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Up the Indian River

Feb 27, 2011


Location: Portsmouth Dominica
Author: Eric
Early in the trip, the question of goals for the semester came up before dinner. One of my goals for this trip (and all trips) is to turn a crew of relative newcomers to the sea into a seasoned and cohesive group of sailors, able to handle Ocean Star in all circumstances. Day 48 is past the half way mark, and I were well on the way to achieving that goal. This morning chief mate Jack sailed the boat off of Panchos mooring in Roseau, and with the exception of a few windless spots in the lee of Dominicas mountains we kept the engine off for the entire trip to Portsmouth, some 20 miles to the north. We sailed into the bay and anchored successfully, again without using the engine, quite an achievement for a group that a month and a half ago hadn’t even heard the word jib, let alone set or struck one. Once anchored, most of the crew was picked up by Cobras Indian River Guides, a group of boat boys who work in Portsmouth and run tours of the Indian River, one of the sites where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed. Team Science swung into action, measuring salinity and clarity as they rowed up the river beneath towering gloomy trees and dense foliage, in an ongoing project we have here. The shipmates learned firsthand about Haloclines, and gathered data on the health of the Indian River that we share with the National Park here. Back aboard, Ryan made a delightful meal of Chicken Parmesan for dinner before rolling into the last night of Oceanography literature review presentations. Today was our last day in Dominica, and as we bid adieu to its verdant shores tomorrow on our way to Les Saintes, we will look fondly back on our adventures here.