Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Boca Chica, Dominican Republic.March 2014

 

Dear friends,

After a quiet overnight sail(we did stop in Salinas, but was an uneventful stay, we took in fresh water, and used the internet connection of the only hotel in the bay) , we arrived in Boca Chica and decided to anchor at the Zarpar Marina. Tip top class out fit. Great and helpful staff. As the free cruising guide author Frank Virgintino has this as his base marina, he actually threw a great party for all cruisers at the marina. Great local food and drinks… a big thanks to Frank and his staff.

We endulged in going to a real supermarket, so that was awesome and restocked. We went and explored (using our bikes) the surroundings and found that here the population should educate themselves on proper waste management because garbage was flying around everywhere.

We also visited the capital Santo Domingo. We walked around a lot in the hussle and bussle of the town. Needed to get new fuel filters so that took us basically all day. We also visited a modern shopping… It was already dark, when we caught the bus back to Boca Chica. We were able to cram our selves in the last seats in the back of the bus. More passengers entered, and a funny situation occurred as two more rather heavy built guys, according to the instructions of the bus driver, were suppose to take seat next to me… except there wasn’t a seat available. Our friend insisted however, because the bus driver told him so. And so he tried to squeeze himself in, and as the first law of Sir Isaac Newton tells us… two bodies cannot occupy the same space… this wasn’t going to work. In fact I invited the guy to sit on my knee, but that was harsly denied, and all of sudden it turned into a rather tense discussion on race, color etc.. spiked by a drunk passenger as well. So, we were glad we arrived back in Boca Chica.

After months of not having seen a hair salon from the inside, it was Dora`s treat to go to hairdresser/nail salon… I used that time to bike around town and check out the location.

It was time to leave Boca Chica, and head for La Romana, Marina Casa de Campo.

 

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Zarpar Marina in Boca Chica..1st class                Designed and managed by a sailor.. Good stuff

 

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Franks Party                                     Zarpar Marina                     Happy Dora

 

Warm Regards,

Pieter

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Barahona, Dominican Republic. March 2014

 

 

Dear friends,

Motorsailing (with the main sail up and the engines) we managed to reach Barahona still during daylight. The only note worthy excitement was that a couple of miles before the entrance of the city/harbor a lot of small fishing boats. They were trying to catch fish in increadible depts, so I wasn’t expecting that, but was able to dodge them.

The anchorage in Barahona is rather funky, as it is actually in front of where the major cargo vessel take in cargo (in this case a swiss flagged cargo vessel loading sugar). We still had to do the official paper work clearing in red tape. Not to worry, they came to us… 5 in total, black boots and all. Now, we were on alert that they would ask for extra money. The official looking custom agent asked us the correct amount for checking in (Us$ 64), but then the Agricultural guy (?), the Marine guy, the anti drug guy and whatever other guy, they all demanded either Us$ 10 or US$20. We managed to not pay a few, but still were stuck with paying US$ 130 in total. It is so sad that this is happening in otherwise such a nice country. We were told that at official check out, an other Us$ 50 was going to be charged….

It was carnival in Barahona, and basically everything was closed. We managed to have a great lunch with wifi connection so that was fantastic.

The next day we set sail for Salinas, and Boca Chica.

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Approaching Barahona

Be happy

Pieter

Monday, July 28, 2014

Isla Beata, Dominican Republic. March 2014

 

 

Dear friends,

We arrived in the late afternoon in the protected anchorage of the Island. This little gem of an island is a temporary home for a fishing community. There is even a coast guard on duty. But all very calm and relaxed.

There were three other boats in the anchorage, Marc and his family on a 46ft Nautitec Cat, our friends Jan and Giovanni on SV Ja, and another sailboat.

In the morning, Dora was hoisted up the mast to cut away of what was left of the genoa. Not an easy task, as up there the winds were still gusting. After a couple of hours, we had been able to clear everything. Then we went on to explore the island and met a local called Gringo. He not only sold freshly caught fish to Haiti, but also run a little supermarket in the fisher village. He gave us a bag full of fish and we had pleasant talks with him and his friends.

As we had a lot of fish, we invited Jan and Giovanni over for dinner on the Onda Boa. It turned out to be a very pleasant evening, good food, drinks and great company. After all the hardship we had endured, it was just nice to be able to relax, kick back and enjoy the good things that come with the cruising lifestyle.

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Dora removing the shredded genoa                     …..but also admiring the view…

 

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Nice look from above                                                 … and on the ground…

 

Be cool

Pieter