Dominica…domingo…Sunday…. Dominica was visited on a Sunday by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493. He crossed from the Canary Islands in only twenty-one days and arrived in such good time and in such good condition that he named the whole next series of islands after saints in thanks for his good fortune.

Our good fortune gave us a clear day on Dominica with its exposed peaks and no rain for our exploration of Morne Diablotin National Park. It is a splendid tract of land covered in cloud forest, both appearing and smelling green due to recent rain. Trees, flowers, ferns – big and small, and the sounds of hummingbirds and parrots: the quintessential Caribbean was all around us.

Dr. Lennox Honychurch, from Dominica, was invited on board for lunch and told us his personal story of being a child and playing in the ruins of a fort from the late-1700s. He subsequently studied the area and shared the amazing story of its past and present and his role in its protection and transformation into a national park. Today, Fort Shirley is Dominica’s most important historic site!