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I think the only real 'anchorage' is at Portsmouth.. we used a boat boy's mooring for reasonable cost.

Rouseau is a cruise ship stop and as such a very different vibe from Portsmouth which we found charming. We rented a 'jeep' and drove around the island one day. Interesting - hairpin turns, narrow roads, right hand driving... yikes. Fortunately we were with some expat Brits who managed that part OK.

At the southern end is a fabulous looking bay, isthmus and peninsula.. but it's a park and anchoring is prohibited. We did stop with the car and hike around there, great shots and views.

Seeing the windward side from the road was worthwhile too. All in all a very laidback visit, friendly people. We stopped mid island at some pretty waterfalls, it was a good day.
 

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Sailboat Reboot
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At the southwest corner of the island is Soufirere Bay. There are mooring balls here - not in the part that is protected waters. You do pay the local hotel for use. The other thing to learn - bus and taxicabs are the same thing. if you get in a taxi and he goes over the standard route the price is like $3.00. If you hire him to drive you to a destination the price will be $30. Ask a local when you get there how it works.

It is a pretty place.
 

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Sailing out of Guadeloupe we stopped at Portsmouth -- pronounced poorsmuff -- do four days. Jerome led the major "boat boy" collaborative, the Cobras. Their service was sterling -- bread,ice, vegetable delivery; assistance in clearing in and out; 24 hour security; 4WD tour with a trained naturalist; etc. I don't recall the restaurant scene but the scenery and friendly people were memorable.
 

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Dominica has become one of my favorite islands. While only a short hop from the Iles des Saintes in Guadeloupe it is a different world with a different pace.
The boat boys are organized into a PAYS group and they won't bother you; a weekly BBQ ashore hosted by them pays for the security boat that goes around the anchorage at night and Portsmouth is a relatively safe place.
The tourism industry isn't huge and there aren't too many restaurants ashore, but I like going to the locals places (and paying locals prices...) so don't miss the lack of choices. Hiking is big on Dominica and while a tour of the Indian River or a guided tour around the island is worthwhile, I also think that renting a car and partaking of the island's offerings on one's own time is worth it as well.



Check out some of the pictures from my last visit (April 4 through 13 at April 2014 Blog and Diary ) if you wish!
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Anchor off the Purple Turtle at the North end of Portsmouth. Good wifi. Visit the Cabrits park behind the wooden dock at the North end of the Portsmouth anchorage. Make sure you make time to hike over to the Douglas battery. 500 galls of good water costs 15 EC at this dock. Either put someone on the dock or Put some lines there draped over the giant tires for you to grab.

A taxi trip to the Carib village is worth doing but try to arrange it for a time when the attractions are attended EG a cruise ship day.

The hike to the boiling lake is a long one and should only be done with a local guide.

If you want to visit Rouseau take the bus in the morning from Portsmouth, it's a scenic trip and there is a fair bit to see. If feeling energetic the hike up the 'steps' in the Botanical gardens is worthwhile and you can always taxi back down. Find out the time of the last bus back to Portsmouth.

I usually bypass Rouseau as an anchorage because it can be really rolly. If you decide to stop take a mooring ball having negotiated the price first.

Provisioning in Portsmouth is basic but the bread is good. Ask the boat boys for lobster or fresh large fish. Do not eat large barracuda.

Oh yes go looking for the amazing pink shell house in Portsmouth, you will know it when you see it.
 

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The PAYS have a mooring ball with attached water hose and they give unlimited water (including washing your clothes and boat in addition to filling the tanks) for a couple of buck - but the water is somewhat sandy and using a filter is to be recommended. This is much easier than tying up at the commercial dock.

 

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Thanks Zanshin.. I'm sorry to say somehow we missed the shell house when we were there.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Is the water at the commercial dock cleaner ? We will be going past Dominica in December as part of a 1-way charter and definitely plan on stopping.
It all comes from the main reservoir. When I got it from the buoy it was 40 EC and a bit of a hassle to find the guy to turn it on.

As I said 15 EC from the wooden dock but more difficult to get moored if single handed. One time a few years ago the official on the dock insisted on purging the pipes before supplying me. He ran off about 5000 gallons saying the pipe was a mile long. Most on to my decks, it was a good test for the hatches.
 

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We stopped in at Portsmouth, Dominica on our way through the Caribbean. It was one of our favorite stops of our year-long trip, though we never would have guessed that as we approached. A small, rundown skiff with one enterprising young man approached us a mile out and said he would be our "tour guide". We are not the kind to buy any tours since we like to explore on our own usually. However, we'd read in the guide books that this was the place to get a guide. We splurged here and got a half day tour and was it ever worth it! He took us to some places we never would have seen otherwise. It was money well spent! One of the best investments of the whole trip!
Here is one of our blogs about this part of our trip: Photos | Two and a Half Sailors

Here is where we stopped and some photos:






more photos here: Photos | Two and a Half Sailors





 

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another good thing about dominica - you dont need to clear out if you stay less than two weeks. They give you your outward clearance when you clear in. You only need to go back if you change crew or stay longer than two weeks.
 

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Yamsailor
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I cruised to Dominica last March. We left Jolly Harbour, Antigua at 3:30pm and arrived Portsmouth around 8am the next morning. My crew and I stayed there four days. In my opinion, this is the most beautiful island in the Caribbean. I did not want to leave. The P.A.Y.S. staff are fantastic. I can not wait to go back there. From Dominica we sailed to Isle De Saints, then on to Guadeloupe then back to Antigua. I was not impressed with Guadeloupe. I hope Dominica recovers quickly from Hurricane Erika.
 
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