Thursday, April 30, 2015

More DR

After getting back to the boat from the busy fun filled day of jumping and sliding waterfalls we settled back onboard. I dont know if it was the food we ate at the buffet or all the water I flushed through my sinuses, but I was feeling a bit queasy and decided to change and lay down a bit when we returned. I ended up sleeping till the next morning not feeling well enough to eat dinner. At least I felt better in the morning. The weather was beginning to shape up to the point we felt we could leave Luperon so we paid Papo to have our bottom cleaned, arranged for fuel and water delivery as I worked to prep meals and tie the boat down for travel. Dirk worked topside removing the sun shades he had deployed to keep us cool. We also spent the last couple days buying a few supplies to get us to Puerto Rico.
Baby seat on the back of a motorcycle
Dirk picking out a pineapple at a great shop
Fresh Bananas hang everywhere
Fresh pineapples, mangos, avocados, and peppers
On the 17th We all decided that we would go as a group to customs and immigrations to do our paperwork so at 10 am we all met at the trailers to begin getting our dispatchos and paying port fees and such. Afterwards we all made the iffy trek up the path, across a bridge Im sure a troll lived under and up to pay the Commandant a visit to hand in our dispatcho request.
Fresh pineapples, mangos, avocados, and peppers
The path leading up to the Commandant
Guess if you can cross this bridge you can leave
Not a ver nice smelling body of water under that bridge so dont fall in

Of course yet again we realized if you carry carbon paper around with you that things go faster as duel copies had to be made. We started the process at 10am and at 1pm the final person was done.
Let the paperwork begin
Finally a second person came to help. Apparently we interrupted a dominoes game

When that was all complete they told us we had to come back at 5pm for our dispatcho, what? Wait, we told them our plan was to leave at 5:00. Oh well, we do what were told and smile about it. One last lunch and Presidente Beer before heading back to the boat to ready things for an early morning departure. The next morning at about 6:30 am the rat pack let the mooring balls go and bid farewell to Luperon.
Sunrise leaving Luperon
I must admit, when we were going there I had reservations about it due to all the stories I had read. My thought is try it yourself. If your looking for a pristine harbor that caters to the cruiser you will be not be happy. This harbor is a working harbor, it isnt clean, the streets have a certain smell, and the community is poor. But what we found among all this is a wonderful change in culture, and humble people who are very friendly. We did not find the government corruption we were so afraid of and we would love to go back one day.
Beautiful coastline
Puerto Plata
We managed to get as far as Sosua when we heard radio contact between two boats further up talking about the 8 foot seas they were in. Ummmmm no..we and Tehani decided to stop and anchor up waiting for the seas to lay dawn in the evening before continuing. The others continued on. After we set the hook we both laid down to try and catch a nap before continuing on. Right after I got to sleep we hear Hola.....we go topside to find a small fishing boat telling us we could not anchor there as there was coral heads around, we needed to move so we went to pull anchor to move to the right side some when they said there was no anchoring, you had to pick up a mooring. Hummmmmmm, I called Tehani and asked him how much they said the moorings were, he said 500 pesos. Heck thats about $11.00 and we only needed it for a couple hours. They came back to us and Dirk says that we would be leaving at sunset could we just anchor. They said the boss said no. Hummmmmmm, how much he asked out of curiosity. We already knew what they told Tehani but they told us 1000 pesos. What the hey? What because we have a bigger boat your gonna try for twice the money? Dirk told them he didnt have that much, they asked what we did have. He said let me check. A moment later he came back up and said he only had 350 pesos and the guys said what, you dont have a $20.00 on you. Dirk told them we have no money, we are headed to Puerto Rico to get some. They took the pesos we said we had and showed us where to tie up. They said next time we stop there we can pay what we owe. Yea right, I will get right on that. I guess theres those bribes and corruption we were looking for. Oh well we needed to sleep. At sunset we dropped the mooring ball and headed south once again. Dirk had just pulled up the sail and I was setting our course on the chatplotter when we both looked up together to see a faint outline of a man in a small fishing boat. He was yelling and anxiously trying to pull in his fishing net. Holy cow, who is out fishing in such a small boat at dark with no lights. Apparenty lots of these guys. I know we had to of scared him half to death as he scared us just as bad. Im awake....I radioed to Tehani and good thing I did as they didnt see him either and turned away. By that time in the evening the seas had settled a bit and we made our way to Samana arriving at 4pm the following day. We did have radio contact with the others in our group and managed to catch up to them somewhat after they stopped once it got too rough for them. We finally made it to Samana and were the last ones in the marina to tie up. We decided on the marina as we were all very tired from the trip and needed a little R&R. We went in to see customs and immigrations to turn in our dispatchos and check in. Apparently the DR likes to know where you are coming from and where your going to at all times. The Commandant was very nice and helpful, spoke very good english and welcomed us to Samana.The boats were salty and so were all the people so we were happy to have a real shower at the marina even if it was a cool one. We found s/v Tangent whom we met in the Bahamas there at the dock having gotten there a day earlier. We chatted a bit with them before setting off to check out the marina and grounds. What a great place, they have a mini mart right there that has everything I needed and I didnt need much as we were headed to PR in the next couple days and could not take fruits and veggies with us. We bought us an icecream and headed back to relax. While there for a couple days we managed to find pool time and I got several loads of laundry done.
Dirk & I enjoying the pool
Poolside Cafe
The marina also put on a great meet and greet for everyone docked. They provided nice cocktails and appetizers for us in the pool room. The last evening we were to be there we had a rat pack meeting to talk about the trip over to Puerto Rico and a nice lunch poolside before all retiring to our boats to prep them for the trek east.
Meeting time for the Rat Pack
Several large pools like this all around
We would not leave till the following evening as thats when the winds would die down, so at about 10 am we headed into customs and immigrations to get our dispatchos done and all was well with the world. Easy checkout, paid our 20.00 to clear and then all we needed to do was wait. One last meeting to recheck weather and routes then we were off, next stop Puerto Rico.

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