April 7-13, 2010... Samana, Dominican Republic

An unplanned week in Samana.  So that's cruising.  You live by the weather window.  After a couple of days of resting and cleaning up the boat after passage, we started exploring town.  Plenty of bars and restaurants, a fairly good grocery store with a bakery, terrific produce market, a casino, and lots of chachka shops.  The later are there as major cruise ships come in to Samana and disgorge their passengers into this tiny town.  They all need to buy something to take back to the ship.  
We kayaked around the harbor and the small park on the island marking the edge of the harbor and went out the channel for further exploration.  Wouldn't you know it, a squall comes in and kicks up the swell in the channel and we are all of a sudden 'adventure kayakers' in white water.  Turning back we got to Anhinga and started to board; that means Patti's paddle goes up first, then she boards and takes John's paddle, then he boards before lifting the kayak.  So what happened after Patti put her paddle on deck?  We lose our grip on Anhinga and the current takes us -- up the creek without a paddle.  John has his, but we are halfway down the harbor before he can turn us around and push us into the wind back to the boat.  It all ends well - we get on board eventually.  
More and more we are getting to understand how small a world it is.  We went to an internet cafe to check email and weather and found a table by the only electrical outlet.  Next to us was a man we came to learn was also on a boat.  This was Chuck on Ronin, who we had met from a distance in the ICW last fall as we waited for bridges to open in South Florida.  We remembered his boat and story -- he remembered our boat too.  Chuck had been in Samana a few weeks waiting for his return weather window to Boqueron, where he lives.  Over the next few days he showed us the ropes in town.
Finally, after hours each day of analyzing weather information, listening to Chris Parker on SSB, and having our kids send us weather reports from the internet that we couldn't get in Samana (the wifi connections were never reliable - thanks again Galen and John), we found our weather window:  Tuesday night into Wednesday would get us to Boqueron safely -- Thursday was promising to bring bad stuff on both the DR and PR sides.  So we got ready; got the Navy to come out with our despacho and do their inspection of our boat (we had to ferry them in the dinghy -- boy did they squeal after John picked up a nice bow wave and drenched all of us on board...); waited for one more late afternoon squall to pass through the harbor, then off we went.  Felt great to be on the way again.

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