Excited and a little anxious about our return to Dominica after 4 years, we were up at 5:30 am in Saint Pierre, Martinique, for the 8 hour (53 nm) sail. Dominica has one of the most spectacular natural landscapes in the Caribbean, and we couldn’t wait for the opportunity to sail there again. Towering, rugged mountains, 7 potentially active volcanoes, a boiling lake, hot springs, waterfalls, crater lakes and lush, green vegetation are just a few of its natural wonders. But, in September everything changed – Dominica took a direct hit from Category 5 Hurricane Maria. We read and saw so many stories of the devastation – not only to the homes and villages, but to the lush green rainforest that is Dominica’s trademark. But, we couldn’t stay away. We also wanted to bring boxes of much-needed roofing screws with us to help with their home reconstruction.
We sailed our way up the western coastline marveling at the change in topography. Glenn said it looked like someone had take a giant weed-wacker to the mountains. In many spots, there were trunks of trees without any leaves or tops. There were blue tarps covering lots of homes, and debris littering the sides of the roads. But, as we explored the towns and island – we were continually amazed at the industriousness of the Dominican people. The roads were filled with people and trucks – working, hauling building supplies and materials. Everyone was welcoming and happy to see us. They had made incredible progress since the Hurricane, and it showed. As we hiked the mountains and waterfalls, fresh green growth was evident everywhere. Dominica will soon be back – better than ever!