S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Old News

I had forgotten about this, an article about Jill that appeared in the Harvard newspaper. Nice picture of Jill, eh?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Lazy Days

26 June 2006
The Lagoon, St. George's Harbor
N 12 degrees 02.650 minutes
W 061 degrees 44.838 minutes

We left Carriacou on June 21 and had our best sail in a long time, topping seven knots at first (thanks to a helpful current). The wind stayed on or behind our beam for most of the trip, and Delilah was well-balanced with merely a double-reefed main and double-reefed genoa. We left Carriacou fairly early and found ourselves the first new boats to arrive in St. George's that afternoon. That gave us an advantage in finding a spot in this very tight anchorage, which is always full of boats.

We've spent the last few days in a mostly relaxed state. Of course, there were chores to which we had to attend (five loads of laundry, refilling the water tank, buying and installing new blades for the wind generator, buying and installing a new light for the v-berth, etc.). But, for the most part, we've chilled. That's what comes from being (for the most part) out of the path of possible hurricanes and only 70 or so miles from Trinidad, our southernmost destination.

Yesterday, we took Digby to a beach that is just around the corner from the lagoon (too murky to swim) where we are anchored. That's about all we did yesterday. Last night we got together with Amanzi and Crossroads and for homemade pizza. I've been enjoying the free wifi (provided by Island Water World with the request that users make a small donation to ongoing Hurricane Ivan relief efforts) to download NPR podcasts. We are current with news for the first time in months.

Jill has been enjoying the well-stocked grocery stores, and got up early Saturday to find the best selection of produce at the weekly market in St. George's. Mangoes, papaya, and bananas are all locally grown and relatively cheap, but the main crop grown in Grenada "the Spice Island" is nutmeg. Our spice rack continues to expand.

Another crop that is important to both Grenada and Jill is the cocoa bean. We plan to visit a chocolate factory this afternoon, to take advantage of free tastings, and to purchase some of the product. After all, it behooves us to support the local economy.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Today, 22 June 2006, is our 4th anniversary! Hooray for us!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Hanging out in the Caribbean

Tuesday, June 20
Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou

Another tropical wave came through yesterday. Because this one was fairly fast-moving, and because our weather guy does not transmit on Sundays unless a hurricane threatens, we did not have a lot of time to anticipate it. We are anchored in the same spot where we rode out the previous wave, so we did not have much to do to prepare for the heavy rain and higher winds.

I did figure out that our frail bimini, when partially collapsed, would make a good catchment for rainwater. The previous owners had left a helpful spigot in the middle of the fabric, indicating that they had done the same. We hate our existing bimini and rarely have it open when rain starts, so our attempts so far to capture rainwater have been pretty feeble. Now that it is rainy season, we might as well take advantage of what we can get for free, regardless of the "dust from Africa" that some cruisers complain falls with the rain. On Carriacou, nearly every house and business we have seen boasts its own cistern--or two--with a system for funneling rainwater off the tin roof. What we are paying 30 cents a gallon for and lugging from the dock five gallons at a time is probably the stuff we could be getting for free.

All we have to do is strengthen the existing frame to withstand the higher winds that often come with the rain, and then, using the old bimini as a pattern, sew a new one with the fabric left over from the new sail covers. When I say "we" I mean Dean, using Kim's sewing machine. Kim does not own one of those super-fancy, heavy duty machines that they sell to sailors for a thousand dollars, but she has a standard machine from the fifties, so it is indistructable and can handle canvas.

But we won't be working on that this afternoon. Today Dean and I will be, once again, scrubbing the inch-deep forest of barnacles and grass and moss off the bottom of our boat. Dean has borrowed, for free, a tank from one of the dive shops, so the job will be a lot easier than previous attempts, which we've done by holding our breath and diving for a few seconds at a time.

Last year we had the boat hauled and painted, but it seems that I did not drive home to the yard that did the work that we would be taking the boat so far south, where the water is warm enough for whole forests to spring up on the bottom of an unprotected boat overnight. It seems that New England's water is cold enough to discourage even barnacles, but not here! The one thin coat of antifouling bottom paint the yard rolled on is no match for them, and it has pretty much been overtaken ever since Delilah spent time in the foul murk of Luperon. We are just hoping that we can keep it down for the next few weeks, until we have Delilah hauled and paint her bottom ourselves. (Okay, stop smirking, I know I wrote "paint her bottom." Get your mind out of the gutter and read on.) Rumor has it that, in Trinidad, you can buy paint so effective, meaning bad for the environment, that they won't even sell it in the States. Ironically, this is the stuff they put on the bottoms of vessels belonging to the U.S. Navy. I'm tempted, but the environmentalist in me won't let me go through with it.

