Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The First Luperon Regatta

This past weekend we joined five other boats for a sail to El Castillo to celebrate Columbus Day and participate in the first Luperon Regatta. As I mentioned on the blog’s Facebook page, this was where Christopher Columbus set up the first European settlement in the New World. Kind of cool place to celebrate, huh?! There are ruins of the settlement and a museum that you can explore which we did not do since we were there for a little fun in the sun.

The festivities included kayak races, swim races, volleyball games, and food and drinks on the beach. There was also the Regatta, which was on/off/on/off and finally on again. The cruisers in Luperon Bay have been dealing with a lot of controversy when it comes to a certain $20 monthly fee. Supposedly this fee is not legal, but officials will still ask people to pay it. We have not been asked to pay and were not told when we checked in that we would be required to pay it. The commandant reportedly went on TV a couple of weeks ago and made an announcement that everybody who has not paid will have their mooring lines cut and boats impounded, which caused an uproar with the cruisers. Then we were told that if we left the harbor to go to the Regatta we’d have to checkout and then check back in paying all of the fees all over again (around $140). At that point the Regatta was cancelled, but eventually things were worked out, and everybody was given a blanket despachio to leave without checking out. FYI for cruisers that might want to come here – the monthly fee is still in question. In the next few weeks, everything is supposed to be sorted out, and the officials are supposed to clearly define and write out what fees are required.

The Regatta took place on Monday, and there were three boats that participated in the 14 mile course. Unfortunately, Dulcinea did not participate since David was busy cleaning her dirty bottom ;) We knew that the bottom had a lot of growth and needed a good scrubbing before we left for El Castillo, but we wanted to save a little moola and clean it ourselves (Luperon harbor isn't clean or clear enough to do it there). When we pulled up the hook and started to motor our way out of the harbor, we could only make 2 knots or less with the throttle all the way up where normally we can make 5 or 6 knots. Once we got the sails up, we were able to make better speed. Then when we were sailing into the anchorage, we doused the sails, tried to motor into the wind, and barely moved so we had to put the main sail back up. So it was really important that we get the bottom cleaned before we headed back. Jacko came in 1st, Jewel of the Sea 2nd, and Tulum III 3rd.

The night before the Regatta David and I made burgers and headed over to another boat to hang out, and I ended up getting bitten by the boat cat. It hurt like hell and surprised me when it happened, but I didn’t think anything of it. The next morning I woke up with pain, redness, and swelling. I still didn’t think I needed to do anything until we got back to Luperon the next day. I wasn’t feeling up to it, but David went over to Tulum III to hang out with everybody. The cat bite eventually got brought up since the boat owner called David on the radio and said he was concerned and thought I would need antibiotics. Luckily Hank was onboard, who was a doctor, and figured out what I needed to take. Then Norm got on the phone to find somebody to bring me the antibiotics. Ronny, who David and I know from hanging out at Wendy’s, graciously bought the meds for me, rode his motorcycle 10 miles in the dark, and delivered them to us on the beach. I am really grateful for everybody that pitched in to help me!! There is a great community in Luperon, and I am glad we chose it as our hurricane hole.

We had such a great weekend hanging out on the beach in front of Carabella’s and enjoying great company, cold drinks, and good food. Our time is slowly coming to an end here in Luperon, and we are gearing up for the next part of our trip!
I will post pictures on the blog from this weekend when I have a faster internet connection, but you can go to the FB page if you want to see some that I already posted.