04/13/2012, Dominican Republic
It was motorsail overnighter from Big Sand Cay to Luperion(of course). You could smell the nice earthy smells coming way out to sea. Arrived before daylight so had to wait to see entrance between mountains. So different, mountains that really screw up your depth perception. Coming in like coming into a jungle river which I guess it was except it is salt water.
Got in and was intercepted by Papo who led me to a bouy (only $2/night and he had DR flags at $10). Dingied to the dock and walked to customs. A long 4 stop process for a total on about $96. It's Spanish here and a good thing most of them speak some English.
It's true culture shock here, first of all you have to find a bank and ATM to get pesos. Exchange rate was 38.1/1 us. Walking down the street everything is in Spanish. The meat markets have whole pigs heads for sale on the sidewalk. Vendors dive along in trucks and you can get local tomatoes, bananas, pineapples & etc.
Met a lot of a lot of expatriots who now live here. The livings is very simple and cheap. Even Bru Van Sant who wrote 'Passages South' lives here. Got to ride in the country with a lady who wanted me to meet her sister's American boyfriend. Super fine people and enjoyed their hospitality. Jamie and Charo are their names. The ladies cooked a fine lunch while Jamie (Lobo) and I talked. What a wealth of info he was.
Marianna and a friend of hers brought a vegetable over to the boat on my last day there and prepared lunch. Whatever the veg was it tasted just like mashed potatoes only orange in color.
kWould like to come back one day and tour the whole interior. A very beautiful place.
Well six boats leaving to go down the coast and do the Mona Passage to Puerto Rico.
04/12/2012, SE Turks
Arrived to the staging area for going to DR. This island is uninhabited and the water clarity is absolutely magnificient. Three sailboats traveling together now, Kolebrie, Highland and me.
Next stop Luperon, DR
04/07/2012, South Caicos
Arrived safely in South Caicos which is the capitol of the T&C. This a true fishing community. On shore they were cleaning conch and lobster. Had barrels of conch and lobster being processed.
My sailing friend dingied over for a nice cold beer and asked where to go. Three fishermen pointed to a bar across the street, so off we go. As soon as we had our beers ordered a native lady comes up to me and grabs me and started dancing with me. It was suspossed to be dancing but I would call it vertical lap dancing, most embarassing! I soon became the laughing stock of everyone there. I think this wasn't the first gringo.
Had to repent and go to a local church Sunday. A Methodist service and gosh it was beautiful. The youth gave the entire service and let me tell you the dance team was outstanding. Six girls about 8 to 14 in costumes gave their expressive dances with flags and banners. Justmarvelous! It was so good that I went back for the evening service and it was even better. Let me tell you the natives dress to kill on Sundays
That night a local large fishing boat drug anchor right by me so I had to up anchor and move. It drifted off into the sunset.
Tom and I did a walk-about and toured an old deserted mansion ( see Photo gallery)
04/06/2012, South Side Marina
Yesterday was a very sad day for me in that Ixnay died. He had been feeling poorly last few days and Thur took him to a vet. Turned out his kidneys had shut down probably from some type of poison like antifreeze. The doc said he probably wouldn't make and he didn't. Was nothing they could do. I'm really going to miss my companion and friend.
Moved the boat to South Side Marina to fuel up and top off with water. Bob the owner is such a gentleman. Took me to the vet, town and shopping. He gives a morning weather net daily and sponsers a barbeque on thursday nights.
Will be leaving to go back to anchorage and get ready to cross the banks tomorrow for South Caicos
04/01/2012, Sapodilla Bay, Providenciales (Provo)
Arrived at anchorage after a long overnighter. Of course wind on the nose. Guide book said to go over hill to customs. Yea, right? After a trecherous walk up the 'hill' had to walk down the ridge line a good ways just to find the trail down. Would have been much faster just to walk around the hill. Customs is inside a very busy port with two different security check points. $50 in and another $50 to clear out plus $15 for something.
Tried walking into town but Ixnay was getting hot and tired. People kept driving by and honking, I'm thinking they sure are friendly. Town would have been a 5 or 6 mile walk. Found out later the honking was by "Jitneys" which is a ragged out auto driven by Haitians. Kind of like a taxi but only $3 to $5 where the taxi is $25. I understand that if they wreck they just open the door and run. Oh well, sailor's budget rules.
A semi truck driver picked me up one day and took me all the way to an IGA then he insisted on waiting while I shopped and took me all the way back to the boat landing. Wow! talk about going the extra mile. He absolutely would not take any money either.
Went to town another day and watched 'Mirror Mirror'. It was a great flick with Julia Roberts, also watched 'Clash of the Titans'.
Went up that hill again and took some pics of rocks signed by stranded sailors of long ago.
Met Tom a sailor in the same bay and helped him hang a radar dome and then he went up my mast trying to fix some lighting problems.
This place is very different from the Bahamas. Sailors are just ancillary to the true tourist who usually fly in.
03/27/2012, Southeastern most Bahamian Island
Left Rum Cay for Mayaguana at 12noon to arrive by 6pm next day. Was susposed to be a reach at 10 to 15k but ended up very close-hauled. My boat does not sail at 30 degrees off the wind so had to motor sail all but last 2 hrs of trip. Wind was also 17 t0 23k with 6ft swells. Makes for a tiring passage when you set your alarm for every 20min to watch for traffic.
Arrived safely and first night was totally becalmed at anchor. What a blessing that was. Took a bath off the stern and as soon as I got out and looked back there was a 5' shark right there below the ladder. It was probably a nurse shark but I've seen too many Jaws flicks. Maybe cleaning that big Baro right there that we caught coming in didn't help matters.
Staged off SE Point for the next leg to Caicos Islands so we could leave at 12midnight. Got there early so went walking the beach. This was extremely remote. Found six manoverboard poles and two EPIRBs. Kind of sobering
Mayaguana is very remote and a good 10min walk to get to town. But again the people are so friendly h aere. Town consisted of Batelco, one rest/grocery and one bar.