SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
March 13, 2015
15°28.1’N x 061°29.4’W
Description of Location
Sailing down the West coast of Dominica
Weather/Wind/ Sail Plan
Sailing under the tops’l, fores’l, mainstays’l, and mains’l with winds from the East blowing at a Beaufort force of 2. Seas around 1 ft with partly cloudy skies.
This morning we parted ways with the beautiful island of Dominica. Although it’s exciting to be underway again and fall back into our “normal” routines, the last few days at anchor were wonderful. On Tuesday I celebrated my 21st birthday exploring Roseau with friends and hiking to Trafalgar Falls. I was also able to phone home to my parents and sister, an opportunity which I now realize that I often take for granted when in the States. Between conversing with them, roaming around Roseau, hiking to a hot spring and waterfall, and Sarah (deckhand) pulling out a little birthday candle surprising me at every meal sitting, I think it’s safe to say this was the best birthday I’ve ever been blessed with.
On Wednesday all of the students had the opportunity to visit the Kalinago Territory on the eastern side of the island. Two of my classmates, James and Emily, had focused their port stop research projects around these indigenous people making this field trip one of the most rewarding ones yet. We had the chance to make and share cassava bread, we learned about medicinal herbs used by the Kalinago, and we were able to get a better understanding of these people’s history and culture as well as the functionality of their society in present day. The experience resonated with many of us as we reflected on the displacement of the Native Americans back in the places that we call home and reflected on the fact that we were not here first.
Wednesday evening we had the pleasure to host the Honorary Ian Douglass aboard for dinner and as a guest speaker. Minister Douglas is a third generation Dominican politician who was able to speak to us in depth about the history of the island, its government, his own personal history, along with what present day occurrences are happening on the island. I was particularly excited to have Minister Douglas visit as he is the Energy Minister on the island and I focused my port stop research on renewable energy aspirations in the Caribbean. Minister Douglas was able to touch upon the upcoming plans for a small geothermal plant that is expected to be up and running by 2017. This plant is expected to generate 7-8mw of electricity daily with the island typically averaging around 8-10mw of electricity consumption daily. Along with the existing hydropower plant that is currently generating 25-30 percent of the islands electricity, it seems that Dominica is going to be a leader in producing renewable energy for the Lesser Antilles by 2020.
Dominica highly values its environment as they stress conserving the beauty and natural aesthetics of the island. This theme correlates very well with investing in renewable energy. Between signage discouraging littering, the up-cycling programs we learned about on the island, and the emphasis on eco-tourism, Dominica has earned the nickname “The Nature Island.” I absolutely would want to return to this island someday with the hopes of hiking to the Boiling Lake and to continue to explore more of the island over a longer span of time.
We departed this morning with our next destination being Grenada. We were actually able to get underway using just the wind - no engine, just as they would have done back in the day! We sailed our way to the North end of the harbor where we were able to snorkel for about 45 minutes. While snorkeling, some of us saw lionfish, an invasive species to the Caribbean we learned about on shore and a fish I would definitely suggest Googling if you have never seen an image of one before.
We are now a little more than halfway through the sea component, and we are continuing to have an amazing time learning and growing as individuals. I would like to give a shout out to Colleen and thank her for setting me up with funfetti cupcakes for my birthday! Also, although this is a bit early, I would also like to send a birthday shout out to the one and only diva, C-Dough! To everyone else back home, I hope all is well!
Until next time,