Friday, April 13, 2007

Tour of Fort Shirley in the hot sun to cure a hangover

April 13, 2007 Friday
Prince Rupert Bay, Portsmouth, Dominica

Last night a swell began entering the bay from the WNW and we rolled all night long.  Not comfortable, do neither of us slept well.  But the main reason Bill felt so bad this morning is that he did not realize that he was drinking straight, very strong rum last evening. 

Another cruiser invited us over for sundowners.  Turned out that they own a Beneteau 461, the same model boat that we used to own.  Theirs is far, far nicer than ours was.  They served Ti Punch, which is a local drink in Guadeloupe.  It is really nothing but straight rum over ice.  And this rum is at least 150 proof!  It is made on Guadeloupe and has a distinctive sugar cane syrup taste.  Tastes good, but way too strong for me; and I drink Pusser’s rum neat.  As I said, Bill did not realize that it was really just a glass of straight strong rum; and he drank two glasses.  By the time we got back to the boat he was really feeling those two drinks.  And he was really, really feeling them this morning.  Been a very long time since he had a hangover because we really don’t drink that much or that often.

So to cure this little hangover, Bill decided that we needed a long walk in the hot sun.  I’m sure that is exactly what most people would want to do to cure their hangover.  Right?  So we asked Martin to give us a tour of Fort Shirley.  We could have done this on our own but we think it is a good idea to contribute to the local economy.  And if we had gone up there on our own we would have just looked at an old fort which is being restored, thanks to EU money.  Martin was worth his $40 for this tour.  He showed us lots of birds and trees and fruits, etc., that we would never even have noticed on our own.  He also showed us the native fish traps that they weave out of bamboo.  We have always wondered how those fish traps work.  It was a nice morning and the walk/sun/time cured Bill’s hangover.

When we returned to our boat (the guides pick you up and return you to your boats here so that you don’t need to use your dinghy), then Martin made me a little bird from two strips of palm frond that he had cut during our walk.  Cute little bird on a stick.  He said it will last for years if I put a few drops of oil on it in a few days. 

This afternoon the rolling was driving us crazy.  Bill suggested that we try moving to the other end of this huge bay.  We are now anchored off Cocunut Beach and it is ever so much more pleasant.  The swell is still coming into the bay but now it is coming in beneath our bow instead of on our beam – no more rolling.  Just a nice pleasant motion.

Time to grill pork tenderloin for dinner.  We plan to sail to Martinique early tomorrow morning.

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