Weighty Matters

February 29, 2004

I hadn't previously heard of the island of Dominica (pronounced dom-en-EE-ka), which is just north of Martinique. One of the least developed islands in the Caribbean, Frommer says it might be the only one that Columbus would still recognize. Its mountains, lush rain forest, rivers, waterfalls, and hot springs make it popular with nature lovers, hikers, and mountain climbers, and its spectacular underwater terrain is gaining increasing acclaim among scuba divers.

Frommer also mentions that there are "more sperm whales, pilot whales, and killer whales off Dominica than any other island in the Caribbean." We had become friendly with the Maitre d' in the Rotterdam dining room, so Betty Lou asked him when we arrived for breakfast where the whales were. He looked around to see if he could be overheard, then confided: "They're in the dining room!"

Of course, the nearly non-stop meals are one of the draws of cruises, and many of the guests look to have missed none of them. However, I didn't realize how far things had gone until I read the description of the Dominica "Rainforest Aerial Tram" tour:

"Drive to the village of Laudet 3,000 feet in the mountains and embark in a gondola with a naturalist/guide for a 70-minute adventure as you glide through the pristine rainforest, discovering the flora and fauna of this environment. Enjoy spectacular views of the forest canopy, 'Breakfast River Gorge' and waterfalls.

"NOTE! Wear comfortable shoes; bring raincoat and insect repellent. Maximum weight: 350 lbs."

Perhaps our flight included one such person, who we overheard tell the reservation agent that both of his tickets were for himself.

© Copyright 2004 Jack Ludwick - All Rights Reserved