6 December 2004

We recently took our annual dive vacation. Whenever we do this we face a dilemma - do we go to Saba which we love so much, or do we try something new? Our answer to this was to go to Saba and somewhere new, which led to a longer vacation that made up for the long trip down from the frozen North East. Our new place was Dominica.

We picked Dominica because it's a less developed island which avoid the casinos and gold courses that we hate so much. And indeed Dominica is nicely undeveloped. We stayed at the Fort Young hotel, which was a little pretentious but generally rather pleasant.

The diving was the main point, and we did a couple of days of diving. The diving was along a wall and was pretty nice. There were a lot more sea urchins than we saw elsewhere, so I was particularly glad that my buoyancy control has improved a lot. The dive operation (organized with the hotel) was a good outfit, although every other dive operation reminds how much I like the special qualities of Saba Deep.

The other big attraction on the island was hiking. We spent one day doing a couple of simple hikes that we could easily do on our own. For the other day we went with a guide out to boiling lake - literally a lake that boils due to underlying volcanic activity. It was a moderately hard hike, and had a great contrast of jungle and volcanic features.

All in all Dominica was fun, but we don't have the same feeling that we have with Saba. Partly this is due to familiarity with our regular hotel and dive center. Partly it's just that Saba's small size helps give it a peaceful quality that's very hard to match. We were glad we visited Dominica, but we were at our happiest when we on Saba - it almost felt like home.