16 April 2012
I made it to Luperon ! The Dominican Republic is green and mountainous, with lots of rainshowers. I'm moored in a nice calm protected bay which is very close to the town. Everything is super cheap. The people are friendly and there are lots of cruisers. There's wi fi and ice cream and a big free dinghy dock.
The trip across was 21 hours of mostly easy winds and seas. I took short catnaps of 20 minutes or so through the night. It was weird to wake up in total darkness, only the iPad to tell me where I was.
About half way across the bilge alarm went off and would not stop. Water was filling faster than the pump could keep up, and it self-destructed. The heat exchanger boot had split and seawater was spraying the engine compartment. Not good. I turned off the engine and drifted under sail. Tore everything out of the lazarette and quarter berth for access. And performed the same hanging upside down repair Chris and I did in Provo, removing the heat exchanger and replacing the boots. Only this time I was by myself, it was dark and the boat was bobbing around the Atlantic Ocean. Did I mention I was exhausted ? I don't like doing anything strenuous after my bedtime ...
Then the autopilot broke yet again. I thought that had been fixed in Provo too, but this time the whole feedback arm bent into a pretzel. So the boat is sailing into the wind, then falling off, then turning on the waves, all while I try to hammer the connecting rod straight, reattach it and recalibrate the AP. Very frustrating.
But I made it ! The camera is also broken, so I will try to take pictures with the iPad, then email them to myself, import them into iPhoto, resize and attach to the sailblog. Here's the first attempt : a mural on the main drag, showing the harbor.