Dominica - Profile
- Known as the Commonwealth of Dominica to distinguish it from the Dominican Republic.
- France ceded possession of the island to Great Britain in 1763. It became an independant state in 1978.
- The main language is English. Creole (A language primarily based on French with Carib loan words and West African syntax) is also spoken.
- One of the most mountainous of the Windward Islands, it is Dominica's wild interior that is her main attraction and many head here for the great hiking.
In the last 4 years, Dominica has made huge improvements to improve yacht security and the yacht services training that locals have been given in Dominica to encourage cruising sailors to visit the island.
Dominica is now the model for the other Caribbean islands when it comes to safety for yachts and its occupants.
A group called P.A.Y.S. (Portsmouth Association of Yacht Services) based in Portsmouth, Dominica, has been established. The group is made up of trained certified guides and local businesses that also patrol Prince Rupert Bay 24/7 during the winter sailing season (November to the end of May). They help "yachties" with numerous services and monitor VHF Ch.16 to assist yachties on arrival. Both Portsmouth and Roseau provide on the water security patrols.
The Dominica Marine Association and the Dominica Marine Center has been providing security in the Roseau bay area and is happy to report a 99% perfect record over the 8 years of providing such security.
Based on reports to Noonsite from cruisers, petty theft from yachts is on the rise in the Caribbean in general. Cruisers should take basic safety precautions and use common sense when leaving the boat or going ashore at night. Dinghy thieves operate throughout the Caribbean and best advice is to place your dinghy on deck and chain it overnight.
The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (firstname.lastname@example.org) provides information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have suffered a boarding, robbery or attack on your yacht or have information about a yachting-related security incident, go to the CSSN homepage and click on the "Report an Incident" icon. The associated form is quick and simple to complete and ensures that all the necessary details are reported. The CSSN is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors. Remember, it is every cruiser's responsibility to ensure that incidents are reported. Also cruisers can subscribe to e-mail alerts, follow on facebook and twitter and listen to the SSB Voice Service.
The Caribbean Security Index (CSI) is a a tool to assist cruisers in assessing the probability of crime at ports and anchorages throughout the Caribbean. The CSI provides a means of assessing risk in a given area.
Also be sure to check the noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages
Last updated January 2016.
Dominica is a rainy island, especially June to October, while the hurricane season from June to November should be avoided.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page