The other big plan for today is to watch some world cup soccer--er, football. There are two big games playing simultaneously this afternoon, and one of the local bars will have them both on, along with free pizza for the people in the bar. You would think that we are only tempted by the free food, but Dean and I (mostly Dean) have watched several games this past week, including the very exciting match between the U.S. and Italy.

What amuses me the most are the unusual places we have found to watch the games. The U.S. match we watched outside, on a dirt driveway under a thatched carport owned by a local dive shop. We just plopped ourselves down next to the owner of the dive shop. The next day, which was rainy, we watched a game from inside the dive shop...while sending our email.

Dean has also spent time on the couch in some stranger's living room. Granted, the room is part of a guest house, but when Dean wanted a hamburger, the owner just went into her kitchen, which was next to the couch, and fried one up for him. Dean and David have also become good enough friends with the owner of one restaurant that, even though the restaurant is closed on Mondays, the owner has twice turned on the TV for them, sold them a few beers, and left them alone in the place for the afternoon.

So we like it here in the rainy season, which is still less rainy than any season in Boston, I think. Carriacou is small and friendly and quiet. I am enjoying being in one place long enough to become known to the locals. Even the boat vendors here are low key, and there are only two. One sells Chilean wine (my favorite cheap wine from days in Greensboro, good ole Concha Y Toro) for better prices than one would get onshore. The other sells oysters he harvests from the nearby mangrove swamp. I tried them...once.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Walk to the Beach

These were taken during a walk to a beautiful beach in St. Anne.

Another Boring Sunset

Rather boring, isn't it?

Indian River Tour

This was in Dominica, where we took a boat tour up the Indian River. David would have died seeing all the birds.

Here, Fishy Fishy

Saturday, June 17
Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou

We celebrated Flag Day, also known as Dean's birthday, by having dinner ashore at the Turtle Dove restaurant/Internet cafe/dive shop. The restaurant has a new owner, a Frenchman who came to visit his friend who runs the dive shop. The visitor stayed three months, found a way to buy the Turtle Dove, and now has a reason to stay indefinitely.

The dinner was quite good, but it pales in comparison to the curry dinners that Kim has concocted for nearly nightly potlucks. Kim, like most good cooks but not like me, doesn't need a recipe to make something new and terrific. With her brains and my spice rack, we have been enjoying curried chickpeas, coconut ginger rice, and a version of jaipur eggplant that I would eat every night for a month if allowed. Even the persistent garlic breath is authentic!

Carriacou is a fairly small island, and there is not much going on in the bay where we are staying (nor anywhere else on the island) beyond a few restaurants and dive shops. A lot of the businesses onshore in Tyrrel Bay are run by expats from Germany, France, and England, though we are told that relations between the islanders and newcomers are good. (Fun fact: Carriacou has 7,000 residents, but 20,000 citizens live in the U.S. and something like 30,000 live in England. Many seem to move back to Carriacou and build big houses on retirement.) We are outside the tourist season now, and many businesses ashore have shorter hours or are closed altogether, and this suits us fine. It has been fun to stay out in the harbor and swim, snorkel, cook, watch DVDs, read, and catch up on boat chores. We are in no rush to move on, so we will wait for Amanzi, which has been pulled out of the water for a new coat of bottom paint, before we head to the main island of Grenada. We need to haul our boat and paint it as well, but Delilah needs a lot more work than Amanzi, so we will go to a bigger yard in Grenada or Trinidad.

With some other cruisers we hired a minibus for a tour of the island and a chance to see the Carriacou fishing boats, which are built by hand, without any written plans, on the beach on the eastern side of the island. We saw two in the early stages of completion, and I was amazed to see that the boats are almost as long as Delilah and certainly as wide. For me it raised all sorts of questions about the pucans (which we all know are pronounced poo-con, right, Mom?) built by my great-grandfather at the end of the quay in Galway. Did he have plans? Were all his boats the same? How did he float the boats when he was done?

