Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: British Columbia
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We lived in Dominica last winter for 3 months. It is a great place but not a sailboat to rent in sight. there were plans for a marina in Portsmouth but financing put an end to it as it has alot of projects in the past two years. Its a pastoral island who's main source of revenue is agriculture. The best harbour is Portsmouth and my favorite part of the Island is the north where Portsmouth is. English is the main language but until the Napoleonic period it was French so its primarily catholic and Creole is the locals language. The people are wonderful. Its not your typical Caribbean Island with 7 Mornes ( mountains) and lots of fresh water and rivers leading down from the peaks. Belles are in the interior gets up to 300 inches of rain per year while the west coast closer to 25. There are mooring balls in Portsmouth and it is a great harbour. The capital is in the south at Rouseau but only because there used to be a swampy area that harboured all the ills of the Caribbean in its depths (fever) not an issue today. today Portsmouth is a second town but a great one. Dont expect wide sandy beaches although on the north side near Calibishie you can find yourself alone on some of the nicest in the world. No big hotels other than the Fort young hotel in Road town.
portsmouth used to have a name for problems with moored boats and theft but the police have most of that under control and I dont think its much more of a problem than it is anywhere else. Dominica is the Caribbean 50 years ago. I love it. If I had to put down roots in a place it would probably be there. There are some spots that are less desirable and like all caribbean Islands, and most places in North America petty property crime is a problem in some spots. Woodfordhill in the north is one while just 3 miles away is Calibishie which is great, safe, and wonderful. go figure but there is a cultural difference in that the slaves who were at the woodford hill plantation were imported from Antiqua by the English and are somewhat still different from the rest of the Island. The dont speak Creole for example. But heck I could go on at length. Suffice to say Dominca is a great place. I definitely recommend it but no boats there. St Lucia would be your best bet and a sail north to Dominica would be great. I think Martinique isnt too much of a worry but unless we find a way to return prosperity to many of the Islands of the Caribbean we will see further decline of there economies. they are hurting badly. this recession is hitting them hard. Bananas produced cheaply in Central America and sugar produced by Sugar beets have over the past 50 years reduced them to a service economy. Go there and leave some money behind they need it.