So JUST as I began typing this, the flowers you see here took a tumble right onto the cabin sole, two cups of water and all. It is very rolly here - has been since we came in late Monday afternoon after a great sail from Guadeloupe - and though we have had the flowers since Tuesday - a gift of friend and local guide Martin - just this minute they decided to go. Oh well - tropical flowers like these are pretty sturdy. I've put them into the galley sink for the moment.
JP and Susan are off for a second day of hiking with Martin, so at some point I will have some good pictures of that - yesterday they did Section 11 of the Waitukubuli Trail, and today they are off to Victoria Falls. I'm hanging out, enjoying my last few days (now down to last few hours) on the boat before I head back to the States for some contract work. JP and Susan will take Raconteur on to Grenada, and we will haul out there for this hurricane season. JP also has some work, and of course we have the upcoming wedding of Aude and Rus on the 22nd of June. Meanwhile, we have a new addition to the family as well - my niece Cass and her husband Adam are the very happy parents of Reese Olivia Lawson, born on the morning of Tuesday April 30. I can't wait to see her - one upside of leaving the boat a little early.
It's been a short sailing season for us - we arrived in Trinidad in early January, made our way to Grenada, to Saint Lucia and to Guadeloupe by early March, and then headed for what was to have been three weeks in Europe. JP's mom landed in the hospital after we had been there a week, so we stayed to see her through that and safely back home, now with wonderful help. So far, so good.
Since we set out on this sabbatical in October 2010, we have managed to spend about 15 months or so on board - I think we had hoped for more, but we always knew that our window probably wasn't open as far as it might have been earlier. Still, we have had an unforgettable experience - and we are open to whatever comes next when we get back to her in the fall. No particular plans yet - and there is still much of the Caribbean to be explored. We STILL have not made it to Antigua for the April Classic Yacht Regatta - we were too late in 2011, too lazy in 2012 (when we sailed only as far as Dominica) and just plain away from the boat this year. 2014...???
I haven't posted a sunset picture for a while. This is actually a rainbow picture, taken just before sunset on Wednesday the 1st of May. Dominica remains one of our favorite places - the unspoiled landscape is something to see. They have started doing some high-end resort properties here, though with a strong eco-tourism bent (see http://secretbay.dm/) but so far much of the island is pristine rainforest. I've probably mentioned this before, but this is one of the few islands in the region where there were no sugar plantations, so the forests are still more or less untouched. They struggle economically - many of their best and brightest leave because there is no work - and we wonder every day why it is only the Japanese, the Chinese, the Venezuelans and now (of all things) Moroccans who invest here. These islands are so close to the US - the needed investments are not enormous - it seems so foolish that we leave our Asian friends to build roads, schools, docks and other needed infrastructure. End of political comment. If you love nature travel - come to Dominica.