Today, after our Internet marathon, Dean will go diving with friends on Amanzi and Crossroads. The diving here is pretty good, and the weather has been calm since the tropical wave blew through. Dean has all of his equipment, plus one of David's extra tanks, so he is able to dive for the cost of an air fill ($6 US). I don't have equipment, and since the snorkeling has been good, I'm content to stay at the surface for now. The dive shops here have been kind enough to tell us about some good sites, in spite of the fact that their real money is in taking people to those very sites for a fee, not the measly few bucks they get for filling air tanks.

P and P

Tuesday, June 13
Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou, Grenada
N 12 degrees, 27.32 minutes
W 061 degrees, 29.26 minutes

We left Bequia early Friday morning, expecting that day to be our last good day for travel until the middle of this week. We had a beautiful sail through the Grenadines to this island just twenty miles north of Grenada, and now we are officially out of the hurricane zone. Now that we are allegedly safe, however, I am hearing about Tropical Storm Albert, which is nowhere near us, but might be a threat to Cape Cod later this week.

Having reached this milestone, Dean plugged in the coordinates for Boston, and it turns out that we are merely 1,857 nautical miles from home. If we were to leave here and head 001 degrees magnetic, sailing straight through at five knots, and assuming we did not run into any islands along the way, it would take us 371 hours, just over 15 days, to reach home. I guess we have taken a lot of detours to get down here.

The weather for this past weekend was predicted to deterioriate, with building winds and increasing squall activity before the tropical wave that hit early this morning. And though in the end it remained calm and sunny until today, Kim on Amanzi was still interested in watching movies, as planned, on Saturday. So while Dean went to an establishment onshore to try to build his interest in world cup soccer, I broke out "Pride and Prejudice," the six-hour BBC version, not the trashy, flashy new version that was in cinemas this fall. It's the only movie I thought to bring on this long trip. So far, it's enough.

Kim and I were merely four hours into the epic when Dean and David returned for dinner. Kim took the discs home that night, ostensibly to finish watching the movie, but when I spoke to her the next morning, I found out she had started again, from the beginning, and had stayed up until nearly three a.m. watching the whole thing through. But she still wanted to pick up where we left off and watch the last two hours again with me. I'd say I've made another convert!

Kim and David do have a larger movie collection, and they trade with other boats, all of whom seem better stocked than we are, so when the tropical wave did hit us, keeping us boat-bound in thirty-knot winds and plenty of rain, Dean and I had several loaner videos to watch. I think we have seen about six movies since Saturday, and though some were of dubious entertainment value, we have pretty low standards at this point.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Bequia News

Thursday, June 8
Admiralty Bay, Bequia, The Grenadines

The impending hurricane season has begun to put a dent
in our ability to explore the windward islands as
thoroughly as we would like to. We keep promising
ourselves that "on the way back" we will spend more
time at our favorite places. The trouble is that
nearly every place we have been is a place that one
or both of us feels we need to return to for at least
twice as long. The islands of the Grenadines are yet
another one of those locations. The wind has continued
to howl for the past few days, giving us a chance to
relax in Bequia, but we will have to bypass the rest
of the islands and head straight for Grenada tomorrow
(sorry Mick Jagger, we won't be able to pop in for a
visit on Mustique).

Admiralty Bay is just touristy enough to have a few
of the things we love: wireless Internet access; a
sail loft for minor genoa repairs (the genoa in this
case is a big jib, not a salami); a few cheap
restaurants along the waterfront; and access to fuel
and water. But it is still small enough that you
don't feel like you have stepped into an amusement

Yesterday we took a long walk to the other side of
the island to visit a whaling museum we had heard
was there. The island of Bequia allows whaling.
The islanders are allowed to take up to four whales
a year, though the whales are uncommon enough now
that they feel lucky to take one, as they did this
year. The museum, on first blush, was not quite what
we expected. Signs led us to an old bar and grill
that had closed down, but in the covered patio area
there was an ancient, skeletal man asleep in a
lounge chair next to a wall of artifacts from the
days of whaling. This man was the nephew of "the
greatest whaler of all time," a native of Bequia.
He explained that, since his uncles death, most of
the museum's pieces had been sold off, and that he
was working to buy them back.

We got the feeling that this man was ready to spend
the day with us, telling stories about his own
experience hunting whales, and talking about the
handful of harpoons, guns, and whale bones that
were still in the collection. However, we were
ready to go after about twenty minutes. So we
walked back out to the road and flagged down one
of the omnipresent minivans that tour these
Caribbean islands as private buses, finding
creative ways to fit yet another passenger in the
back, and charging extremely reasonable rates for
the ride. In the Dominican Republic these vans
were called guaguas. In the French islands they
were TCs, or Taxis Communale. I don't know what
they were called here, but they were easily
distinguished by the creative paint jobs on the
outside. Etiquette demands that, when you get on,
you must wish the whole vanful of passengers good
day, and they will respond in kind.

