Sunday, June 18, 2017

The View From Fort Shirley - Dominica

I think they were expecting someone with a bigger boat!
Surely we plan to visit Fort Shirley... (sorry) But upon learning that we could purchase the needed National Parks Pass for our excursion to the Indian River at the Fort... we figured "why not kill two birds?"...  We dinghied the short distance from our ball to the park's dinghy dock.

Watching to see if the stern anchor was working
It was kind of a windy and rainy day, which made the dock on the east side of the cruise ship dock that is reserved for us small fry a bit bouncy.  Maybe it would have been better to go on a less stormy day, but we needed that pass for tomorrow morning!

On our way up the trail!
Since there were no cruise ships in port, the park was somewhat shuttered.  We had to wander around to find our way in from the dock.  We eventually found our way to the ticket counter, which is conveniently located at the snack bar (noted), bought our weekly pass (two for one) and headed for the trail with plans to return to check out what the Bar had to offer.

Enjoy our walk in pictures!

Getting the layout

This tells the history of this fort in chronological order.
The Fort dates back to the 1700s when it was built by the British.  The French took over and continued the fortification which was the site of more than one important battle in the history of these Caribbean islands.  You can read about it here.

Several of the buildings have been more recently reconstructed since the fort fell to ruin after being abandoned in 1854.

The conservation efforts are impressive and the site is now used as a venue to conduct private functions as well as educational ones.  Today, however there was nobody around to conduct tours, so we were left to just wander... which is good too.

It's like being somewhere else... Wait... We're ALWAYS somewhere else!!!

The climb to the hilltop is strenuous work, but the view is always worth it!

Cannons aimed at Prince Rupert Bay... where our boat is moored!

Musket and cannon balls galore have been found on this site.

Sorry... can't decide, so I pick them ALL!

Dos Libras is down there... That's us to the left of the big boat's bow!

See the water well pump beneath the tree?

Of course we tried it, but we couldn't feel it draw...
Back down on the park below the fort... I had to get a closer look at THAT TREE!

We followed a car back out through the narrow gate.
Just as we were leaving the fort grounds, it began to rain.
Little birds took shelter with us.
We took shelter in the restaurant/bar outside the fort walls.  Our objective for the day - get those park passes - had been achieved, so the rest of the day was ours to enjoy.  So what if it rains!  We'll just sit right here and watch it...

We began to get a little nervous when the water came down in sheets!  For a while, we could no longer see the bay.  But we had food available and a nice rum punch...

It has to let up eventually, right?  Huge raindrops pounded the earth!

I don't know how long we sat there watching the rain come down.  The wind whipped up with it and we were glad to be on a secure mooring, hoping that Jezabelle wasn't too frightened in our absence.

We took a chance to dash for the dinghy when the rain slowed momentarily.  Always the lucky ones, we ran down to the dock, hopped in, untied the painter and I took the helm while Bruce bailed water....

Dinghy STILL full of water!
Lots of Water!  He was still bailing when we arrived back at the boat!  We laughed, all wet but a healthy glow of adventure shining from our eyes!  We made it just before the rain started to fall hard again!  It fell for the rest of the afternoon, but we were safe and dry down below.  The Bay was flat with absolutely no swell to cause us even a bit of discomfort. With newly acquired park passes in hand, the adventure in Dominica continues tomorrow with our adventure on the Indian River!

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