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Sunrise: Chasing the dream
Life filled with adventure, both actual and spiritual.
Coffee in the mountains
05/02/2012, Jarabacoa, dr

This is the Jimenoa Water fall near Jarabacoa, DR. Just below this one of the biggest hydropower plants in the DR. Isobel slept through the entire hike, up and down... to wake up when we returned the car... "where's the water fall?"

We have had some interesting times the past few days... Which I will expand on once we are back in a place with better Internet. We have been to huge waterfalls, had crazy rides on moto-taxis, stayed in dives, remote coffee Fincas and high end resorts (none of which had hot water and sometimes didn't have water at all!). We have eaten what rich folks from DR eat (fried cheese, white bread and cakes made from plantain and corn) and what poor DRs eat (Chicken in gravy, red beens and rice) and we have had some very good coffee.

We have ended up here in this little "upscale" hotel ($30) where they assured us hot water and wifi in the room... As I sat here in the lobby writing this blog... Lara came out to tell me that Isobel is all lathered up and the water is off!!!

Tomorrow we return to the boat for some R&R!

PS our Spanish is improving!

05/02/2012 | Uncle Readie
"Hombre prevenido nunca fue vencido." Loosely translated: "Forewarned is forearmed". My high school Spanish teacher liked to say that before she started a test. :)
Green and water falls
04/30/2012, Jarabacoa, DR

The view out the hotel window is pretty great. Although much of the mountains we deforested, much of it has been replanted with Coffee or fruits.

Another short post... the owner of the hotel we are in is lending us his computer... We have been in Jarabacoa for a couple days in a mini resort. It is very lush here and a river runs through the resort so we can watch the rafters go by... most in their rafts and some (to Isobels delight) in the water collecting their things!

Today we toook a taxi to a spectacular water fall: Salto de Jemenoa Dos. There was a long suspention bridge to get their and the biggest hydro electric plant there. more photos when we get back to Boca Chica.

Land trip
04/29/2012, San Francisco de Macoris

This is the open market in Andres... called the Esquina Caleante. Bulk everything. That 50 lb sack of green looking powder is Oregano!

We are in search of a cocoa plantation... Foiled today as it is Sunday!! Onward to Jarabacoa to see some falls... Via gua gua, the little local buses. More later

04/29/2012 | Uncle Readie
According to Wikipedia, guagua are also known as "dollar vans" or "jitneys" in the US.
Arrived
04/23/2012, Boca Chica, DR

We met this french boat heading west. Kids had a great time together. In this photo we are trying to advertise for Keens... who make a very good kids and adult shoe!

We have arrived in Boca Chica... more info later.

18 26.679'n 069 37.434'w

04/23/2012 | Uncle Readie
I'm not sure that longitude made it to the XPlot position mapper, because it shows you close to Timbuktu in Mali, west Africa. I think you're moored at Marina Zar-par in Boca Chica (marinazarpar.com).
04/24/2012 | gil
Good on you. Looks like a cozy spot. Where next ?
You going to keep going East when you can ? Got a plan or ???
Go for a 150 mile walk north through that beautiful
National forest and you will get to Samana.
Hugs to you all but especially to Isobel.
Finally around the cape
Bill
04/22/2012, South of Western DR

In the morning Isobel found that this flying fish had landed on our boat.

Well, we may have waited a day to long. We made it around the cape and the wind had died completely. Glassy seas with some rolling waves left over from the past few days of 20 knots. We have been headed to Barahona DR and have just made the decision to head further east to Boca Chica. We can take advantage of the calm seas to motor 90 miles further east. The prevailing winds here are from the east, so this will use some fuel but most likely save some days of waiting for weather. Of course we mist the oprotunity to sea this end of the south shore. From sea, the most dramatic thing right now is that the mountains come right down into the sea, whereas the cape was all very low land.

90 miles to Boca Chica should have us arriving in time for breakfast.