The ride back to town cost four of us a total of
EC$4.50. That's under $2 American. Needless to say,
we are very pleased with the buying power of the
American dollar versus the Eastern Caribbean dollar,
after watching our money dwindle pathetically
against the Euro in the French islands.

We were especially pleased by the exchange rate when
we brought our genoa (again, the sail) to a local
sail loft for some restitching of the sunbrella
covering. The repair was fairly minor, as the
covering is not a critical part of the sail, but
it had to be done to prevent further wear on the
sail. I would guess that this minor work would
cost about a hundred or so dollars in the U.S.,
plus endless weeks of begging for the work to be
completed and the sail returned. Here we dropped
the sail off at a reputable loft in the morning
and picked it up in the afternoon. The cost was
about $35 American.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Note the sharp edge of the clouds. This one missed us.

Beach Scene

Jill hiked up to the top of the hill to take this picture. Note our dinghy on the beach.


Jill's friends, the porpoises, who stayed with us for quite a while.


These are the waterfalls we hiked to in Guadaloupe. There is a 350 foot drop, under which we stood. Ice-cold water.

Push Me, Pull You

Tuesday, June 6
Admiralty Bay
N 13 degrees, 00.45 minutes
W 061 degrees,14.749 minutes

We left Martinique on Saturday morning and enjoyed a great, thirty mile sail--a beam reach, no less--to Marigot Bay, St. Lucia. Marigot is a small bay almost completely surrounded by land, and I was excited to learn that Dr. Doolittle had been filmed there. Then I realized they meant the remake of Dr. Doolittle, not the original. What a disappointment.

Construction is going on full tilt along the shores of the bay, and sometime in the next year this sleepy little anchorage will become a major resort with all sorts of amenities. In the meantime, enterprising locals have installed mooring balls and were, to put it mildly, encouraging us to use them. But we found one last space to anchor, and as we pulled up to the stern of the boat behind which we would drop the hook, I realized we knew them. Steve and Gloria on s/v I'Lean had pulled into the dock in Bimini, our first foreign landfall, just a few minutes before us, and Steve warned us away from a shallow spot. We haven't seen them since Nassau, and I had thought they had gone no further than Georgetown. Our little world of cruisers is closing in as we get south. And though many of the boats around us have flags from lots of different countries, we still seem to be meeting up and spending time with other North Americans.

We stayed only one night in Marigot Bay before heading down to the town of Soufriere, right below the Pitons and within St. Lucia's park boundaries, on Sunday. In the park you are required to tie up to a mooring ball, but fees go straight toward the management of the park, so we were glad to do so. Unfortunately, the mooring areas in Soufriere were fairly rolly, so we got very little sleep before finally giving up at 4 am and getting the boat ready for a dawn departure.

This is where the excitement starts. The Windwarde Islands are known for their steady trade winds, which blow from the east or ESE at 15 to 20 knots. In between the steep islands the wind whips through, and the waves pile up. Chris Parker, our weather guru, had been off the air for a few days, so we did not have an updated weather report, but we were eager to get further south before Wednesday, when the next tropical wave was predicted to blow through. Because St. Vincent, the next island in line, has a reputation for lots of crimes (dinghy thefts and break-ins) against boaters, we decided to sail on by it, which meant we would need to sail 54 miles to get to Bequia. Two other boats had the same idea, so we all left at the same time. As usual, those boats were dots on the horizon by the time we got our sails up.

By the time Chris Parker came on the ham radio at 7 am to tell us that the both the wind and waves in our area would be pretty high, we had already put a second reef in the main. If we had still been safely at anchor, we might have chosen to wait a day, but since we were already two hours into our long day, and had seen the worst of it, we decided to keep going.

But that's never the way it goes. Sometimes it pays to be the last boat in line. Just after I took the helm from Dean, I watched a big, black cloud, full of rain, wash over the boats in front of us. One heeled waaaay over. The other, a ketch, took in a sail or two. We did likewise and rolled up the jib, leaving just our double-reefed main.

The wind whipped up to 35 knots, the rain came, and the sea spray from the already-steep waves doused both us and Delilah. The squall only lasted a couple of minutes, but we were soaked through.

