Two nights in Wotten Waven

Due to Corona we were only allowed to stay with the boat in Portsmouth on the northern part of Dominica. As there is a lot of attractions up in the mountains close to Roseau, in the southern part of Dominica, we decided that we would stay 2 nights in a village, Wotten Waven. We found a very cheap guesthouse were we could sleep in a simple hammock schack. The price was 28 XCD (East Caribbean dollars) per night.

We also managed to time this trip to Roseau with the exit PCR test we had to do. Leaving Dominica turned out to be quite hard, actually. When we entered Dominica we could do the entry tests in Portsmouth, close to the boat and we had agents organizing everything else. But when we were going to leave we had to go to Roseau to take the tests (and then also go back to Roseau to get the results). It takes about 1-1 1/2 hour with the minibus to Roseau. It was also really hard to get a testing time and first time we tried to get it arranged we got answer that there were no available times for 3 weeks. But when we tried another day we managed to get a time when we had already planned to do the trip to Wotten Waven, which was really lucky! We felt that we were quite finished with Dominica and didn’t want to stay another 3 weeks. So we took the minibus early in morning to Roseau to take our tests before we continued up to Wotten Waven.

Waiting to have our PCR tests

After we had taken the tests we took a minibus up to Wotten Waven to check out our accommodation for the following two nights.

We arrived to Le Petit Paradis, teh guesthouse where we stayed for two nights in Wotten Waven
Our hammock schack.

First thing we did was to find a local bar…
And we tasted this funny drink, please take a look at the list of ingredients xD
Cheer!

After we were fed up with Rude Boy and a couple of beers we went to see a waterfall, Middleham Falls.

By Middleham Falls, quite easy hike from the parking to the fall.

Wotten Waven is famous for all the natural hot spas they have and in the afternoon/evening we went to visit one of them, Ti Chen Hot Springs.

Cooling of in cold water before entering the hot water pools.
Making the skin healthy in one of the hot pools. The orange color comes from iron and sulphur.
The scenary around Ti Chen Spa was very magical. It was located in the jungle with a waterfall you could see from the pools.
How many guys can you fit in a hot tub?

We went back to the hammock schack warm and had a good night sleep in order to prepare for our big hike the following day, to the Boiling Lake. The Boiling lake in Dominica is the second largest lake of that kind in the world and is said to be one of the top hikes in Dominica. Everywhere it says that you should do the Boiling Lake with a guide, but we did it without. At some part it was quite hard to find the path but most of the way it was really easy, and if we would have spent a lot of money on a guide we probably would have been quite disappointed. But we also like to hike and look for the path, and we thought this website about hiking Boiling Lake without a guide was quite helpful, link HERE.

We started early in the morning for the hike. The first part was through the jungle and the path was really easy to follow. On the second part of the trip you walk on top of a ridge, with steep cliffs on both sides. Really cool!

But the coolest part of the hike was when you reached down to the Valley of Desolation. In this valley there is a lot of streams with both hot water and cold water, smoke rising from the ground and small water pools that are boiling. A very cool place!

In the Valley of Desolation.
Very cool colors in the river and smoke rising from the ground in several places.
A waterfall in the Valley of Desolation.
Crossing the river…
And crossing once more.
Another waterfall.
Very, very cool nature!

In the Valley of Desolation we followed a river for a while, and it is in this part it might be hard to find the path again. But if you look closely when you walk you find the path that leads to the Boiling Lake. We reached the Boiling Lake and it really is a huge boiling lake, like a massive pot! We ate lunch by the lake and headed back on the same path we came from.

Group photo by the Boiling Lake.
Heading back!

The hike to the Boiling Lake starts and ends by the Ti Tou Gorge so when we got back there we took a swim through the gorge, which was really cool! No photos from it though, will show the inside of the gorge in an upcoming YouTube video instead, for our Swedish speaking followers.

After the hike we visited another natural spa in Wotten Waven, this time Screws Spa. The structures and the pools of this spa was really cool and they played some music. But it was located next to the road and didn’t have the amazing views as Ti Chen had.

Screws sulphur Spa.

We went back to our hamocks and the day after we headed back to Roseau. We picked up our test results (negative) and took a drink at a bar, visited the supermarket to buy some food and bought some Dominica souvenirs before we headed back to Portsmouth and our boats.

Having a drink at a bar in Roseau.

SWEDISH: Vi har precis lagt upp Del Ett från vår Atlanten överfart, alla Youtube videos vi lägger upp försöker vi samla under länken HÄR.

