11 August 2018 | Ramsland, Lindesnes Peninsula
09 August 2018 | Kristiansand
06 August 2018 | Near Lillisand
11 July 2018 | Lilla Rimmö
10 July 2018 | Lilla Kalvholmen
25 June 2018 | Grankullaviken, Öland
22 June 2018 | Kalmar, still
HAM Radio Camp gives Isla Beata a Boost!
30 January 2017 | Isla Beata, Southern Tip of Dominican Republic
This is supposed to be very isolated, with a few fisherman spending a month at a time here, and a manned coastguard station. But as we were setting the anchor last night, a voice came over on the VHF. There is a Ham Radio camp here, 15 guys from the mainland establishing the first connection for 28 years, just staying a week. They run three HAM radio stations round the clock, and enthusiasts make contact from around the world, to 'collect' the island. 8,000 calls logged so far and counting! They are also doing community service, leaving behind some solar panels and organising a beach cleanup. We know this because we were invited ashore for dinner- very simple, grilled fish and plantain. Not the evening we were expecting!
Photo to follow when we have internet.
A morning at the market
27 January 2017 | Barahona, DR
We are anchored in a small basin at Barahona, our last town in the DR before Cuba. We know shopping in Cuba will be restricted to whatever is left over after the farmers have handed most of their crop over to the government to be issued back as weekly rations, so it was time for a big fruit and veg shop. We also know there is a large market here, so this morning we took the dinghy over to the town commercial wharf loaded with shopping bags, money safely zipped away. The first challenge was climbing out of the dinghy, using an old black tyre we assume had been suspended for just this purpose. The market was huge, crowded and filthy. We resisted the meat stalls, where everything was hacked up on a bloody board and covered in flies, avoided being run over by motorbikes loaded with bananas, and tackled the fruit and veg avenue. About six stalls later, we ended up with this lovely haul, shown drying in the cockpit.
For the first time ever, I have washed everything in bleach solution. At least it will keep well, being local and never having seen a fridge until today. There are no air-miles here.Total cost- about $10.
23 January 2017 | Las Salinas
There isn't much to do here- one hotel that has certainly seen better days and a few dusty streets. The most interesting things are the salt pans which are photogenic and still operating. We arrived to find two other yachts in the bay but both only stayed a day, so we have been on our own here for four nights now.
The job list is going down, including fixing a small mystery leak we have had for a while and a repair to the jib. The water here is lovely and clear, so we can run the watermaker and keep the tanks full, with plenty to spare for showers after a swim and to run the washing machine.
At last we have good internet to keep us amused, as one success in Boca Chica was buying a Claro data sim which is working well on board.
The Dominican Republic - A country of contrasts
21 January 2017 | Las Salinas
Kath - Sunny and warm with a light breeze
The Dominican Republic is known for it's vast all-inclusive resorts- but they are a long way from our route in both distance and experience! I knew from my research this was not going to be an easy country to visit by yacht, and so it has proven to be. Its the norm for officials here to supplement their very low salary by expecting a significant 'propina' (read tip, or bribe) for every service. We checked into Marina Zar Par at Boca Chica on the south coast. The official fees for entry add up to about $120, but the marina has done a deal with immigration to charge every boat arriving a flat fee of $250, to include everyone's little extra. Despite this, we still had three officials in the cabin with their heavy boots on within an hour of our arrival, and suffered the routine intrusive but pointless search. We are now only allowed to travel from one named port to another, with a new 'dispacho' for every journey. Lovely anchorages on route are off limits for overnight stops, and as you have to leave within an hour of getting your dispacho its almost impossible to complete each passage in daylight. When we arrived here yesterday the coastguard was alongside demanding our paperwork before we had even set the anchor. They need a bit of customer service training!
But rant over, here we are at anchor in Las Salinas, a beautiful sheltered spot where we are planning to spend a few days, chill, and get stuck into the jobs list. Having paid up, we may as well stay a while!
Off the Beaten Track!
27 December 2016 | Esperanza, Isla De Vieques, Porto Rico
We've enjoyed a month in the British and US Virgin Islands, but the time has come for us to start our journey west to Cuba. We've said goodbye to our friends Tom and Susan, met on the rally, who are heading south down the island chain. Yarona is on a mooring in Esperanza Bay on the south coast of Vieques, one of the Spanish Virgin Islands and part of Puerto Rico. This is a lively place with a hippy vibe. The photo is of Sun Bay, round the corner from our mooring, and a perfect Caribbean Beach with clear blue surf lapping onto golden sand.