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Sunrise: Chasing the dream
Life filled with adventure, both actual and spiritual.
Lots of power
04/16/2012, West of Cape Beata, DR

So, I may have written the last post without changing our location... we are still here 17 48.743'n 071 38.222'w

We are here because the wind is howling at between 20 and 35 knots. The beautiful beach to the east provides wonderful protection in addition to a spectacular view. And the wind gives us extra power. We generate all of our electricity with solar and wind. With the high winds we can generate more than we can use. So we are running our water maker (about 6 amps per hour), charging computers (about 6 amps for charging both)... those in addition to the fridge freezer running (about 3 amps)... and we are still running 10 amps into the batteries. This will be good as we had let the batteries get somewhat low. Up until recently, the solar had been able to keep the batteries 100% charged... really. This is because our Solar had originally been sized for the water maker. Now with the water maker we had not been able to bring the batteries up to 100% charged. Today, I think we will...

Yesterday, when we awoke there was a little fishing boat off our starbord beam about 30 yard. No one appeared to be on it... after a while we saw that indeed they were abord and infact had been sleeping. Lara and Isobel rowed over with some fruit for them. We then watched them as the hauled in their net and headed to a spot on the beach north of us. Later on the beach, Paul and I walked up the beach and talked to them. Apparently, they fish all night, when it is cool and rest and eat during the day in the shade of a tree. They offered to cook us a meal of Yuca, squash, rice and another root. We declined as they had already told us they were out here for 12 days , and their rations seemed very small. Then they take the boat 8 miles back to Perdenales for 4 days... and repeat. They were very nice and cheerful.

We will be here until the wind abates so we can have a smooth passage east around the Cape

Resetting the anchor
04/16/2012, West of Cape Beata, DR

Here we are in the cockpit playing Perudo, a dice game learned from our friends on Mayuva

Update on the spade anchor... but not really. We couldn't understand why our anchor wasn't setting well... and for the first time since we bought it we dragged our Spade!! It has been setting so well that I have given up diving on it, and our Dutch friends laughed at us for using the engine to set our Spade, a requirement for our old CQR.

So, with 30 to 35 knots we slowly dragged today... we waited until Isobel woke from her nap... and moved to a new sand patch to anchor closer to the beach. Once set, Paul and I dove on the anchor. We found that the anchor was on its side. Diving down we found that it was in about 5" of sand on top of flat hard rock... When we set it (sorry At), we pulled it about 4 feet creating a big pile of sand in front of it. Once we were confident of the new anchorage, we swam back to where the original anchorage spot was... we had dropped the anchor in 2" of sand!! at first glance we couldn't understand what the little double track was... it was the point of the anchor and the side of the anchor... it was dragging along, leaving a track in the little bit of sand on top of the rock. It had finally set in a little pool of sand that was around a solitary rock sitting on the bottom... then slowly dragged across the flat rock pulling sand with it. I guess that is worth noting about the anchorage on the site. We have heard that further north along the beach may be better holding. We wanted the scenery...

So, still there is something to credit the Spade. It held us in up to 30 knots and only dragged when the wind was over 30... in two inches of sand!!

04/17/2012 | Mom
So... how is it with extra hands on deck ie Lily and Paul!
A down day
04/16/2012, West of Cape Beata, DR

Early morning on the fore deck. Downward dog!

Still feels a little funny to not be moving... since we have been axious to move since we left Florida... so some down time is very good. I have actually read a little. Also, taken some time to analyze the Fridge/freezer set up. When we reworked the fridge the sensor for the freezer was moved to wall of the fridge that is next to the hull. With the east wind, that side of the boat is to the south, so the sun shines on it all day. I have found that the sensor may read 15 degrees while the temperature measured at the interior a few inches away is below zero! We are shooting for 8 degrees... so I am now playing with adjusting the temperature at the sensor to see what I can hold in the middle of the freezer. Of course, changing the freezer will affect the fridge, which has been running too cold... Of course all this has us know well that the fridge is not insulated well enough... Which is an issue since our new countertop is well adhered to the top of the firdge.