 

 

Motor problems and a windy sail from SVG to Dominica

When we had taken our exit test in Bequia we did the last preparations to leave for Dominica. The sail would take more than 24hrs and the forecast promised quite strong winds. We left Bequia quite early in the morning. As it was a lot of wind we had quite little sail up but still manage to sail above 7 knots between the islands (in the lee of the islands we made less speed). We tried to sail as close hauled as was comfortable and thus followed the islands instead of sailing strait north (if you look at a map you can see that Dominica lays almost strait north of St Vincent. The reason for following the islands was that we heard that you can easily get pushed west by currents and by sailing as much east as you can you don’t have to tack, if the winds are coming a bit from the northeast.

Sailing along the coast of Dominica.

All in all, it was a good sail. Even though it was quite strong winds it felt very safe and controlled. It really gave us a good feeling for the Atlantic Crossing back to Europe. We arrived to Portsmouth at the northern tip of Dominica (we were not allowed to enter in Roseau due to Corona) just before lunchtime. When we were just outside Prince Ruperts Bay (were Portsmouths is ) we started the engine and heard some strange sounds and saw that there was white smoke coming out from the exhaust…

We had no idea what the issue was and didn’t dare to push the engine, so we took up the sails again and turned of the engine. We managed to anchor without turning on the engine (first time we ever done that) and prepared for some engine work during our quarantine days. The quarantine would be five days and then we would take another test, and we would be free to go ashore when we had received the result of the last test.

The following day we went ashore to take our first PCR-test and after that we started with the troubleshooting of the engine. We were really, really afraid that there would be something wrong inside the engine, and that we would have to order something to Dominica. The white smoke that came out from the exhaust gave us some clue that it could be water or diesel that hadn’t been burned.

After two days of troubleshooting we realized that the issue was the diesel injection pump. We removed and started taking it apart, and it didn’t take long until we found the issue. A screw to the injection timing advance system had gotten loose at some point and started getting worn down. Amazingly nothing else inside the injection pump had gotten damaged!

Trying to find the issue on the engine.
Taking the injection pump apart in hopes that we will find the issue.
The screw to the injection timing advance system that caused our problem.
Cleaning the injection pump.

Before we left Sweden we found another injection pump in the trash room back home, almost the same model as the one we have. We brought that injection pump with us, and could use the screw from that.

We took apart the pump completely, thoroughly cleaned the injection pump, reassemble it once more and put it back on the engine. And the main issue was solved! 🙂 It was not completely prefect though, we still had some follow-up issues with high rpm when running idle that started after mounting the pump back. After a couple of turns playing and trying different adjustments for the injection pump it finally behaved normal again. By this time we only had one more day in quarantine, so it was pretty good timing.

All in all, it was really good that the engine problem happened when it did. As we could solve it ourselves and didn’t have to order anything it was really good that we could work on this while we were in quarantine.

We took our final PCR test and got the results, which was negative and we were finally allowed to explore Dominica.

Our last days in Saint Vincent & the Grenadines

After a couple of weeks sailing in the Grenadines islands we returned to Bequia. We had some places we wanted to see before we left Saint Vincent & the Grenadines and we also had a lot of paperwork to prepare before we were gonna leave for Dominica. We did some smaller excursions around Bequia, but mostly we prepared for our sail to Dominica.

With Corona it is a lot more paperwork leaving and entering countries, but not impossible. We contacted an agent in Dominica, took an exit test in Bequia and got approval to do the entry quarantine in Dominica. We also bought some food and made sure we had entertainment downloaded for the days in quarantine.

Dominica research with Lady Ann and Sanuti.
Visiting the boat chandlery in Bequia.

We also had some time for fun stuff before we left, not only work. We played volleyball on the beach, had a bonfire evening and went to a wholeroasted pig party. At the bonfire evening we met Laura Dekker, she is the youngest person to solo-circumnavigate the world. Very cool to meet her! 🙂

Beach volleyball, followed up by a…
… bonfire!
Lunch with some nice company.
Also went on a whole-roasted-pig “party”, which was really delicious!

We stayed in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines for about five weeks, which was really nice! One thing this pandemic has done is to make it harder to travel between countries but in our case that has mostly been a good thing. If we would be able to move between the islands as you usually can do then we probably would have stressed through the islands so that we would be able to explore as much as possible. By staying longer in one place you get to now it better and also start to know some of the locals and you start to get rid of the tourist stamp.

Our courtesy flag was quite worn out by the time we were ready to leave SVG.

Thought we would list our favorite places in the Grenadines, which you shouldn’t miss if you sail there. So here goes our favorites:

  • Salt Whistle Bay, Mayreau
  • Tobago Cays
  • Chatham Bay, Union Island
  • Port Elizabeth Bay, Bequia

Not necessarily in that order, they all offer quite different things.

