Friday, April 11, 2014

Been there - Missed That

We're back at Bahia Marina in Samana Dominican Republic. You may remember Bahia Marina from a previous blog post as a place we really enjoyed. Actually it is our first "re-visit" since turning around. 

The passage from San Juan Puerto Rico was our first major introduction to downwind sailing and of course it did not go without its glitches. When I hoisted the mainsail the halyard line broke apart in my hand, actually not the whole line but just the outer sheath. Thank goodness the core stayed intact. While the core of a line is what gives it its strength, the sheath protects it from wear, abrasion and UV light. How long would the core last? Definitely to Samana but there something would have to be done about it. So then, we start flying downwind, doing 7knots for the first half. Hey downwind is great... Half way across the Mona passage though wind & waves picked up and got to be a little much for us. In trying to furl in our front sail it somehow got knotted on itself. We couldn't furl or unfurl it, it was jammed with the top quarter luffing and shaking the forestay. We limped into Samana under reefed mainsail. 

We intended to only stay a day or two in Samana but with the repairs needed and lack of a good weather window (and because we really enjoy it) we ended up staying for a week! 

We met a wonderful young french couple across from our slip. Vincent and Pauline crossed the Atlantic on their 32ft sailboat Criquet. Check out their website, it's really cool and with some great footage.

During week we were able to take a day sail across the bay to the Los Haitise natural park. This was one if the most beautiful anchorages we've seen in the Caribbean. Cliffs and outcroppings with lush rainforest vegetation. Tropical songbirds delight. We dingied three kilometers deep into huge mangroves and visited immense caves.  Apparently there's a $3 charge but we didn't see a soul the whole time.

Back in the marina for one night we said goodbye to the staff and other cruisers we had met. Particularly Dana & Jeff on a 46ft sailing cat Vida Libre! Dana actually cruises mostly on her own, getting help crew like Jeff only when doing big passages like from Key West to Samana. She was actually now planning on staying in Bahia Marina for six months, which, even with a 46ft cat is cheaper than living in Montreal!

Now off for another passage record setting attempt: Samana to Provodenciales, Turks & Caicos! 255 nautical miles. About three days, two nights.

Some visitors en route, they were jumping 10ft into the air

Night sailing begins

Bargaining in Samana

Mad Cow Disease? Call the King!

Never seen so many dogs on rooftops

Moto rickshaw, travel in style

First Mates


Up the forestay


Our floating home

Dr. Livingstone I presume?

Boy and Dog in Cave

I know, who where's white shoes to go exploring caves?!

Original skylights

Dog on boulder

Pools, bikinis, hosres oh my

Showing Off

Guys, it's so hot! OMG it's hot!

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