Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Trip from Luperón to Samaná

We are in…..the DR still. We did leave Luperón but had an uncomfortable ride on Friday night with winds 5 to 10 knots higher than forecasted so we turned south to Samaná instead of continuing east to Puerto Rico. Here is a rundown of the trip.

Night/Day 1 – Left around 6pm, had some turbulent water (it was like being caught in a washing machine, and I didn’t like it), almost hit a rowboat that didn’t have a light and only avoided them when David heard them yelling at us, and anchored around 9:30 a.m. Went to sleep and was woken up a couple of hours later by Navy officials who boarded without permission and before we could get up top. I was yelling “Un momento” as I was getting dressed, but they came aboard anyway. I mean the boat is our house, and it’s like police just walking through your door with no invitation. It was rude, but we did not say anything. In the DR, you cannot leave a port without getting a despachio, and we had gotten ours for Samaná. I think technically you aren’t supposed to anchor anywhere until you get to that port, but sailing/motoring during the day with 35 knots of wind is not something we would do. The trade winds weaken after 5 or 6 p.m. so that is the reason we move during the night. Bruce Van Zandt’s book explains all of this, and it’s the bible we’ve lived by after leaving Provo. Anyway, after we told the officials that we were just anchored for the day and not leaving the boat, they said, “No problema”, and went on their way. Finished cleaning the bottom. Discovered a busted seam in the dinghy, which meant it wouldn’t hold air in one tube, and we lost our mode of transportation to land. Not much we could do it there so we let it be.

Our last look at Luperon Harbor
Night/Day 2 – Left Rio San Juan around 8pm and had a nice, calm sail to Escondido. Anchored around 10 a.m. in a beautiful bay with cliffs, a pretty beach, and palm trees everywhere. Slept soundly for a few hours with no interruption from officials. Fixed the blower that the stupid rat broke when it chewed through the wires.  Found our water tank empty and then found that the fresh water pump was leaking, which helped drain the tank. Not having water is a big deal so we turned on the water maker, which was started making weird noises and not producing water. We were so frustrated at this point!! Long story short, David fixed it all (yes, I know what you are thinking and you’re correct…he is awesome!), and we pulled up the hook around 9 p.m. Our goal was to round the cape and make the thirty-five hour passage to Boquerón, Puerto Rico, but once we got near the cape, we had 20-25 knots of wind and short, steep waves coming from all directions, which sent the boat pitching like crazy. I was huddled in the corner of the cockpit with my eyes closed just waiting for it to stop. We weren’t in any danger, but there were a few scary moments (at least I thought so). The conditions improved after we rounded the cape, but since we were dead tired and had a long way to go, David made the executive decision to go to Samaná. We anchored at Cayo Levantado, which is near Samaná, at 5 a.m.

Time for morning watch

Dolphins and Escondido

Day 3 – Stayed at Caya Levantado to catch up on sleep. The island is beautiful, but it didn’t make a good anchorage because it was really rolly.

Day 4 – Moved to Puerto Bahia, which is a marina and hotel.

So there you have it. It was an exhausting trip so I am glad that we stopped in Samaná to re-group, fix a few things, and get some shut-eye.

Update on the rat: It is gone!! We caught it with a rat trap the first night at the marina. It was an destructive little bugger that broke the blower, which keeps the engine cool, chewed up several of my cloth grocery bags, including one my Granny made, got into the silverware drawer and chewed up a spatula and a couple of wooden spoons, and chewed through the lids of freeze-dried eggs and roast beef cans so we had to toss them.

He was an effective can opener.

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