We really liked SVG and glad that we stayed there for so long, but we were also really excited about our next island, Dominica!

Waiting for test results at Young Island

After our Atlantic crossing we arrived to Young Island Cut on the southern tip of St Vincent. We arrived early afternoon and because of covid-19 we would need to take a PCR-test before we could do the check-in process. Before our crossing we contacted the authorities in Saint Vincent & the Grenadines with approximate dates of our arrival. When we were a couple of days from St Vincent we contacted them again and booked a time to take our PCR tests, which was the morning after our arrival. To make things easier for our arrival we took our temperature everyday during the crossing.

So, when we had anchored at our mooring buoy in the quarantine area we took a well deserved swim by the boat and drank some champagne. After that we launched our dinghy so we could take it ashore the following day to take the tests. We also got some fruit and vegetables delivered to us by the guy in charge of the mooring buoy, probably the most expensive fruit and vegetables one could ever buy… Still nice to have some fresh stuff again 🙂

Our quarantine view.

We went ashore to take our tests (with no sea-legs at all, must be a myth 😉 ) and had to wait for a while. That was not a big problem since there was Wi-Fi outside the test building. Felt nice to catch up with the world for a while. We also got confirmed that we wouldn’t need any further quarantine other than to wait for our test results, which would take around 72 hours.

Waking to the test area.
Anne-Mon moored in quarantine area.
Clear water in Young Island Cut.
Waiting to take our test results.

We spent three days on the boat, swimming, eating good food, cleaning the boat, practicing free-diving on the mooring buoy and just relaxing. We got our test results on a Saturday so we had to pay a small overtime fee to do the check-in.

And when we finally got our passports we took a walk around St Vincent, and had some dinner at a restaurant near Young Island Cut. The following day we went snorkeling around Young Island and took a hike up to Fort Duvernette, which was a really cool place. We ate picnic on the top with a nice view of Bequia.

A beach on St Vincent.
A hike up to Fort Duvernette, amazing water color.

After this small excursion we prepared for a sail down to Bequia.

 

Chill/prep days at Gran Canaria

(We are a bit behind with the blog post updates, but will try to get a couple of posts up the upcoming days so that we will be more up to date here. Right now we are in Bequia, Saint Vincent & the Grendadines after a good crossing here. But more of that soon!)

After we got everything we wanted done and bought at Lanzarote we had a window to continue to Gran Canaria. It was pretty unusual weather for this time. Two pretty big low pressures where coming in a couple of days after each other, with both of its centers around Madeira which made the winds coming from southwest/west instead of the usual north/northeast. We had an opportunity to head for Gran Canaria before the winds from the first low pressure reached the Canary Islands. It was a window with no wind unfortunaly so we went by engine all the way.

We stopped at Anfi del Mar at the south coast. Usually you won’t get a spot there as it is a private marina, but a boat was out sailing so we could use its spot for a couple of days. We spent the day resting after the night crossing, falling asleep at the beach, swimming and eating dinner.

Anfi del Mar
Amadores beach, very empty compared to how this beach usually is.
Pizza break!

One day we also took a bus up to the mountains and went on a walk.

We took the bus to San Bartolome de Tirajana and went on a walk from there.

It rained a lot on the last part of our walk, and it was a couple of hours until the bus left to the south coast. We didn’t have very good clothes for rain so we where really cold, but we went to a place for some hot drink and got to borrow some dry and warm clothes! 🙂

After four nights in Anfi del Mar the boat which place we borrowed was going to come back so we moved to Puerto de Mogan. A beautiful place, normally full of tourists but this year pretty empty.

Puerto de Mogan.

Then it was time to get back to work. This time the work consisted of finding out where we could take a covid-19 PCR test (so that we would be able to enter Cape Verde). We found a place in Arguineguin nearby. The other part of planning was deciding when we could start our sail to Cape Verde. We had to wait for the last low pressure system to die out as we didn’t want to sail against the wind.

We booked a time to take the test (have to leave 72 hours after the test is taken) when we knew when we would depart. The process of taking tests as well really adds an extra level to planning. We needed the test to enter Cape Verde, you could either choose to take a test in the Canary Islands before departure or to take a test when you arrive to Mindelo, but then you would need to quarantine until you got the test results.

Waiting to have our covid-19 tests taken.

We had some calm days here before the weather turned to our favour. We bought the last food we needed for the crossing, took our covid-19 tests and got the result (negative), prepared some food for the first days at sea, cleared out from Canary island, secured the boat for sea, checked the weather a lot of times and left the marina.

Lot of food bought for the upcoming crossings.

Before we started our sail we spent one night on anchor outside Puerto de Mogan and after breakfast the morning after we started our sail to Cape Verde.