down again from the old fishery. The easiest path begins near the police station. Just park there and ask for directions.

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We’ve been told that it is not a good idea for us (we’re white Americans) to go there by ourselves because the men who have a hut on the beach “aren’t friendly”, but they seemed quite nice and friendly when we went there on a Sunday with our friend and neighbor (a woman and her three children). Perhaps they were disarmed by the tricks that our dog Ranger performed for them. Also, on Sunday the beach had other local families present, and both cricket and soccer games in progress. And the guys at the hut may have juices, soda, or even beer to sell, as well as their own CDs.

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