Today was our tourist day and the rolling of the night before was soon forgotten during the preparations for the jungle boat trip at 08:00AM. We somehow actually managed to get everything ready (including a big plastic bag for all the different shoes needed) by just after the arranged time and our Indian River Guide and PAYS boat boy, Faustin Alexis, came just at the right time. I'd deployed two fenders off the back of the boat and the transfer to the big wooden panga of both people and belongings happened without a hitch.
The first stop was the dock where everyone waited while I cleared into and out of Dominica. This procedure was relatively simple but I still had to use carbon sheets between the different copies of the forms and I am sure that not too many younger people have ever seen those, at least in Europe. Once back on the panga we motored to the entrance of the Indian River park area, Alexis went ashore to pay the park entrance fees and soon we were off. Soon after motoring under the bridge the use of outboards is disallowed and Alexis went forward, unshipped a pair of oars, and proceeded to row us slowly up the river while explaining in depth the flora and fauna around us, plus a history of the area and island. We did learn that regardless of what animal he hunted for cooking it ended up tasting like chicken, with the notable exception of the fish, which tasted like fish.
The pictures below show the nice diversity of life along the swampy shores of the river and after reaching the house at the furthest end of the river we walked along a path where Alexis once again explained the crops and plants that we passed. Fascinating was the fruit of the cocoa tree - the basis for chocolate. The fruit had a sweet-sour taste but tasted nothing at all like the end product.
At the end of the trail we had a short respite and drank fresh juice at a stand while waiting for our next tour guide, Max. He arrived in a minibus and soon we were off, heading towards the higher and moister levels of the jungle. Our destination was the Syndicate farms and the Syndicate Falls above them. Once again we were treated to detailed explanations of many plants and crops on the way, with a sprinkling of island geography and history mixed in.
Up in the farm we saw numerous crops close-up: banana, plantain, avocado, nutmeg, grapefruit, cocoa, coffee, tomatoes, watermelon and more. We got to sniff at lemon grass and got some cinnamon bark to take back and had a snack of succulent grapefruit before entering the forest path and walking up to the falls. I'm not sure what the fence in front of the falls is supposed to stop (the gate is open), but it detracted from the beauty of the falling water - nonetheless a pretty sight indeed!
We were back on the boat just after 14:00 and made ready for travel as soon as we could, since we wanted to arrive in the Saintes before dark and hopefully still get a mooring ball. We had a bit of trouble with the lines which we soon sorted out and then laid course on the westerly, upwind, side of Basse-de-Terre and sailed at speed with the wind on the beam doing over 8 knots most of the time; a wonderful and fast passage. The winds had settled considerable from the day before and the waves had done likewise.
There were but 2 mooring balls left at Le Bourg when we arrived and unfortunately we'd arrived just a bit late and couldn't pay for the mooring and simultaneously order breakfast delivery, but as we had food and drink aboard we stayed on the boat and had an early evening, not surprising considering all that we'd done that day.

Indian River entrance At this point engines are still allowed, but going upriver one may only row.
[15°34'14.87"N 61°27'21.74"W (facing NE)]
Indian River entrance
Portsmouth anchorage The anchorage seen from the mouth of the Indian River
[15°34'14.87"N 61°27'21.74"W (facing NW)]
Portsmouth anchorage
Rowing up the river Each Indian River Guide has his own wooden panga with oars to propel one up the river
[15°34'16.26"N 61°27'18.45"W (facing N)]
Rowing up the river
Brackish water river Luckily it was slow-moving, otherwise Alexis would have had trouble rowing us up the river.
[15°34'17.78"N 61°27'16.85"W (facing NE)]
Brackish water river
Lush vegetation on the shore Lush vegetation on the shore
[15°34'19.64"N 61°27'15.57"W (facing SE)]
Lush vegetation on the shore
Reconstruction This house was used for part of the filming of "Pirates of the Caribbean" and fell into disrepair and is now being reconstructed as an attraction.
[15°34'25"N 61°27'9.51"W (facing NW)]
Reconstruction "Pirates" house
Shallow river looking upstream Shallow river looking upstream
[15°34'25.06"N 61°27'9.62"W (facing NE)]
Shallow river looking upstream
Tree roots holding up the banks Were it not for the deep and intricate root systems of these trees the banks would have washed away long ago.
[15°34'19.78"N 61°27'12.16"W (facing NE)]
Tree roots holding up the banks
Alexis expounding on the ecosystem Alexis expounding on the ecosystem
[15°34'20.6"N 61°27'9.84"W (facing E)]
Alexis expounding on the ecosystem
Roots on the riverbank This was one of the few places where the undergrowth wasn't dense and impenetrable.
