Monday, March 10, 2014

Officially in the Carribbean!

Dominican flag with HYC's burgee
Woo hoo! We actually made it to the Carribbean! I think a small part of me wondered if we'd ever really get this far; but we're here in the Dominican Republic, at a place called Ocean World, just outside Puerto Plata. Richard Branson's luxury catamaran, Necker Belle, was sitting here. We're keeping good company.

We took advantage of a good weather window... always critical for making safe passages. We left South Side Marina at high tide on Friday afternoon, to keep some water between us and the coral heads. We were going to anchor at Sapodilla Bay again, but changed our minds .... there was a light south wind blowing, and Sapodilla Bay is open to the southerlies.... it offers no more protection than anchoring out on the Caicos Banks would. So, we decided to do just that - anchor out on the banks overnight. We put in a few hours of sailing, until just before sunset; then dropped our hook. We were out of sight of land. So cool!  It reminded me of the movie Waterworld.

Saturday morning, we departed this anchorage at daybreak, and sailed all day and all night, arriving at Ocean World in the Dominican Republic at first light on Sunday morning. We had a great passage, sailing most of it. We did run into some squalls, but could see them coming, so reduced sail and put up the cockpit enclosure before they were upon us .... stayed dry :). There was an upside to these squalls - believe it or not. The sky was quite dark on our starboard side, so against this backdrop, we could easily see 'spouts.' Whale spouts! Though we saw several spouts, we weren't able to catch sight of the whales themselves. Humpbacks frequent these waters, and they can be very active creatures ... capable of a full breach. Perhaps it was best they didn't get too close.

We may be here for a while. We have decided to replace a sheave/pulley in our steering system, if we can. With the help of Ron Marsh, our neighbour at Hawkestone Yacht Club, who was able to source a part for us.... we're hoping to have it shipped here ... and are waiting confirmation of that. Hopefully, we'll get the part; it'll be the right part; and Gil can manage it's replacement. We'll keep you posted.

the terrain of the DR - mountains :-)

 caves in the cliff side

lush with palms

The lush and mountainous terrain here is beautiful, after the arid and low lying Bahamas and Turks & Caicos. We went into the city of Puerto Plata today. Busy, colorful place with many small retail outlets and crazy drivers - lots of motor bikes. We need to pick up some Spanish .... should have
taken Jorge up on some lessons!

Our MacBook laptop has bitten the dust. The hard drive just quit :(  I'm posting this blog from the iPad .... I shall hope to get photo(s) uploaded. I'll want to replace the computer, but haven't started on that yet .... the sheave/pulley for the steering system took precedence.

1 comment:

  1. Wahoo!!!Good on you for the crossing.I remember that ours was terrible with big winds & water over the whole boat flushing the cockpit regularly.Glad to hear you are replacing the sheave since it is a long way with a threatening equipment failure.Say hello to Luperon for us