I also found that there was a build up of barnacles and other stuff on the heat exchanger on the outside of the boat, call a Keel cooler. I took care of that yesterday with mask and fins. Our concern now is our limited supply of fresh veggies... although we have plenty of other food on board.

Friends at the Market

Isobel has no problem finding friends wherever we go. These girls shared bananas and taught Isobel to play something like jacks with black & white stones.

04/13/2012 | Uncle Readie
Wow, that's a lot of pretty photos to take in! So where are you guys now, with the great wifi?
04/13/2012 | Uncle Readie
I think the game Isobel played was "osselets" (oo-SLAY, French for "little bones"). The game was originally played with bones, thus the name.
Boat off Ill e Vache

Another beautiful sailing fishing boat... and the great rock formation we looked at from our anchored boat.

dodging squalls
04/12/2012, off the Haiti DR border

We have fun most of the 15 miles between Ile A Vache and Cabo Rojo under power becasue there were winds less than 5knots on the nose. This, although tedious and loud was fine as the normals winds here are the Tradewinds which blow at 20 knots out of the east.... on our nose.

most of the nights watch was for little squalls which were popping up around us. we successfully dodged most of them. the worry is not the rain but the lightning or increased winds. We saw no lightning last night and in the few squalls we were forced through, only wind as high as 15 knots... so all is well and we will be in Cabo Rojo in a couple hours...

17 56.100'n 071 53.531'w

04/12/2012 | Uncle Readie
The "red cape" and the "bay of eagles". How exotic!
04/12/2012 | Jim and Jeannie Lea
Hi following your blog, are you headed to Panama?? We met you a few years ago in the eastern US, Maine, Mass etc. We have been cruising in Panama for the last two seasons , great area.
Remote beach
04/12/2012, West of Cape Beata, DR

We have had a couple wonderful days. Lily is visiting with her friend Paul. We have been "stuck" here because there are gale force winds on the east side of the cape. So here we sit at 17 48.745'n 071 38.240'w with the most amazing beach, maybe 5 miles long, white and deserted. We went ashore early today so we could play on the beach before the sun was too hot.

Paul and I walked up the beach to see some turtle nests and talk with a fisherman. They fish mostly at night and spend the day ashore in the shade. The two guys that we spoke with spent 12 days fishing and 5 days at home in Perdenales.

When we walked back we found that all three girls, including Isobel had been snorkeling and eating sardines. I will post some photos and videos when we have an internet connection

Walky & Isobel

Of all the numerous guys that came out to greet and ask for work or offer goods for sale, Walky was my personal favorite.

Helping out
04/10/2012, Ile a Vache, Haiti

Some of you may know that one reason we came to Ile A Vache was to bring some used sails for the local fishermen who make there sails out of whatever they can find. We delivered them this morning to Wagner Tanis, who is one of the organizers and coordinators here. The other thing we have found is that there are guys who are willing to do anything for a few dollars. The going rate is about a $2 per hour and we have had 4 guys on the boat all day cleaning and polishing. They are all very sweet and work hard.

One error I made was to allow an additional two guys start work this afternoon... the orginal 4 where upset and finally I had to give them their pay for an hour and send them off... Management again! And all done in french... which is really their second language, something that some of them learn in school. Wow... what a deal!

A happy moment at break time with bread, butter & honey, followed by... you guessed it - mangoes!

Sails For Sustenance

The 3 duffels of sails are finally delivered from the non-profit Sails for Sustenance, based in Coral Gables. Wagner Tannis of Friends of Ill e Vache will distribute to the most needy fisherman who will cut and build new sails for their boats. Great use for old sails - Keep them in mind next time you're replacing sails!

04/16/2012 | Mike Carcaise
Great photo! Thank you for transporting the sails and spreading the word. We would be happy to provide sails to other travelers heading toward Haiti.

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