As it turns out, I learned about a local yacht that sometimes does charters from Portsmouth. It is a 40.5 foot Hunter Legend sailboat named the “Sophia K.” (the picture below—taken by a drone—is from the “Sail with Sophia Charters” Facebook page). Yesterday, I was able to join a group for an outing up the northwestern coast of Dominica. It was fantastic!the Cabrits National Park—a place I have often visited but had never viewed from this vantage point, bobbing on the deep blue water of the Caribbean as the steady wind drove us northward. The photo below shows the two hills that jut out from the mainland on the left, with Purple Turtle Beach visible in the distance towards the right side. If you look close towards the left, between the twin hills you can see a couple of the restored fort buildings and their orange-tiled roofs amidst all the lush, green forests of the Cabrits National Park. If you look real hard towards the right, you can see the masts of some of the many yachts anchored off Purple Turtle Beach. a beautiful place that I've written about before. We anchored in the middle of the bay to let folks swim for awhile. I had brought my mask and snorkel with me, so I went exploring. I got to see a lot of incredible views, but most of the fish (parrot fish, angel fish, sargent majors, etc.) were ones I had already seen in other places (check out this story for pictures). That is not a complaint, because it was still fantastic to see all the underwater life!
However, the most memorable aspect of this snorkeling experience was the huge school of fish that surrounded me at one point. I'm not sure what kind they were because they were rather non-descript silver colored fish, the largest of which were probably6 to 8 inches long. It seemed as if there were thousands of them, swimming all around me, darting in unison from one direction to the other. I thought it would only last for a short while, but this “fish storm” lasted for several minutes. It was almost disorienting as they whizzed back and forth. None of them touched me, but they didn't seem scared of me and stayed quite close. Since I don't have an underwater camera, I have no proof of this phenomenon, but below is a diagonal picture I took from the boat showing the north side of Toucarie Bay (the Catholic church with its steeple can be seen towards the right).Fort New Salem in West Virginia for a year—who would have thought I'd meet a Fort New Salem resident in the Caribbean? It just goes to show what a small world we live in!