Location: Rousseau, Dominica

Today was another exciting day in Dominica, exploring the island. The day began with a drive up the leeward side of the island to Portsmouth, where we rowed up the Indian River with our local guides. During this, we took salinity and temperature measurements at different depths. We will be analyzing and graphing our data in a later science class and then determining what category of the estuary the river was exemplifying. It was a great opportunity for some real hands-on science in a very picturesque environment. We kept our eyes out and saw some mullets, crabs, and egrets in the mangroves. We then headed over to the windward side, stopping en route for guavas, coconuts, and seeds for making necklaces. We enjoyed a tasty lunch of freshly baked bread sandwiches, coconuts, and almonds fresh from the trees. After lunch, we headed over to the Carib Indian settlement, the only remaining original settlers. Here, we stopped for some delicious cassava bread, gift shopping at the local craft stalls, and some more fruit, such as sweetsop and custard appleso many new tastes to experience. We stopped by one of Sea Cats’ friends’ houses for some fresh cocoa, coconut water, herbal teas, and more local herbs and spices. Driving back along the windward coast, we stopped at a banana plantation and a citrus farm – loading up with yet more fresh local fruits.

Dominica is the smallest country in the world that has two species of parrots, the Sissoru and the Jaco. We were lucky enough to spot two Jaco parrots with the help of Sea Cat’s extremely keen eye. The day ended nicely with a splash in Emerald Falls, an icy cold freshwater waterfall in the Trois Piton National Park. We got back late to Ocean Star, all exhausted, feeling full and healthy from the many fruits and local foods fresh from Dominica – the green jewel of the Caribbean. We are finishing off the day with a Blue Planet DVD on coral reefs, reminding us of the great adventures in store for us underwater tomorrow. Ocean Star is loaded with red, yellow, and green bananas, oranges, grapefruits, and pineapples. So, no scurvy on our vessel!