05/20/2012, Luperon, DR
We are finally departing Luperon with a semi-decent weather window. 15 knots of wind tonight, we plan to leave around 1700 hours. Sail through the night, then anchor a few hours and continue on.
Clearing out was an adventure in itself. First, go to the Immigration trailer and fill out some forms with information they already have, next, go to another trailer and pay for the privilege of leaving. Finally, climb a hill to Commandante's and pay yet again, and make then sign a receipt that we hand wrote. All while noticing the casually slung machine guns on many of the VERY young men! Then, they tell us they will come to the boat to search it yet again, but they never show. To top it off, everybody we know paid different amounts.....!!
So we sail for Escondido or maybe further tonight. We are looking forward to Puerto Rico, staying at a marina for a night or two (YAY AC!) cleaning the boat, getting our mail. And provisioning......I never thought I would look forward to grocery shopping! The super mercados here are equivalent to a 7-11, and we've come to terms with Parmalat, it's not too bad cold, but we need veggies and fresh meat. On the downside, no more 24 oz Presidentes for 2 bucks!
Hoping Bob will catch a fish on the way..........check the picture gallery for new additions.
Above pic is Puerta Plata as seen from the cable car up to the Jesus Monument.
05/17/2012, Luperon, DR
Today is our son Chris's birthday, so Happy Birthday Chris!
We arrived at Luperon harbor May 10 after a lengthy sail from Rum Cay. Stopped at Great Sand Cay in Turks and Caicos but only for a few hours, and did not go ashore. Way too pricey to clear in and out!
Luperon has been spectacular. From 27 Cascadas (waterfalls) to touring the Rum Factory to pig with the skin on, at a local roadside place. (has to be tried to be believed). For these adventures we had a wonderful guide who treated our group like family, right down to introducing us to his mother! Thanks for everything Joqui! It's been fun practicing our Spanish with the locals, and I've discovered a DR local liquor, called Mama Juana. Rum and all kinds of other spices and herbs stewed in a bottle. Yummy Rummy!
The town of Luperon is very friendly, very poor and very dirty. We had our laundry done once, about 2 loads for 7 bucks. They wash the laundry by hand and hang it on fences to dry. Not much different than we do on the boat. Wash by hand and hang on the lifelines. Hard work! We are envious of our friends with the watermaker and washer/dryer!
We were hoping to leave for Puerto Rico (270 mile sail) today, but the weather doesn't look good. Maybe tomorrow evening. So, today we will go into town to provision, get despachos (clearing out papers) and get rid of the trash.
Leo is having a grand time, except when we have to leave him on the boat! Above pic is our loose band of fellow travelers. Shane, Mike, Kristy, on Moonshine, Silvio and Verena on Blues Breaker, and us at the Waterfalls. (Bob jumped from a 40 ft cliff!)
05/05/2012, Rum Cay
After motoring the entire way to Long Island, Silvio and Varina took us on a LONG, adventurous dinghy ride to the northern tip of the island to see the monument built to honor the Lucayans. Little bit of a hike, but worth it. We were also able to swim a bit and of course Leo once again ate a ton of sand. He loves the water and the sand.
Set out at 0800 (see what I did there?) for Rum Cay. Finally, we were able to sail most of the 35 miles. 20 knot winds and 5 foot seas, calming to 17 and 3-4. We read that there is great snorkeling here and plan to do so today. We are anochored by Port Nelson, rolly but bearable. Leaving for Mayaguana (200 miles) tomorrow night.
The weather has cleared, we are off to the south! Sunday and Monday we had epic rain, stuck down below for both days. Had a nice day at the beach yesterday and this afternoon we will sail to Fowl Cay for our morning departure to Long Island, Calabash. Seems like we have been here forever.
Many boats in the anchorages are leaving, most back north, some south. Met at the Chat-N-Chill yesterday with boats going south.....NO ONE has made the trip in the past. We all seem to be leaving different days, but will loosely monitor radios and SSBs.
Happy belated 1st anniversary to our daughter Dana and her husband Jon. We love you both!
04/26/2012, Georgetown, Exuma
So......it seems dinghy motors have minds of their own. Who knew that a few grains of sand could put them in the ER? After not one, but TWO surgeries ours is back in good shape. All it took was taking apart the carburetor and boiling everything in soapy water. After a couple of days, Bob is back to hauling water from town.
The regatta is in full swing and it's been fun to watch, right from Adastra. Makes doing the laundry, by hand, less boring! We've met some very nice people here, and plan on heading out (weather) Friday, with Silvio and Varina, a Swiss couple with a 41 Morgan Out Island. Ed and Betty, you would love their boat, especially the front loading washer/dryer combo.
VHF channel 68 is the cruisers way of communicating here. And boy, do they communicate. The social life in Georgetown can't be matched, it's easy to see why so many people stay here year after year. Dinghy drifts, (fun idea for MSA), poker nights, and all manner of get togethers. I am ready for some quiet though and can't wait to take off for points south.
04/22/2012, Georgetown, Exuma
We are at Volleyball Beach , the east side of Elizabeth Harbour. Very nice anchorage with a great beach (you can hand feed the rays) and a nice local hangout, Chat N Chill. We motored in from Cave Cay, where Barracuda Bob finally caught something edible, a gorgeous mutton snapper (we had to use our fish book for identification, because Jon isn't here). A superb dinner at a calm, peaceful and nearly empty anchorage.
It's a little tricky coming into Elizabeth Harbour, definitely need someone at
the bow if it's new to you. Our darling Leo chewed through the GPS cable as we were entering, so we had a "moment"........no worries, though, I was at the helm, Bob on the bow, and our marriage savers worked!
We plan to stay here a few days to catch some of the Regatta, we have a prime spot for viewing. Georgetown is transforming itself in anticipation, food shacks being erected everywhere. The local grocery is pretty well stocked if expensive. It's also convenient, but we have to haul jugs across the harbor to get water and fuel. Too windy for that today!
On a sad note, my mother passed away Friday morning. We plan on continuing our trip and holding a service at a later time.