[Printable]
Share

Mangroves

Posted: Wed 21st February 2001 in Trip Two
Position: 15° 34.8' N, 61° 27.7' W

Mangrove Swamp.

Dominica, the Nature Isalnd.

A mangrove is a type of tree that survives in shallow water, brackish or salty, usually bordering the sea or tidal rivers in the tropics. I have seen many of these the most in detail being Isla Margarita in Venezuela and the Caroni swamp in Trinidad. The one in Isla Margarita was big but as the caroni is huge, many square miles. These swamps often have narrow water ways you can take a shallow boat through. Such tours are great, away from touristy place you can take the dinghy, but remember to take a couple of spare shear pins (the sacrificial pin that breaks [hopefully] when you run your prop into something but before the prop breaks). Also take a compass a torch and the same amount of provisions as Dr Livingstone, you could get lost and you won't come back no more no more no more...... One bit of Mangrove swamp looks pretty much like another, shallow water with the taprooted mangroves growing out of them. Also home to snakes crabs Mussels, and loads of birds very few land animals. Some of the mangroves sweat the salt out through their leaves, leaving a white powdering of salt all over them. I would love to sneak in with a JCB and transport one of these, complete with snakes, into Alan Titchmarsh's back garden, that'd give the bugger a shock. A slightly different experience in the Indian River in Dominica, which is a swamp but with out the mangrove, we took a trip up there spotting all the normal swamp wildlife, crabs, fish, blue herons. One of the herons had build its nest on a branch right in the middle of the river. The 2 chicks clamouring and a parent sitting a few branches away, looking snooty. This was a mere 2 feet above our head. Our boat boy Lawrence of Arabia, no relation, defiantly no relation. This man was a caribean boat boy, quite a good one. He also said "We might see green iguanas, but their difficult to spot, their the same colour as the trees.... you never see an iguana twice. If we see 'im we put IM in a pressure cooker: tastes like chicken" Boat boys are irascible local entrepreneurs, the term "Boy" is a hangover from subservient colonial times, the term "boat" entirely deceptive. The "boats" they use range from colourfully labelled workboats with outboards and logos like "Respect Eric Spaghetti" on the side, through rowing boats, canoes, to 20 year old surf boards the plastic peeling and the rotten foam core exposed propelled by a stick or half a broken dinghy paddle. All will offer you services including: tying your boat to trees or whatever, selling veg., bread or beer being a water taxi, a fisherman, drug dealer, con artist etc., all boat boys can organize tours "with my brother who has a taxi" or sometimes cousins. They sometimes row miles out in search of business, then expecting you to tow them into the harbour. We found one a couple of miles off St Vincent wallowing in a small boat in Atlantic swells, bailing like mad, hopping to do business with us.... No chance, I hope he managed to row back again! Yesterday revenge was sweet, a boat boy came flying past and about 20 yards away his out board fell off, sinking in about 7 meters of water, he with help from a nearby charter yacht managed to find it and get a rope down, but couldn't tie the knot. Sam managed and then towed him back to shore, should have charged him at least $10EC the going rate for tying a rope round a palm tree. Also seen around the tropics is Rain Forest, its serious stuff, vegetation in the Caribbean and the tropics grows voraciously where ever there's enough water. The volcanic soil is evidently fertile, the sun in like an oven and in the case of the larger islands rainfall plentiful, mostly up in the hills. Dominica's hills rise to 4500 feet, on an island maybe 30 miles long and 10 wide. This back bone picks up rain daily as hot wet air is forced up and over the cooler mountains. This is all rain forest, huge trees soaring 100feet, trees covered in creepers you can swing on Tarzan didn't hit a tree, I did. The bark from the tree in question is supposed to do the same job as viagra. In Antigua I finally spotted a definite turtle, 2 from the deck and one whilst snorkelling over the 1905 wreck of 3 posted schooner.

[Printable]
Share

Mangroves

Posted: Wed 21st February 2001 in Trip Two
Position: 15° 34.8' N, 61° 27.7' W

Mangrove Swamp.

Dominica, the Nature Isalnd.

A mangrove is a type of tree that survives in shallow water, brackish or salty, usually bordering the sea or tidal rivers in the tropics. I have seen many of these the most in detail being Isla Margarita in Venezuela and the Caroni swamp in Trinidad. The one in Isla Margarita was big but as the caroni is huge, many square miles. These swamps often have narrow water ways you can take a shallow boat through. Such tours are great, away from touristy place you can take the dinghy, but remember to take a couple of spare shear pins (the sacrificial pin that breaks [hopefully] when you run your prop into something but before the prop breaks). Also take a compass a torch and the same amount of provisions as Dr Livingstone, you could get lost and you won't come back no more no more no more...... One bit of Mangrove swamp looks pretty much like another, shallow water with the taprooted mangroves growing out of them. Also home to snakes crabs Mussels, and loads of birds very few land animals. Some of the mangroves sweat the salt out through their leaves, leaving a white powdering of salt all over them. I would love to sneak in with a JCB and transport one of these, complete with snakes, into Alan Titchmarsh's back garden, that'd give the bugger a shock. A slightly different experience in the Indian River in Dominica, which is a swamp but with out the mangrove, we took a trip up there spotting all the normal swamp wildlife, crabs, fish, blue herons. One of the herons had build its nest on a branch right in the middle of the river. The 2 chicks clamouring and a parent sitting a few branches away, looking snooty. This was a mere 2 feet above our head. Our boat boy Lawrence of Arabia, no relation, defiantly no relation. This man was a caribean boat boy, quite a good one. He also said "We might see green iguanas, but their difficult to spot, their the same colour as the trees.... you never see an iguana twice. If we see 'im we put IM in a pressure cooker: tastes like chicken" Boat boys are irascible local entrepreneurs, the term "Boy" is a hangover from subservient colonial times, the term "boat" entirely deceptive. The "boats" they use range from colourfully labelled workboats with outboards and logos like "Respect Eric Spaghetti" on the side, through rowing boats, canoes, to 20 year old surf boards the plastic peeling and the rotten foam core exposed propelled by a stick or half a broken dinghy paddle. All will offer you services including: tying your boat to trees or whatever, selling veg., bread or beer being a water taxi, a fisherman, drug dealer, con artist etc., all boat boys can organize tours "with my brother who has a taxi" or sometimes cousins. They sometimes row miles out in search of business, then expecting you to tow them into the harbour. We found one a couple of miles off St Vincent wallowing in a small boat in Atlantic swells, bailing like mad, hopping to do business with us.... No chance, I hope he managed to row back again! Yesterday revenge was sweet, a boat boy came flying past and about 20 yards away his out board fell off, sinking in about 7 meters of water, he with help from a nearby charter yacht managed to find it and get a rope down, but couldn't tie the knot. Sam managed and then towed him back to shore, should have charged him at least $10EC the going rate for tying a rope round a palm tree. Also seen around the tropics is Rain Forest, its serious stuff, vegetation in the Caribbean and the tropics grows voraciously where ever there's enough water. The volcanic soil is evidently fertile, the sun in like an oven and in the case of the larger islands rainfall plentiful, mostly up in the hills. Dominica's hills rise to 4500 feet, on an island maybe 30 miles long and 10 wide. This back bone picks up rain daily as hot wet air is forced up and over the cooler mountains. This is all rain forest, huge trees soaring 100feet, trees covered in creepers you can swing on Tarzan didn't hit a tree, I did. The bark from the tree in question is supposed to do the same job as viagra. In Antigua I finally spotted a definite turtle, 2 from the deck and one whilst snorkelling over the 1905 wreck of 3 posted schooner.