We had a two-hour break from wind and waves in time for lunch, as we sailed in the lee of St. Vincent. But as we rounded the southern end, it all picked up again. I made the mistake of thinking we were on the home stretch, as the final crossing between St. Vincent in Bequia is only ten miles. We had decided to motorsail the last few hours in order to make Admiralty Bay by nightfall. But the motor had had enough. We shut it down before it could shut itself down. We knew the problem was likely a clogged fuel filter--not a big problem, but not something we could fix until we were in calmer conditions. We had to get to a harbor and anchor under sail.

We still had the main up with a double reef in it, and while Dean was forward preparing to raise the staysail, I took a look at our track on the GPS. Our compass said we were pointing toward 150 degrees, and Bequia glimmered on the horizon at 180 degrees, but our GPS reported that we were drifting toward 270 degrees--due west--at about a knot. Current! It was pushing us west faster than the wind could push us south. I looked back at St. Vincent, wondering if we would have to turn around.

Dean got the staysail up, and we started making way again. We radioed Amanzi, who were waiting for us in the anchorage, to let them know we would be coming in under sail and to find out what the anchorage was like. Fortunately for us, it was wide open. Aside from the white caps in the harbor, sailing in would be a piece of cake.

The thing about cruising is that nobody has a job or a TV or a commute or any other daily event to prevent us from sitting out in the cockpit as the sun goes down and critiquing the newcomers as they attempt to anchor. Yesterday we were the main event. Not only were half a dozen cruisers set up with their sundowners in the cockpit, a few intrepid "helpers" came out in their dinghies to meet Delilah, making a little flotilla as we came in.

But the wind was with us for a change, giving us a beautiful beam reach right in the harbor, and dying just a hundred yards short of where we planned to drop the hook. Dean let the anchor go as I luffed the main and rolled up our jib. Just like the pros do it.

Friday, June 02, 2006


Thursday, June 1
St. Anne, Martinique
N 14 degrees, 26.32 minutes
W 060 degrees, 53.09 minutes

This will make you laugh: after an exhausting sail
south yesterday down the coast of Martinique (mostly
into the wind, of course), today Dean and I decided
to take a day off and just relax. You like that?
Though our day-to-day life does not have the same
kind of heavy stress as chipping ice off the bedsheets,
45-minute commutes out of Boston, or arriving at work
on Monday morning to find a thousand new messages in
Larry Summers's public email account, we do tend to
fill much of our time in port with finding food, water,
fuel, a bank, an internet cafe, laundry, etc., or
puzzling over our electricity consumption and subsequent
battery issues.

Today we ran no errands. We walked around the beautiful
little town of St. Anne, which is on the south coast of
Martinique and is touristy, but not too touristy. It
took about ten minutes to tour both streets, after
which we followed a hiking trail along the edge of the
ocean for an hour or so, passing one beautiful, empty
cove after another. When we were ready to stop, we
picked an empty beach, swam a little, sat on our
towels, and read a recent People magazine that some
friends were given by their guests.

From this we know several important things: even though
we have never watched a single episode of "American Idol,"
we are still sick of it, and even though I had never
heard of Lindsey Lohan before today, I am sick of her
too. She was just about on every page of the magazine.
Who is she? What does she do? Nothing, as far as I can
tell. Why do we care?

Speaking of batteries, we reached a new level of budget
cruiser authenticity this week, as we were walking by
the used boat battery receptacle at a fancy marina
(we weren't staying in the marina, we just used their
dock for our dinghy), and Dean started to salivate
over the used batteries. "You know," he said, "those
fancy boats replace their batteries after a year. I
bet some of these are still good." So we contemplated
returning a little later with a battery tester.
Laziness won out over cheapness, however, and we left
the used batteries alone.

Martinique is fabulous, another wonderful French
island with beautiful, steep, lush mountains, good
snorkeling, and clear, warm water. I enjoy butchering
the language. Those of you who would like to visit but
require adequate shoreside facilities should look into
meeting us in Martinique on the return trip. This area
along the south coast has a number of resorts and hotels
within spitting distance of our anchorage. The dollar,
however, does not get you very far against the euro, and
I keep having to remind myself to add thirty percent to
any prices I see.


(Out of order!)