[15°34'17.81"N 61°27'5.55"W ]
Roots on the riverbank
Tree roots on the Indian River The root systems not only keep the banks in place but offer protection and shelter for all sorts of jungle denizens.
[15°34'13.7"N 61°27'1.98"W (facing N)]
Tree roots on the Indian River
Indian River on Dominica Indian River on Dominica
[15°34'14.32"N 61°27'1.48"W (facing NE)]
Indian River on Dominica
Indian River flora Indian River flora
[15°34'20.05"N 61°27'7.44"W ]
Indian River flora
Sophia the photographer Sophia getting her parents to pose on the little bridge.
[15°34'12.92"N 61°27'1.13"W ]
Sophia the photographer
Forest pineapple These are somewhat smaller than those we know from the supermarket, but are quite tasty and sweet.
[15°33'49.22"N 61°27'6.4"W ]
Forest pineapple
Cacao Tree Cacao Tree
[15°30'39.64"N 61°25'21.19"W ]
Cacao Tree
Silvia, Barbara, Wolfgang and Sophia Still fresh before we had to work hard at walking in the forest, the family posed for a group shot.
[15°34'12.92"N 61°27'1.13"W ]
Silvia, Barbara, Wolfgang and Sophia
Crops growing in a forest clearing Crops growing in a forest clearing
[15°33'47.53"N 61°27'6.29"W ]
Crops growing in a forest clearing
Planted crops of banana Planted crops of banana
[15°33'47.53"N 61°27'6.29"W ]
Planted crops of banana
Cocoa before it becomes chocolate Sophia getting a close-up shot of a Cocoa nut opened up by Alexis.
[15°33'49.22"N 61°27'6.4"W ]
Cocoa before it becomes chocolate
Alexis explaining how chocolate is made Alexis is explaining to us how the cocoa we just looked at is transformed into chocolate.
[15°33'49.22"N 61°27'6.4"W ]
Alexis explaining how chocolate is made
Sophia, Cocoa and Alexis Sophia, Cocoa and Alexis
(2013-04-03 10:11:36 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/4.5, 1/200s] ISO 100 Focus 1.50m)
Sophia, Cocoa and Alexis
Resting in the shade After the river tour and before the mountain / waterfall tour - resting up and drinking fresh juices.
(2013-04-03 10:25:00 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/3.5, 1/200s] ISO 100 Focus 7.94m)
Resting in the shade
Nutmeg fruit and nuts The fruit of the Nutmeg tree with a ripe nut showing through. The pulp used to be used to manufacture mace.
[15°30'39.64"N 61°25'21.19"W ]
Nutmeg fruit and nuts
Sophia catching a pineapple moment Sophia catching a pineapple moment
[15°30'39.64"N 61°25'21.19"W ]
Sophia catching a pineapple moment
Dominica pineapple Dominica pineapple
[15°30'39.64"N 61°25'21.19"W ]
Dominica pineapple
Syndicate Falls in Dominica Syndicate Falls in Dominica
[15°30'26.13"N 61°25'12.13"W ]
Syndicate Falls in Dominica
Syndicate Falls in Dominica Syndicate Falls in Dominica
[15°30'26.13"N 61°25'12.13"W ]
Syndicate Falls in Dominica
Max helping Siliva ford the stream On the way up to the Syndicate waterfalls we had to cross a couple of streams, a task made more difficult by the very slippery growths.
[15°30'26.13"N 61°25'12.13"W ]
Max helping Siliva ford the stream
Adventure tour to the Syndicate Falls Adventure tour to the Syndicate Falls
[15°30'26.13"N 61°25'12.13"W ]
Adventure tour to the Syndicate Falls
Final steps to the falls Final steps to the falls
[15°30'26.13"N 61°25'12.13"W ]
Final steps to the falls
Bottom of the Syndicate Falls Bottom of the Syndicate Falls
[15°30'26.13"N 61°25'12.13"W ]
Bottom of the Syndicate Falls
Syndicate Falls in Dominica Syndicate Falls in Dominica
[15°30'26.13"N 61°25'12.13"W ]
Syndicate Falls in Dominica
Syndicate Falls in Dominica Syndicate Falls in Dominica
[15°30'26.13"N 61°25'12.13"W ]
Syndicate Falls in Dominica
Syndicate Falls in Dominica Syndicate Falls in Dominica
[15°30'26.13"N 61°25'12.13"W ]
Syndicate Falls in Dominica
Syndicate Falls in Dominica Syndicate Falls in Dominica
[15°30'26.13"N 61°25'12.13"W ]
Syndicate Falls in Dominica
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