Tag Archives: Providence

Portsmouth, Dominica

Portsmouth, Dominica We are in Portsmouth on a mooring ball. Our local guide is Martin Carrierre on Providence. We have used him from our first visit and he gets better each time. He is now like family. We had sent him an email that we were coming and when we arrived we were greeted with fresh grapefruits and flowers. Martin, DominicaWe arrived with 2 other boats, Kardia and Aphrodite, and he quickly took the captains to customs to check in. Like all the guides in this bay, Martin manages check-ins, garbage and laundry (the most important to me as it is the cheapest I’ve found in the Caribbean!).
Richard, Dominica But the best are the trips that he leads. On Sunday he took us for a snorkeling trip to the south end of the bay. Although Dominica is reputed to be one of the best dive sites in the Caribbean, we find the snorkeling to be just average. We have heard that Scots Head at the south end of the island is excellent for diving. As we do not dive we cannot confirm that.
Group hike, DominicaToday he took us on a hike up the hill near the bay. We got bay leaves, cinnamon bark, lemon grass, tyme and, of course, coconuts. And we had great views back to the bay.

Macoucherie Rum Distillery

Water wheel at Macoucherie Sugar Cane Field, DominicaWe hired Martin Carriere of Providence to take us to Macoucherie Estates where they make rum near Salisbury on the west coast of Dominica. The rum distillery was established by a French family, whose name remains unknown. The distillery was acquired by H.D. Shillingford in 1942. They grow their own sugar cane and crush it using an old fashioned waterwheel, the same way that they having been doing it since the late nineteenth century. Macoucherie rums are the only rums on the island distilled from pure sugar cane juice, still carrying the features which characterized sugar cane crushing in the eighteen and nineteenth centuries.
Cane crushing at Macoucherie The sugar cane juice is put into 2000 Imp gallon tanks; it takes 3.5 days to crush enough sugar cane to fill one tank. Two pounds of yeast and yeast food is put in with the juice and allowed to ferment. The fermentation takes 4 to 5 days. Then the juice is moved to the distillation column. The heat is provided by a boiler in which they burn wood and coconut husks.
They make 60,000 litres per year of rum. The white rum is sold as Macoucherie White. Some is aged for 12 to 14 months in oak barrels and is sold as Macoucherie Red. Then some of the white rum is flavoured with spices: cinnamon, maze and Bois Bandé (considered an aphrodisiac by the islanders) and is called Macoucherie Bois Bandé.
Macoucherie rums of Dominica Rum that is made with the sugar cane juice is very distinctive from that made with molasses. The smell and the taste is very sweet. We have only found a few rums in the Caribbean made this way and we always buy a bottle…


Karen Sailing to Martinique Sailing to DominicaSnowaway left the hurricane hole of Marigot Bay on Saint Lucia and had two brisk day sails of 50 miles each, arriving in Portsmouth on Dominica on December 17. Dominica is among our favourite islands, relatively unspoiled, natural and undeveloped. There are no high-rise, all inclusive resorts here.

Red Rocks, Dominica We picked up a mooring from Martin, a guide we had met in April 2009. Martin said that the tourist season was starting slowly so he was available to take us for an inland tour of the island the following day and for a snorkelling outing two days later.

Bay Oil Distillery, DominicaOn our inland tour we visited a bay leaf oil distillery, where the vapours of the leaves are captured and concentrated to create a medicinal tonic. The next stop was the garden of Martin’s friend Stalin, in which we sampled cacoa pods and a citrus fruit called shaddock. Martin with cocao, DominicaWe toured a cold volcano, eminating gases and water which makes the water appear to boil even though it is cool to the touch. We drove around to the Atlantic side to see the Red Rocks (from the iron rich minerals) and had a local style lunch in Callibishie. On the way back to Portsmouth we visited the Hampstead Plantation where Martin taught us how to harvest coconuts. Over the day, Martin showed us much of this beautiful island, of which he is rightly very proud.

Fort Shirley, DominicaView point, Dominica We spent an afternoon visiting Fort Shirley in the Cabrits (goat) National Park. They claim that sailors left goats to feed on the island while they were fighting/patrolling the Caribbean. Both the French and the English had forts here; there is a grest view from the top of the hill toward Guadeloupe.

December 22 we will leave Dominica en route to Antigua, where we will spend Christmas.