Location: Portsmouth, Dominica
Today started out with a slightly early wake-up and breakfast underway as we motored up the leeward coast of Dominica, but it quickly became one of those days when foul weather meant nothing went according to plan, but everything was awesome. Our passage started off with several dolphins off the port side, calm seas, and cloudy but pleasant weather. While we were still cleaning up after breakfast, a few squalls came through and briefly brought heavy rain, but nothing prepared us for the deluge that soon followed. The torrential downpour, which seemed like it would never end, reduced visibility so much that we had to sound our horn (5 seconds every two minutes for a vessel underway, making a way in restricted visibility, as we’ve learned in class). The persistent rain forced us to change our plans and cancel our scheduled post-hurricane relief work in Coulibistrie, which is prone to flash flooding and was expected to get several inches of rain. Instead, we continued along the coast to Portsmouth, where we’re spending the night. As the storm subsided, Tor and Nick had a good laugh calling us on deck to strike (take down) the sails, which we never raised in the first place. After another dolphin sighting, we came to Portsmouth, where the rain continued to fall lightly for the rest of the day. This was the first day that was never hot; in fact, several of us brought out fleeces and sweatpants while we caught up on classwork below deck during a relaxed afternoon. Though we didn’t get to help with relief work as planned, we got to sail through some incredible rain and, as always, had a great time on Ocean Star!