**22 March 2017**

Our first outing to explore Dominica was a snorkeling trip a few miles down the coast.  Our guide Mr. Bean picked us up in the Sea Cat launch along with friends from various boats and transported us to Champagne Beach for our first snorkeling stop.

After a short tour of the reef we quickly found out where the beach got its name.  Dominica is home to 8 active volcanoes (other islands might have one) so there’s an abundance of geothermal activity at various locations around the island where the hot gases seep out of the earth and heat water from the abundant rainfall Dominica gets.  Along this beach they rise to the surface in tiny streams that look much like a glass of champagne.  Very cool.

Then we dropped our mooring and headed to the southern end of the island and moored near Scott’s Head, where we hiked up to the summit of this overlook where a guard post was built in the colonial days.  A volcanic peak at this end of Dominica collapsed into the sea thousands of years ago and formed the bay, leaving Scott’s Head behind as kind of a reminder.

After climbing the hill and looking down on the reef below, we descended and were transported out to snorkel this reef with its steep drop-off into the abyss of the Caribbean Sea.
Our final stop came after a short ride to the other side of the bay to the Bubbly Beach Bar in the little town of Soufriere (derived from the French word for sulfur).  The locals have formed a wall along the beach that allows the very hot water seeping from the earth to mix with the cooler water from the sea to make a natural hot tub where you can relax and enjoy your favorite refreshment. What a great place to relax at the end of a busy day.

As the day ended and we were transported back to our boats and we discussed some details for our next excursion to explore some of the interior of Dominica the following day.

*Credits for all pictures go to our friends Kathy and Mark on S/V Nancy Lu