Roseau, Dominica and Whale Watching

Roseau Travel Blog

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A rainy morning gave way to the beautiful rainbow over our ship. Passengers tendered in to Roseau, Dominica

We were up early for our entry in Roseau, Dominica.  My husband and I chose a whale watching excursion offered by the ship.  And rain again greeted us after we tendered in to port.  One sure sign of a beautiful day dawning was the rainbow we saw over our ship.  Shortly after embarking on the boat for whale watching, the sun appeared and the clouds began to leave.

The description for this tour said that 90% of the time whales and/or dolphins will be seen.  The tour guide listened for the clicking and whistles made by the whales through a hydrophone held in the water by his assistant.  We would travel from spot to spot and each time, the guide would listen.

When the tail appears, the whale is diving deep and won't surface again for about 45 minutes.
  He would give us a report of what he heard, relate a little information about the sperm whales (Moby Dick was a sperm whale), and give us an idea of what to look for in sighting the whales.  We were beginning to feel we would be in the 10% after about an hour and a half.  By this time the boat was located about 5 miles from the Dominica shoreline.

The guide sighted a spout in the distance and began heading in that direction.  Sure enough, whales had been spotted!  This species comes to the surface for several breaths of air before diving (tails up) deep.  Sperm whales can stay beneath the surface for approximately 45 minutes before coming up once again for air.  All in all, we saw 8 whales including a calf nursing from the mother.

Our first glimpse of the Trafalgar Waterfalls
  Interesting facts are babies can nurse from any mother, and they take milk through the mother's nose.  Mom laid on the surface of the water, just off the front of the boat for about 15 minutes.  Once this process was completed, we saw mom's tail then baby's tail, and they were gone!  What a wonderful, exciting experience!  We were so close!  My husband has been dubbed an "official sighter" having discovered a whale come to the surface before the guide!  Both of us agreed that this was a life experience we will never forget!  After a short tour of the coastline, we were returned to the dock.  Be sure to view my pictures below!

Bill and I decided that we wanted to see a waterfall.  Upon inquiry, we hired a taxi/tour guide to take us, with what remaining time left in port, to Trafalgar Falls.

The pathway leading to the base of the falls.
  The guide spoke very good English and related a lot of Dominica's history and sights.  We made sure he understood the time we needed to return for "all aboard."  The ride with 3 other people from our ship was quite an experience in itself.  The guide negotiated several "hairpin" curves and narrow roads.  In some instances, I didn't think there would be enough room for vehicles to pass!  The ride into the rainforest which was lush and dense with vegetation was wonderful to learn about Dominica.  We passed through several small villages, schools, and housing areas. 

Our tour guide gave our group all the time needed in the area of the falls.  Several buses and tour groups were also at this location during this same time so the walk through the forest to the falls was rather crowded.

In the rainforest of Dominica looking at the Trafalgar Falls
  The glimpse of the twin falls was just breathtaking!  A small platform has been built for viewing both falls and provides a great spot for pictures.  There are steps and a walkway leading down to the base of one of the falls.  It is marked risky, and from others who hiked to the base, it is very rocky and uneven.   We chose to view the falls from the platform.  Once some of the crowd left, it is beautiful place to observe the works of nature.  On the hike back to our guide, I found a forest crab watching the people go by, and several flowers growing in the wild. 

From the area of the falls, our guide continued to tell us of the island area and customs.  He was very mindful of the time making sure to get us back with enough time to visit the local shops.

Two waterfalls can be seen after an easy walk through the rainforest.
  Our whole tour took around 3 hours.  The price was very reasonable (about $20 USD per person).  The outside stands set up by the local people yielded our typical souveniers (shot glass and Christmas ornament).  We sat for a few minutes to enjoy a local band performing on the street corner before boarding our tender back to the ship. 

My reflections of Dominica?  I would recommend the whale watching.  It was truly a life experience I will never forget.  Though we booked the tour through the ship, this group also offers tours when the ships are not in port.  Hopefully, you, too, will get to experience this thrill.  I also would suggest the trip to Trafalgar Falls, but plan the trip other than during the middle of the day.

Hi there! Look what I found. This little forest crab was greeting visitors.
  Most people I spoke to that visited earlier in the morning didn't experience the large crowds and got to enjoy the peaceful area.  I understand there are other falls located on the isle of Dominica, but taking a tour would require more time.  Not sure which taxi to take?  Ask the port authority patroling the area.  The authorities know who to trust and who will listen and give you what you would like to see.  If you have never been to a rainforest, this area in Dominica is very beautiful with lots of tropical vegetation.  The people are very friendly and willing to show you their island!  There isn't much in the way of shopping as there are no real shopping areas.  There are just mostly local people with tables selling their wares.  Will I return to Dominica? - Yes, given the opportunity!

letulip says:
just back and already regretting to have left this paradis on earth: Domenica!
Posted on: May 21, 2008
X_Drive says:
Great entry. I'd love to have been there too.
Posted on: Feb 04, 2008
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A rainy morning gave way to the be…
A rainy morning gave way to the b…
When the tail appears, the whale i…
When the tail appears, the whale …
Our first glimpse of the Trafalgar…
Our first glimpse of the Trafalga…
The pathway leading to the base of…
The pathway leading to the base o…
In the rainforest of Dominica look…
In the rainforest of Dominica loo…
Two waterfalls can be seen after a…
Two waterfalls can be seen after …
Hi there!  Look what I found.  Thi…
Hi there! Look what I found. Th…
A beautiful stream coming from the…
A beautiful stream coming from th…
The hot sulfur springs boiling fro…
The hot sulfur springs boiling fr…
From an overlook looking down into…
From an overlook looking down int…
Street scene in Roseau, Dominica
Street scene in Roseau, Dominica
Another street scene
Another street scene
Its raining in the mountains.
It's raining in the mountains.
Putting the hydrophone in the wate…
Putting the hydrophone in the wat…
Very intently listening for the so…
Very intently listening for the s…
Theres one!  These are sperm whal…
There's one! These are sperm wha…
Another - we saw 8 all together in…
Another - we saw 8 all together i…
Coastline of Dominica
Coastline of Dominica
The canopy overhead while walking …
The canopy overhead while walking…
A final look at the falls.
A final look at the falls.
Roseau
photo by: cmgervais