|...The mountainous Dominican Coast under our jib...|
|The DR flag left, Puerto Rico flag right|
Our passage was in calm seas and light winds of 5-8 knots out of the east, exactly as shown on our Predict Wind app. Our course was 140 degrees placing the wind about 50-60 off the port bow. This was a motor sail with a full main and a staysail with the engine on at 2400-2500 rpms. The boat runs 6 to 6.5 knots round the clock in this situation.
|The wind shift as recorded on the Triton2|
This is a 60 minute timeframe
|Hayden raises the DR flag|
|Radeen gets to land and is wobbly|
This marina is part of a five star resort with a hotel and condos overlooking the harbor that sell for $300K to $500K. There are comfortable sofas and lounges over looking the marina docks. This is really an amazing place and at a fantastic price. Look at this photo below, this is the lobby overlooking our dock. Beautiful setting!
|Marina lobby overlooking our dock|
|These are real tropical rain forest leaves|
Then there is the infinity pool that curves gracefully at the water's edge with a cafe and bar just off the pool deck. The staff is like any good all inclusive resort, very attentive and always there to offer you a drink and make you feel at home. We are swimming in this pool every day, it is simply too beautiful.
|Our facilities tour and we discover the pool|
Our passage to the DR was so calm and so easy, we simply motor sailed 80% of the trip in 5-8 knots of east winds. Then on the second day the wind came up and shifted and we sailed nearly the rest of the way into the country. Look at this sunrise photo on the day we departed Turks and Caicos.
One of the things we learned is that there are shallow banks that you need to pay attention to out here in the middle of the ocean. We are in thousands of feet of water and then there comes a sand bar island....oh....that is Big Sand Key. Well, who put that in our way? Go around that. Then south of that you have the Mouchoir Bank that rises up from 14,000 feet deeo up to 50 feet and yup, it has a ROCK that you can wreck you boat onto. So, find that and divert around that as well. Look at these chart images and you will see these features.
|The shallow banks|
|Oh, look a ROCK on the Mouchoir bank! YIKES!|
When running at night, full speed ahead is always stressful and you really have to trust your radar system. That is why we think radar is number one at sea at night. It is the only tool that will tell you there is nothing in front of you that is solid, on the surface, that you could hit. So, you keep scanning, looking and you press on full speed into the blackness. This really takes some time to get comfortable with, but once you are, it actually is easier to be at sea at night that it is at day. There is simply nothing to see, so you just look at your radar screen. Here below is the view from the helm at night looking forward.
|The view from the helm at night|
Then the sun rises and all seems fresh and new again. Put on the coffee, make some breakfast, wake up and refresh, the day is starting and your ship is pressing onward. Day after day after day and you eventually reach the destination. This was our sunrise on day two.
With all the motoring and the long distance, we decided to pour in three more jugs of fuel just to keep the tank more full than empty. Our tank's motoring range is about 350 nm and this was only 250 nm so we were in no danger of running out. So, in this calm sea we easily could pour the fuel into the deck fill as there was no seawater running down the deck. Here is Hayden adding fuel.
|Don and Meloney one of the infinity pools|
|Radeen and Meloney|
|WHAT? Radeen with a celebratory adult beverage at the pool|
|Radeen, Lauren and Meloney in the pool|
Here are the buddies we are running with. Bill and Lauren on Grand Banks 42 long range cruiser SEA STAR and Don and Melanie on a Lagoon 38 Catamaran FEZYWIG. Very fun people!
Tomorrow, we will tour the local town of Samana by local bus. The next day, we will drive a van 3 hours to the south shore to tour Santa Domingo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Dominican Republic is a very interesting island to discover!