Wednesday, May 24
Roseau, Dominica, West Indies
N 15 degrees, 17.272 minutes
W 061 degrees, 22.640 minutes

Anybody who's ever tried to take an island
tour outside the walls of most cozy Caribbean
resorts knows that the opulence ends at the
hotel gates, and grinding poverty begins.
This is much more true in some islands than
others. Like most cruisers, Dean and I spend
our time outside both worlds, not really
welcome on resort property unless we have
money to spend, yet still considered wealthy
American tourists by local standards. In
islands and in towns where the economy is
developing and where our standard of living
on a 37-foot sailboat is decidedly more
upscale than that of the residents, we
become very aware of what we are flaunting
out in the bay.

Dominica is a beautiful, mountainous island
made up mostly of farmers. The volcanic soil
is so rich and the land receives so much
rainfall that crops grow with relatively
little effort. Fifty percent of the economy
comes from produce. And another big chunk
comes from tourism, an industry that is still
experiencing some growing pains.

We had received plenty of warnings before we
arrived in Dominica regarding the "boat boys,"
men who paddle out on surfboards or in homemade
boats to offer their services to visiting
cruisers. This is a major industry in Portsmouth,
a town along the northwest coast, and the
government has taken some positive steps to
legitimize and improve the careers of most of
the boat boys, turning them into licensed tour
guides for the area who are professional,
welcoming, and friendly, and who know how to
take no for an answer if you don't choose to
take advantage of their services. Our book on
Dominica listed a number of reliable guides,
and we called one to take us on a local tour.
For $15 each, Martin rowed five of us up the
Indian River (no motors allowed to protect the
environment) on a birdwatching expedition.
Martin has been trained as a guide, and he
knows all the flora and fauna in the area,
in addition to the country's history,
geography, vulcanology, and the history and
culture of the native Carib Indians. He talked
nonstop for two hours, and Dean wrote down the
names of a dozen new birds with which he can
taunt his brother. Martin was a big proponent
of eco-tourism in Dominica, and I have heard
that the hiking opportunities are endless and
the trails are very well maintained.

Unfortunately, not everyone in town is like
Martin, so when we made our way to the dock,
bringing some clothes to the laundromat, we
found ourselves fending off men who were not
so professional. One man, Danny, offered us a
laundry service, but wanted about $25 US for
two small loads. When I told him I'd already
found myself a laundromat, he gave me a hard
time, explaining that his family needed to eat,
as if, by doing my own laundry, I was cheating
him out of his living. I would not relent on
the laundry, but I agreed to buy some fruit
from him later.

Danny left us alone after that, but another guy
we'll call Fred, who seemed like he'd been to a
few too many parties, followed us all the way to
the laundromat, trying to carry my bag, showing
me how we could get Chinese food from the Chinese
restaurant we'd passed, or bread from the bakery
we'd passed. I guess Fred thought he was being a
really great "guide," because he showed up with
impeccible timing as we were leaving the
laundromat, declaring he'd like a cold beer.

When we demurred, Fred began wheedling, claiming
he'd spent the day with us and that it would be
"a courtesy" for us to buy him a beer. Or at least
a Coke. We kept saying no, and I made it pretty
clear that I felt we owed him nothing for his
tour of the obvious. Then he made it clear that
he felt that, as Americans, we owed him a beer,
and that would be the American Way. When that
didn't work he started to get angry. Calling us
a few choice names, Fred put a kind of hex on us,
declaring that from here on out, all our expenses
would double, and we'd have a bad time. Then he
left us.

In the short term, Fred was right. I didn't even
try to haggle with Danny over the fruit he brought
me, but what I also bought from Danny was peace of
mind. People on the street in Harvard Square asked
me for money at least ten times a day when I worked
at Harvard, and a few people who did not get money
were pretty unhappy about it, but none of them knew
where I lived. When I told Danny what happened with
Fred, he assured us that Fred would do nothing
further, that he was addicted to crack, and that
he (Danny) was going to go find Fred and punch him
in the mouth for me.

I declined that favor, but Dean, who was never
thrilled with Dominica in the first place,
declared himself done with it altogether. We
left this morning for Roseau, and on the way down
the coast I gazed longingly at all the beautiful
mountains I won't get to climb (for now). Tomorrow
we will head for the beaches of Martinique.

But I have some homework for you financial types
who read this blog, and/or for those of you who
have an understanding of the economics of smuggling.
How does an island with only 70,000 inhabitants,
surrounded by other small islands and with no
centralized population, attract crack dealers?
How does that stuff get here? Who brings it in,
and how much does he or she need to sell to make
it worth the risk? You might dismiss what Danny
said to me as hyperbole, but his was the third
reference we had heard to "crack addicts" on
the island.