April 4-6, 2010... On Our Way Again

Studying weather windows again, and interrogating all incoming boats about conditions they saw 'out there' we decided to leave Monday morning for Puerto Rico. Before leaving we had a last Dominican dinner with Roberto, Ocean World's dockmaster, who took us to one of his favorite local restaurants in Puerto Plata, La Esquina de Pacheco. There we sampled mofongo (a plantain dish) and a Dominican stew. Roberto took us around town showing us where he grew up, clearly proud of his city. After dinner we guagua'd back to the marina where the conversation of the other passengers and the banter with the driver had everyone laughing. This was a great way to spend our last night on the north coast.
Monday morning we picked up our despacho from the Navy, backed out of the slip, and headed east. We had some really good sailing, good weather, and made some miles through the Bahia Escondida before the winds picked up around the Cabo Frances Viejo. This point of land became part of our lives for the next few hours as the seas and currents kept us from moving very quickly. Then, after nightfall, while we thought we would get the night lee and have some more good sailing, the winds picked up even more to 20-25 knots, as did the chop and the seas which were up to 8-10 ft. We left up a reefed main, took the other sails down, and turned on the engine. We puttered through the night and made it to Cabo Cabron by morning. The winds had come down and the seas were moderating, but we were now exhausted, not being able to sleep much through the rocky night. So, we decided not to punch through the Mona Passage and turned right instead into the Bahia de Samana, anchoring off Santa Barbara de Samana by early afternoon.
We had just fallen asleep when we heard people boarding the boat at around 5pm. It was our 'official' welcome to town. The Navy wanted our despacho, and the rest of the group (4 came aboard) wanted money. We gave them some and hoped they would go away. Which they did. We're not sure how much of this was official (we did get a receipt from the Navy) and how much was corruption, and it doesn't make us want to go ashore or ever come back here again. We wonder if any of the locals here know that they would get more people to come spend money if they operated in a legitimate fashion. It's just too easy to bypass Samana if you know you are going to be taken to the cleaners here.

Santa Barbara de Samana: +19° 11' 52.02", -69° 19' 44.64"

1 comment:

  1. I am sorry to say it this way but "get used to it"... it really sucks but Spanish comprehension is key too. Perhaps you need me to come and help out. :-)