Cricket, lovely cricket

Tuesday evening we met Pam and Glen and went to the Westport Tavern (which is the new name for the Drop Anchor bar) to have dinner. Guess what – Lion Fish are on the menu!   Hurrah…. Everyone tried it apart from me – yeah, I know, but I’m really not that much of a fish fan. They all thought it was good – and the prices are great too (they are Eastern Caribbean dollars not US!). Had a really nice evening and bid our final farewells to them both as they continue now to run down island ahead of us for the rest of the season.

Wednesday morning we get up early as we have decided to go to see the cricket. We are not really cricket fans but felt the opportunity to see the first day of the test match between West Indies and Zimbabwe was too good to miss. Especially when the tickets are only a fiver each….. Well we went ashore via water taxi and walked up to the Windsor Park Stadium. It was pretty quiet as we queued to get our tickets and entered into the stadium picking up a coffee and banana bread on the way…. Took our seats way up high under cover and it was boiling hot with very little breeze even though it was raining. Anyway….the stadium had few people about when the first ball was bowled (by the WIndies) at just gone 10.00 am.

Then suddenly they started arriving…. masses of them along with all sorts of food…. We started to get into the game and, of course, we are cheering on the WIndies and people around us started to get friendly towards us – guess they might have thought we were Zimbabwe fans?? Anyway….. they kept on coming….. and this is truly a family affair with loads of school children herded like cats by their teachers; old single women with bizarre outfits and flags; family groups and couples like us. Even the occasional white face in the crowd too…. The funniest thing was when one of the crowd started to diss the Dominican player for dropping a ball – and the old dear with the flag went up behind him and whacked him with her stick! It gets real passionate in this crowd….

Well the WIndies were all over Zimbabwe….wickets were flying….and the Dominican bowler Shane Shillington was elevated to hero status as he took five wickets…. Then people started to come into the stands to ply their goods – there was popcorn, ice cream, crisps, soft drinks and beer all being touted about constantly as well as souvenir hats, t-shirts and other usual stuff…….  Did I say beer? Oh yes, it was Kubuli the local stuff and was freely available within the stadium…. Helps on a hot humid day you know… The Kubuli girls were also out and about dressed in skimpy outfits handing out goodies…. The noise escalated and bands were playing, drums were beating, horns – not unlike those used at the last World Cup in South Africa – were heard….and everyone moved to the beat. It was amazing. 

Broke for lunch and we headed off outside to find some food from the local vendors… Didn’t fancy pig snouts or ears so settled on baked ribs and rice. Was actually very good although sitting on concrete steps wasn’t the most comfortable way to enjoy it! Then we wandered about enjoying the spectacle and I got accosted by one of the wild dancing men of Dominica and Richard managed to wangle himself a photo with the Kubuli girls…..

Great time had by all – we eventually left the match just after the WIndies went into bat having got Zimbabwe out for 175…. and we walked back through Roseau enjoying the sights and returned to the Westpoint Tavern (opposite Morphie) where we enjoyed a final beer before getting a water taxi back on board for an early night.

Up at a reasonable time this morning as we are trying to arrange to go whale watching…. Desmond – our boat boy – says he knows someone who can help us out here.  We are not really interested in the real commercial operations as they are known to annoy the whales to ensure that people see them close up.   So we are interested in an alternative operation.   Well, it turns out this ‘someone’ is none other than Andrew Armour who is known as the Whale Whisperer and who has built up a relationship with a number of the whales who live in these local waters over many years particularly his buddy Scar. To the extent that he swims with them!  For our UK followers there was a Channel 4 documentary about this last year. Andrew is passionate about the whale’s welfare and only interacts with them when they invite him to do so….. Well – guess what – we are going out for the day with him tomorrow to try and see whales.  Really can’t wait and he said that we can take our snorkels along and get in the water if the whales are in the mood – but not with the intention of touching them just to enjoy being in their presence. As scuba divers it is important to us that the welfare of the wild animals comes first…..   I have to say we are beyond excited about the prospect!

Now we have that sorted nothing else planned for today….so just relaxing other than a quick trip into Roseau to get some more drinking vouchers out of the ATM…..   After the trip tomorrow (Friday) we are heading out of Dominica to Martinique on Saturday – which is a 50+ mile trip, so will update the blog from there…..

Bye for now