Barbados and Dominica update

On Thursday, I got to watch very little of the MSU/Oklahoma hoops game. The last day in Barbados I was stuck at the Marriott. I had planned to visit St. Nicholas Abbey for a tour. A plantation house, one of only three Jacobean mansions in the Western Hemisphere. They have guided tours through the mansion and the rum distillery but there are no tours on Saturdays. The other days I was not back from diving and cleaned up until after 2 pm with about a one hour taxi ride to the mansion. They advise not to start a tour after 3 pm to have enough time to see everything plus they only do pressing of sugarcane only Wednesday and Thursday.

I was not happy with the 2:20 pm MSU tournament game start time. My one hour flight for Dominica was scheduled to leave at 2:05 pm, then a one hour drive from the airport to Castle Comfort Lodge. I was hoping to make it to the lodge to at least see the last couple minutes. Like other Caribbean flights I’ve been on this trip, it was late departing. I received the halftime score upon landing in Dominica, it was not looking good losing 40-32. I received 14 texts when I arrived at the lodge that MSU had won in overtime 76-70. Not only am I in the Caribbean for 6 weeks scuba diving but MSU is going to the Final Four, can’t get much better. I’m very happy I will get to watch the game on Saturday.

We went through the capital of Dominica, Roseau, on they way to the lodge. It does not look very accessible. Very few curb cutouts and drainage ditches beside the roads. I’m planning a tour to see parts of the island Saturday with the hope of seeing Roseau. The Castle Comfort Lodge is pretty accessible. A small property with only 14 rooms and dive shop on premises. Much better than the 50 minute drive to the dive shop everyday in Barbados. My first day of diving was good. The boat ride was very smooth unlike Curacao and Tobago. The dive brief was ok but no dive buddy’s were decided before the dive. We went as a group that was strung out but I did not have a specific buddy to dive with incase there was a problem. The first dive was ok but I was not impressed. The second dive was much better. A wall the drops so deep that know one knows how deep. Your buoyancy has to be good because you have no spatial relationship where the bottom is. On the two dives I saw eels, frog fish, crab, lobster, and the biggest scorpion fish I’ve ever seen. I wish I was able to take pictures underwater but with my limited hand function it will be very difficult. I have problems taking pictures on land sometimes. This would be multiplied many times over underwater.

Diving the rest of week was good. In addition to what I saw previous, I saw squid, barracuda, seahorse, and turtles. My plan for a tour Saturday fell through because the tour operator requires a minimum of four people. My first time off the resort all week was Thursday when I had dinner with Mike and Kristen who were divers at the resort. They had a driver scheduled all week and invited me on a tour Friday after diving. The tour was about 5 hours were we saw Titou Gorge, Wotten Waven hot springs and sunset at Scottshead, where there Atlantic and Caribbean Sea meet. Mervin, our driver, and Tasi carried me down several steps to the small pool then pulled me through the gorge, about 75 yards, to the waterfall. They then wheeled me down a steep hill with uneven steps to the hot springs. After relaxing in the hot springs, with a great view of the surrounding mountains, Mike and Tasi had the tough task of getting me back up the hill. I’m very appreciative of Mike and Kristen inviting me to dinner and on the tour with them. It was great to great to get out of the resort for a few hours. We have even discussed a scuba trip together with their scuba shop out of Philly.

Saturday I went to Roseau, the capital of Dominica, one of the most none accessible places I’ve been. No curb cut outs, deep drainage ditches along side the road and steps to most shops and restaurants. I did not even get out of the car to wheel around. My last stop will be in St. Croix. I’m making the assumption that it will be more accessible being a US territory.

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