We made it! We are now in Luperon Dominican Republic 🇩🇴 in a very safe harbor surrounded by stunning mountains!
Our journey over the past 2 weeks has been extremely entertaining and tiresome. After leaving Crooked Island we headed over to Atwood Harbor on Acklins Island and spent a few nights there. This place was so pretty, we did some snorkeling and took the dinghy out to explore and spent some time with new and old friends. We were still traveling with Bruce & Nancy on s/v Seabird who we met in Clarencetown Long Island and the first night had this beautiful harbor just to the four of us.
The next couple of nights brought in about 4 to 6 other boats. Our friends Terry & Leslie from m/v Orient Moon who we met in Clarencetown also showed up and stayed for the night. We had sun downers and snacks on their boat with Seabird and got to relax and enjoy the time before they left the next morning headed to Plana Cays. Over the next couple of nights we met a couple of other boaters and even picked up a new friend Jack Yura from s/v Evie II. Jack planned to head to Mayaguana and Turks & Caicos just like us and Seabird so the three of us left Atwood Harbor on Saturday morning with intentions to stop the night in Mayaguana. Jeff and I made the last minute decision to keep going because the weather was perfect and we wanted to get an overnight sail in to work up our nerves for the long crossing to DR. Evie II and Seabird both stopped at Mayaguana while we made our way over to Turks & Caicos 🇹🇨 That ended up being a 105 mile run for us which took around 24 hours and it was tough! We took turns catnapping through the night and made it into the Turks banks around 6am. We still had another couple of hours to get to the designated anchorage in Sappadillo Bay and we needed to navigate there safely to avoid all the coral reefs so we had to slow down because this had to be done in daylight hours. The charts are extremely helpful to point out where the reefs are located, however they don’t capture them all so you need a good visual in order to safely navigate around them. We’re basically looking for the dark spots in the water to avoid because the banks are shallow and chalked full of gorgeous and very dangerous corral reefs. Many if not all pleasure boaters reference a very well know book called The Thornless Passage which has very detailed instructions and descriptions about this journey and how to safely traverse the entire Caribbean painlessly.
We arrived in Caicos on Sunday morning and raised the quarantine “yellow” flag and got some sleep. Monday morning we headed over to Port Authority to clear in with immigration, customs and agricultural for the dogs. Once that was all taken care of we headed over to Caicos Marina to avoid some heavy winds over the next few days. They had a great price on a slip so we took advantage of it along with Seabird and enjoyed some peace and calm along with long daily hot showers at the marina. (No navy shower for a few days 😁) We planned to rent a car to go into town for provisioning and see what Caicos was all about and ended up meeting a fellow sailor who has his boat in the yard getting some work done. He needed our help raising him up his mast to install lazy jacks for his mainsail so in repayment he offered to drive us wherever we needed to go. Over the next 3 days he took us out to shop and to show us all around Caicos. We had a great time getting to know Emanuele from Italy who lives in Chicago when he’s not on his beautiful boat Prima. Our friend Jack from s/v Evie II showed up and ended up staying a night and then joining us on our nightly adventures with Emanuele.
After 4 days in Turks and Caicos a good weather window was coming up so we said our goodbyes to Emanuele and Jack and made the decision to make our way over to Fish Cays for the night along with Seabird.
On Saturday morning we got up said our goodbyes to Seabird and headed Southeast to Dominican Republic which was another 105 mile run which took yet again 24 hours to arrive in Luperon DR. We crossed the windward passage which can be known as very dangerous due to high winds and seas. We were very watchful on the weather and chose that window for smooth seas which we also learned from the book. Since we wouldn’t have Internet access out there during our crossing and we don’t have radar we asked our good friend Brian Scarborough to send us the weather forecast via our inReach Delorme over satellite. One of the best investments for the boat! Our intentions early on were to spend hurricane season in DR for a couple reasons, safety being the first and second was the opportunity to recoup some of the expense of being in the Bahamas for so long. We were pleasantly surprised by a wedding invitation in August here in DR as well so we will most definitely be here for several months. We arrived on Sunday morning around 8am exhausted but so thankful for an easy and safe crossing. We were welcomed by beautiful mountains and lush green trees as far as we could see. The drive into the harbor was awesome, so beautiful and serene.
We dropped the anchor once in the harbor and planned to sleep for several hours, however the friendly navy folks of Luperon were wide eyed and busy tailed Sunday morning and decided to come knocking on the boat around 9:30 and welcome us by checking our documents and letting us know Customs and Immigration were on land waiting to welcome us as well. So much for sleeping. 😣 Within the hour we had the dinghy down and we were headed into town to complete our registration and check-in into DR. By noon we were pretty much all set so we decided to walk around some and get a lay of the land. We quickly realized and remembered our friends telling us that the place pretty much shuts down from 12-2pm (can you say siesta). Restaurants, bars and grocery stores are open so we stopped into a bar and met Fran who’s been here for 5 years! Talk about a plethora of information, we’ll be sticking close to her because she knows everyone and everything. Love this cruising life, people are so willing to help you out. We’ve run into a couple other sailboaters who we only knew from Facebook but finally got to meet in person here, they also have been extremely helpful.
The harbor is a mud bottom harbor and isn’t the cleanest or the best thing for your anchor and chain to sit in for too long so since we intend to hang out for a few months we did the math and figured we could stay at Puerto Blanco marina and still save money and keep our boat hardware in decent shape by being tied to a dock. We knew DR was going to be inexpensive but WOW we are amazed and so looking forward to spending time here. We haven’t been to the beach yet but it’s still early so we’ll update you on that later. So far we’re enjoying the marina, the wifi and with electricity included we’re in heaven. The food and beer is cheap and the people are kind and generous. We’ve determined its similar but still so different than the Bahamas and we’ll post more on those differences in the coming posts but for a quick glance, getting water and disposal of trash is pretty interesting 😊
As always thank you for the prayers and for following us. 😘💞⛵🌴