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Saturday, May 29, 2010

SOUTHBOUND.................TO THE DR....


If you have ever wondered why CASHEWS are so much more expensive than peanuts...... well let us give you a clue......... Those itsy-bitsy dark pieces at the top of these bright orange fruits are the cashews.............. The rest of the fruit is quite delicious and we ate all of it, but the nutty part has to be carefully split and dried......... One whole fruit for each cashew........... The things you learn as you travel, and there are lots more wonderful exotic fruits to sample.............but the real news is that we finally landed a juicy fish......... a 20-pound WAHOO...... Yes we both yelled......"WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO"....We have caught plenty of fish but they always get away, but not this time.............



After cleaning and gutting the fish, it was nicely cut up into thick steaks and bagged and into the fridge for "chillin"............. All this as we entered the Dominican Republic (DR) waters and anchored off the island of 'BEATA' for the night......... days have been grey with high humidity..........
...............Anchor up at 5 AM to head out for another day of motor-sailing against the wind to make our way south............... Finding a path between squalls that seem to come through every few hours............. Twice we have had our mainsail torn by fierce winds and slamming as the boat rolls...........and each time we have sewed it up again with needle and palm.........



Late afternoon sees us safely anchored in a caldera-like bay awaiting the Customs and Immigration officials who will clear us into the Dominican Republic, .... this to be followed by the "Guarda Frontera" who will issue us with a 'despacho' to allow us to travel to the next port...... On shore we see the piles of rock salt gathered from salt ponds that are just out of sight, and in the twilight we hear the hundreds of motor bikes that are the mainstay of transportation.................This day's run was 69 miles mostly over water 6500 ft deep..........But the anchor is down in 12 feet and life is good.................



We are gone again by 5 AM and a 70 mile run lies ahead, but by midmorning a huge line squall hits us with winds in excess of 25 knots and the coastal seas become worse than anything I have ever experienced............... Mostly due to the fact that the water drops away from 50 ft to 5000 ft, in under a mile, and the turbulence is out of control........... Once again the mainsail is torn to pieces in a new place and we are able to continue only by using the upper part of the sail now down to the second reef............... Hanging on with both hands we make the last forty miles to edge behind an island at Boca Chica and into a marina for a well-deserved rest and sleep...................... It looks like this from the air............. We are on a mooring ball just off the yachts that are docked......................And in a few days we will meet up with those wonderful people who own that magic dock in Vero Beach, FL, where we spent last summer......... The bottle of Bahamian Mango Rum is in the fridge together with the Wahoo steaks.........

Night.... you all...........

1 comment:

Lauren said...

What a magical experience. From our perspective even the bad (weather and main sail rips) are just small obsticles that ultimately add to the whole adventure. Your pics are wonderful and can't wait to have the opportunity to see them all with a personal narration from Capt't Crunch and The Queen.
I love you and can't wait to talk to you again.