Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dominica, EFCV - 2012

After we left Grenada, our next stop in the Caribbean was Dominica. Dominica is an extremely lush island with loads of rainfall and dense forests. The island is 90% volcanic, 10% limestone, so all of the beaches around the island are black sand. Since the island is so volcanic, there are hot springs releasing gas throughout the island. That is why locals say that when the hot springs stop, the island will be immediately evacuated because it means a volcanic eruption will occur. Robbie and I planned on going hiking and snorkeling, so that we could see as much of the island as possible. 

For the first part of our day, we went on a hike to Trafalgar Falls. Trafalgar is the site of two large falls, nicknamed the “Mama” and the “Papa”. They are between 180 and 200 feet tall and converge in rocky pools below. You can hike down to the pools, but people are discouraged from swimming right below the falls because the current is strong, but it is left up to the individual’s discretion. Being in such a lush environment was a fun change from the beach environments we had been in. Don’t get me wrong, I was lovin’ every single moment in that Caribbean Sea, it was just nice to be able to experience another aspect of these tropical islands.

After our hike was finished and the group gathered back on the bus, we headed for our snorkel site. We did a “shore launch”, which means that our group took off from the shore rather than a boat. The water was just as warm as in Barbados and there were so many new fish to see. Once everyone was situated in the water, our snorkel lead began taking us on an underwater tour. He showed us a 200 year old ship wreck, where the cannon was the only remaining part of the wooden ship! I had never really been guided through a snorkel tour, but I have to say I really enjoyed it. He was able to tell us some great information about our surroundings, information I would not have known otherwise.

The snorkel site is called Champagne and it was a little difficult to get to. There is no soft sand and we had to back into the water so that we wouldn’t fall. The area gets its name from the constant air bubbles escaping from rocks (it really looked like a glass of champagne). The escaping air is related to the hot springs I mentioned before and act as a warning sign for locals about volcanic activity. The bubbles act not only as a warning sign, but also as a natural water heater. Swimming through the water, there were parts of the site that reached 95 degrees! It was a sensation I have never felt before; it was as though we were snorkeling in a hot tub. During our underwater tour, our guide captured the air bubbles (and the water it was heating) in his snorkel tube. After he brought it to the surface, he would pour it in our hands and we were able to feel the heat of the volcanic gas.

An added bonus of the day: we were able to see a lot of the island on the drives between hiking and snorkeling. We went from the tropical rainforest down to the shores and back to the ship through the city center. We felt like we were able to experience the main highlights of Dominica. It was Robbie's favorite island and a close second for me!

Have you ever experienced anything like the Champagne snorkel site? Do you prefer black sand beaches to white sand beaches?
(Champagne snorkel photo credits: one two three)


  1. Champagne sounds like my kind of spot... snorkeling in a hot water. How did you get the underwater pictures?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Short Story Long All rights reserved
© Blog Milk
Powered by Blogger