Current location: 17 59.776'n 071 03.844'w course 83 speed 6.4

an expedition
04/21/2012, isla Baeta

We took a walk to the north shore of Isla Baeta and it was spectacular. With over hanging rock and blow holes. This photo is of the beach in front of the village.

reading the same book!
04/20/2012

Lily and Paul read several books... together!

A few hours to windward
Bill
04/19/2012, Isla Beata, DR

the little fishing village on Isla Baeta is very welcoming. The coast guard captain sells Mangos. No one seems to think much of tourism here, welcoming us with a smile. Very nice spot.

Well, we can blame it on Paul.... he wanted some excitement, so we sailed to Isla Beata, about 14 miles. At first we thought we would sail out and take a look at the waves that were out in the sea.... We could see what we call "marching elephants" on the horizon... These indicate big waves... but when we reached the Capo Falso and looked out, we saw about 4-5' seas. They were kind of short close to the cape, but I knew that they would be less lumpy further out... and they were... and the wind backed round to the east so we could sail almost directly to the Isla Beata. It was up wind and, you may remember that "Gentlemen don't sail to weather" (or, we don't like to crash upwind... but we did for a while and as we left the cape behind and we closed on the Isla the conditions improved even though the wind was sustained well above 20 knots. We were fully reefed and cruising at 5 knots. Lily wasn't happy about the boat motion. Paul was excited and grabbed the GoPro and went forward on deck although after a while he became a little quiet... Of course Isobel and Lara were un-phased and after a little snack retired to the aft cabin for a nap. By 3 in the afternoon we were anchored off the little fishing village on the NW coast... we went ashore and met another boating family with a 5 year old girl. The officer of the coast gaurd was also the local Margo salesman... so we bought 24 mangos for about $6 (200 pesos). Isobel was finally able to check out some Iguanas, of which there were many... she was delighted when a fisherwoman feed them a bit of Plantain. It was a fun day, and we are a few more miles west... still waiting for the wind to moderate for the trip to Salinas, our next stiop. 17 36.747'n 071 31.609'w

A test sail
Bill
04/18/2012, West of Cape Beata, DR

Do we go or not? The winds pick up as we round Capo Falso.

We have all been feeling like moving on. Yes, the beach has been great... and yet there is another around the corner. We had seen photos of Isla Beata at the very point of the cape and so we made the boat ship shape and headed out in light winds. "it is like lake sailing" is what I said as we plinked along at 4.5 knots in 10 knots of wind NW on the beam...

As we neared Cape Falso, we could see white caps in the distance. We double reefed the main, prepared the genoa for furling and waited. As we approached the white caps the wind died and it was clear now that the white caps were caused by wind from the SE, which was on our nose once we rounded the cape... Then the wind filled in blowing 20 to 25 and as we proceeded, the seas also started to round the cape at about 5'... It would only be 14 miles, but that would be at least 3 hours of pounding... no one wanted that! So we tacked back to a nice beach south of Cabo Falso and dropped the anchor in 20' on a patch of sand, surrounded by coral. And that is where we sit! 17 47.408'n 071 39.691'w

We have not seen any other boats since we left Haiti, so we were excited to see a cruiser come in last night. They didn't respond to a radio call and left this morning headed south... Yet this afternoon we saw a boat leaving from where we are now anchored... to pound around the cape. We spoke on the radio to another headed into Bahia de Las Agillas and we have seen another Ketch sailing into the same bay. We have thought that we might move back over, just to be social... but it is late now. We will try again early tomorrow morning to head south when the land has not yet heated up to accentuate the gradient wind.

Our weather guy, Chris Parker of Caribbean Weather has told us to wait until the weekend before attempting to round the big Cape... so we will go to Isla Beata and wait until then...

04/18/2012 | Uncle Readie
To me it looks like you're north of Cabo Falso and south of Punta Chimanche.
Lots of power
Bill
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

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