While I didn't get sea sick, I certainly got queasy as the lumbering ferry boat rocked and rolled with the sea swells. I was very grateful that our four hour journey was nearing an end when the southeastern tip of Dominica came into view. The stunning green mountains of my new home made quite the first impression. Plus, there was that unusual peak seemingly just off the coast of the bottom corner of the island.
Later, I learned the peak was called Scotts Head, and that it is actually attached to the island by a narrow isthmus. It is quite the geological oddity, as it separates the crashing surf of the Atlantic Ocean from the docile waters of the Caribbean Sea. During Christmas break, I was able to visit this area for the first time and climbed to the top of the peak (see my previous blog story). It is a fascinating spot!
The view from the porch. The boy on the right is one of my students.It was a beautiful day, and I loved simply gazing from this new perspective at the turquoise shallow waters surrounded by the darker indigo blue of the deeper areas. Dozens of sailboats made their way around this corner of the island over the course of the day. Judging by the angle of their masts, some of them were really tilted over as they rode the strong wind. Tourists with a snorkeling excursion group from the big cruise ship docked at the capital fanned out across the water with their neon yellow or neon orange air vests. We even watched fishermen in a small boat lay out a net in the bay and then pull their catch back into their boat.
Look close and you can see three sailboats plus a motorboat just north of Scotts Head.I also enjoyed watching one of my favorite birds down here—the frigate bird. Its dark black color, sharply angled wings, and long pitchfork tail make it quite easy to recognize (to put it into WWII terminology, I like to think of them as a combination of the F-4 Corsair wings and the P-38 Lightning tail). They would slowly glide across the sky, slightly twitching their wings or tails to react to the wind changes. I also watched them riding thermals (rising columns of air), as they tightly circled in a vertical corkscrew motion to gain altitude. In addition, a few pelicans were also part of this bird parade, including a “squadron” of four of them, seemingly flying in formation as they passed in front of us.
This panorama shot provides a different view (although it makes Scotts Head seem more distant), including a glimpse of the garden area below the porch.Besides the socialization, music, food, and drink, we also spent some time swimming in the sea next to Scotts Head. The water was crystal clear! It is pretty nice to be able to go swimming in the sea during the month of February when it is so cold back home. We were right in the inside corner of Scotts Head that was visible from the back porch, because it has a sandy bottom that is easier on your feet.
I realized how well things have gone for me here in Dominica. Not only had my vantage point on Scotts Head changed, but my viewpoint on “home” has been modified. West Virginia will always be home, but Dominica has won a special place in my heart as my current home. It was a great ending to a memorable day.