Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Mayor of Portsmouth

During our recent stop at Portsmouth in Dominica we encountered Martin Carriere and his boat Providence again.  Martin is member of PAYS (Portsmouth Association of Yacht Security) and a local guide.  PAYS was formed when merchants and the guides realized that aggressive “boat boys” and security concerns were not conducive to repeat business. 

Their efforts have paid off.  It is not unusual to see dozens of boats anchored or using one of PAYS moorings.  Last time there we drug anchor on the sea grass, so now we let Martin assign us a mooring ($10 USD/night).

Indian River

One of the guidebooks makes the observation that Dominica would be the only island Christopher Columbus would recognize if he came back today.  Although it is unspoiled and noted for its natural beauty, Dominica is a very poor country.

When Martin came to collect the mooring fee, the conversation quickly turned to island he is so proud of.  Instead of the normal request for a tip or other self enrichment, Martin asked if we had any spare nautical supplies for the PAYS organization.  We were able to produce some spare line and a couple of older handheld VHF radios.  He told us PAYS also collects used clothing and cooking utensils that are distributed on the island.  He said, “That pan may look old to you, but you would be amazed what people on the island use.”

Willing to sacrifice beer storage

Should you wish to donate nautical gear, used clothing and/or cooking utensils, please give them to a Martin or another PAYS member.  Or, drop them off on Motivator and we will see that they get to Martin on our next trip through Dominica.

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