Blogs from Roseau, Dominica, Central America Caribbean - page 2


Central America Caribbean » Dominica » Roseau June 12th 2010

Clem drove us to Dive Dominica today. We boarded a boat and went to Champagne Bay. After a couple of hours snorkeling at Champagne, we sailed west towards Martinique to go whale-watching. A guide swam with us in Champagne, pointing the various marine organisms. We saw a sea cucumber, swam over a wrecked British ship, and enjoyed the warm bubbles that give Champagne Bay its name. During our whale-watching trip, our captain would continuously stop the boat and place this device in the water used for listening to whales. He would then follow the direction of their sounds, until we finally saw a sperm whale breaching. We followed her for a while and caught glimpses of what was probably her calf. The first whale was almost 9 m long. Journal Entry 20: 06/13/10 Today was our ... read more
Largest Sea Fan I saw

Today was the day of the dreaded Boiling Lake hike. Clem took us as far as the road would permit, where we then had to get off of the bus and walk the rest of the way. We passed Titou Gorge, where a scene from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest was filmed, at the start of the trail. In order to reach Boiling Lake, we had to climb Morne Nichols. This was by far the most rigorous hike I have ever been on. The trail was incredibly muddy and steep; the stair case leading the way seemed endless. At the top of Morne Nichols, we were rewarded with a gorgeous view, though we had to leave soon due to the threat of rain. Once past Morne Nichols, we had to cross two valleys of ... read more
Valley of Desolation
Hot Spring
Boiling Lake

Clem picked us up at 8:30 this morning and we went on about an hour’s drive to Freshwater Lake. The drive was amazing because we reached 2000 ft. in elevation and had great views of the island. Dr. Lacher pointed out the peak we will be climbing on Wednesday to reach Boiling Lake. We walked around Freshwater Lake for awhile before beginning our hike to Boeri Lake. The hike was pretty treacherous - the rocks were very slippery and the climb was pretty steep. It lasted about 45 min. and we finally reached Boeri Lake. The type of vegetation there was mountainous - we were at roughly 2800 ft. above sea level. There were several melastomes around Freshwater Lake ranging in sizes - one melastome was so small that we could not see the distinct venations ... read more
Boeri Lake
View from the Top!

Today was the day we were allowed to go to Roseau. Dr. Heyman drove the marine group and Clem took the rest of the students. I had a ton of fun shopping for souvenirs for my family and walking around Roseau. It was also great to sample fresh fruits and smell the different spices at the open market. I had a delicious mango and pineapple smoothie while there. For lunch, a big group of us went to Pearl’s Cuisine, though a few of us were taken for a wild-goose chase- we asked a local guy to take us to the restaurant and he took us all over Roseau. Another local approached Jamie and warned us that he was a thief. We finally gave him $5 EC and he left us alone. Our lunch was delicious ... read more

Today we visited the east coast of the island. Our first stop was at Castle Bruce, a beach facing the Atlantic Ocean. We then proceeded to Carib territory and eventually to Emerald Pool. Our tour guide at the Carib Territory was a member of the Carib tribe council. He showed us various aspects of Carib craftsmanship, including the area where they grow reeds used for basket-weaving. They demonstrated the entire process of basket-weaving and reed preparation to us, allowing us to partake in it as well. We also sampled pure cocoa and cocoa fruit. A few of the men showed us how cassava bread is made as well, and allowed us to sample some of it. Several people bought some to take back to the station with them. We went to Jules’s house, a Carib whose ... read more
Dug-out Canoes!
View from a Backyard

After breakfast, the marine group, which I have now officially joined due to time problems with my previous group, left for Champagne Bay. Unfortunately, we had to return because Reagan thought he had forgotten the transect tapes. Dr. Heyman dropped us off and left to run errands. Reagan got data from the Kestrel and the Hydrolab, while the rest of us got started on our first transect. We met back with Dr. Heyman around noon and went into Roseau. We walked around the streets for a while, though everything was crowded because of the cruise ship. At 2:30 pm, we set off to Scott’s Head Bay since Champagne Bay was covered with tourists. We swam briefly and mainly to familiarize ourselves with the reef. A few of us were stung by jelly fish, myself included, so ... read more
The narrow road to Scott's Head

Cabrits National Park, on the northwestern part of the island, was the location of our excursions today. Since the whole group was going, Clem James had to take us in his bus. To get to Cabrits we had to drive along the west coast of Dominica, seeing a large variety of vegetation across the coast. We were also able to stop at Batalie Beach before continuing on our way to Cabrits. We arrived at 11 am and had lunch at the “snackette” bar in the visitor center. I was able to buy an ice-cold Sprite, a nice relief to the humid heat. After lunch, we all gathered by the cannons at Fort Shirley and took a group picture. The fort had been undergoing renovations for a while and now is used as a party/reception place. It ... read more
The tourist tree!
No, it's not a joke.

This morning about four or five of the students here went to the Catholic Church service in Roseau. I stayed with the rest of the group and observed/helped Ariel begin building her net for her project. Throughout the time we worked on the net, several birds ran into it. We had a quick lunch of fish empanadas, and after gathering our gear, we left to Champagne Bay. Ariel and Reagan worked on the Hydrolab once we arrived while the rest of us swam to the first transect. This time we were a lot more prepared, since we had brought the 50-m transect tapes and our quadrats. Since I was the only one who had been to the transect line previously, I had to attempt to lead the way to it. Unfortunately, I had a hard time ... read more

The hike to Middleham Falls was perhaps one of the hardest hikes I have ever been on in my life. The trail stated off of a road close to ATREC; the entire first hour of the hike is climbing up a mountain at almost a 90° angle. We were all trying to get past this part of the hike as fast as possible, while still stopping to admire the view. Thankfully, once we arrived at the national park where Middleham Falls is located, the trail became a lot easier. It was still muddy and slippery, though absolutely beautiful. Throughout the second part of the trail we had to watch out for algae-covered rocks and particularly muddy spots. The rainforest we were in had astoundingly large trees, such as the gommier tree, which the Caribs use to ... read more
Middleham Falls

Today was devoted to working on our group projects. I got together with the marine group to sort out everything we needed for our projects. We fixed the two quadrats we will be using in our project. Afterwards, Britney, Kinnie, and I set about exploring the Check Hall River. We were trying to find ideal pools where the 2 species of goby fish we will be studying are found in. Along the way, Kinnie was able to catch a prawn and a baby anole. After lunch, the members of the marine group and I went with Dr. Heyman to Champagne Bay. This dive was mainly for us to become used to snorkeling and become acquainted with the area. After swimming for almost an hour, a few of us went back to shore. Almost as soon as ... read more
Elkhorn Coral

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