A pleasant daysail over to French Cay from Provo
French Cay, a Turks and Caicos nature preserve on the way to Big Ambergris
Windance III at French Cay
Crossing the Turks and Caicos Banks on the way to Big Ambergris...a
shoaled tanker in 10 feet of water, Amy
did the navigation that day just to be sure.
It was an all day motor to Big Ambergris
It became a wet motor trip bashing into 20 knots on the noise all afternoon
Our sunset at Big Sand Cay, a reward after yet another day long motor into
light, 15-20 knot, trade winds.
Big Sand Cay was beautiful and aptly named.
The entire western side of the island was a beautiful sandy beach
Our friends on Windance III had arrived the day before
Kevin was heartened when a second trawler entered the anchorage!!
Based upon their expected average speed, all 11 sailboats in the anchorage left between 1:30pm and 5:00pm for the 13-17 hour beam reach to Luperon, Domincan Republic. We had been sailing on and off with all these boats since Rum Cay. As often happens with major crossings, all of us linked up in one group waiting for the right weather to shoot across to Luperon.
Just as planned, we arrived just before sunrise at the entrance to Luperon. The sight of mountains and lush foliage was a dramatic change from the barren yet beautiful islands of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos.
One by one all the boats that left from Big Sand Cay the previous afternoon started to arrive
We all carefully headed through the outlying reefs into Luperon's inner harbor. The guide book says that 30% of first time entrants go aground on the way in. Not one of our group of 11 from Sand Cay went aground. One boat that came later in the day was not so lucky.
This house at the harbor entrance was the most picturesque house we saw during our two week stay in the Dominican Republic.
The next day we took a walk to the ocean side of Luperon with the folks on Chinook from Colorado to see what the trade winds look like after their daily arrival at 9am.
One of the ubiquitous island cows did not seem too impressed by the tradewind's arrival.
What a difference from the Bahamas. Rolling hillsides, paved roads, and fertile fields everywhere.
A very typical Dominican scene. Everybody outside their roadside homes saying friendly hellos to passersby..
This is looking down at the cruiser's anchorages in Luperon. We are in the second group of boat's with only the top of our masts' showing. The harbor is described as the best hurricane hole in the Caribbean. Again, cows everywhere we walked or drove.
This is the only divided road we saw and it was the 1/2 mile entrance to Luperon's downtown. A grand entrance which did not impress the cows one bit.
Not pre-5pm drinkers, we occasionally gave in to the allure of $2 , 22 oz beers, shady settings, and cool breezes......well maybe not so occasionally.
The night of the full lunar eclipse....we didn't make the eclipse part
The dinghy dock in Luperon
The fishing fleet in Luperon
This is the view coming off the city dock going onto the main street. Not sure what purpose the gate played. It did require 5 people all day to man it however. No one was ever stopped or questioned..
Future baseball stars
Outside the fish market in Luperon. We passed on the opportunity.
The butchery. We did buy a few items. I'm a lot more nervous than Amy about how our stomachs are going to react.
Another common sight. Right on the main street you could look into someone's living quarters.
The fruit and vegetable truck, complete with loud speaker, goes up and down the main street all day.
This is the main crossroads in town. Letty on the right corner was our favorite spot for lunch and a Presidente. Chicken, salad, French fries, and a a 22 oz beer for $6.50. Plus a non stop parade of local regulars.
An alternative spot dedicated to cruisers.
The town square where taxis and motorscooters, called motorconchos, would line up for fares.
The Luperon bus stop across from Letty where we got our bus for Santo Domingo.
It's all true about baseball and the DR. Everyone plays and whenever I told people I was from Boston they immediately cheered for Pedro, Papi, and Manny. Loving baseball, I had a great time with this. The two guys bending down are using their machetes to cut the infield grass before the game. The guy at shortstop, waving, is cheering back to me as I yell "Go Pedro!"
The bus station in Santo Domingo
Our hotel in Santo Domingo. $55 dollars per night breakfast included. .
Every morning on nearly every street, teams of street cleaners were out in force picking up the trash left from the previous day. It was amazing. As every store owner, home owner, and street cleaner picked up trash, people everywhere threw it right back. A very strange perpetual motion of trash.
The typical street scene. Old cars and old buildings and renovations in various undone states. With very few exceptions there were no high rises or new buildings and people tried as best as they could to keep their own immediate environs presentable.
A very typical neighborhood facade.
Looking through this gate toward the main tourist shopping street in the downtown. It is the only pedestrian only street that we saw in the city. It reminded us of Downtown Crossing in Boston. Only T shirt and gift shops seem to survive.
This is the main attraction site in Santo Domingo. Christopher Columbus square with the oldest cathedral in the Americas seen in the background.
Across from the cruise ship terminal sits the oldest fort in the Americas. The walls remain but a hotel sits atop the site.
These are the gates to the ruins of oldest hospital in the Americas. Pigeons and a beggar were sharing the remains of a discarded trash bag.
This fellow unlocked the gates for us to the ruins of another original cathedral. After our "tour" I gave him the equivalent of $1.00 in pesos and he was almost stunned with joy.
The interior of the cathedral
This shot is for our tenants who love to restore Land Cruisers.
A very ornate and old apartment gate
Watching a cruise ship leave the harbor as we stopped for a beer at a harborside cafe.
We had a wonderful surprise one day as we were walking down the dock in Luperon. Our buds from Windance III who had sailed on further down the coast had rented a car to see the ruins of Christopher Columbus's New World outpost. On the way they thought they would stop in Luperon to try and catch up to us...and they did. We are standing at the site of the ruins at Isabela Bay.
Columbus picked an absolutely beautiful site for his outpost.
This was our guide for the ruins. Everywhere you go you always get a guide. Some guides even speak English....this one did not....the ongoing commentary was a little hard to follow.
This Columbus sailor was buried by himself in a special spot since he had died of malaria.
We also took a great tour, this time with an English speaking Dominican guide, to the interior of the island to climb and swim in a 7 level waterfall. Along the way we saw all types of farming. In the background are the mountains with the waterfalls.
Another view of our destination and the typical interior road system.
The last leg of our route to the waterfalls was right through one of the many, many sugar cane farms.
Here are the crews from Chinook and Hot Latte Tudes with Miss Amy before our hike up to the falls.
Here's the crew after our trip. In the background is the first of the seven falls we climbed up and slid/jumped down. It was a wonderful trip that OSHA would shut down in a second in the US
These are our 2 guides who pulled us up the rocks and gave us encouragement to jump/slide back down. Guides in the morning, high school juniors from 2-6pm.
Our path back down to the park headquarters.
On the ride home we stopped at several other sites. This shot was taken at an old and almost abandoned botanical garden which still had a few interesting specimens.
This is one of the buildings at the botanical gardens.
Our last stop before the stone carver and the cock fight ( I stayed in the van for that stop ) was at a working ranch where the women took turns atop a prized and huge Brahma bull named Manuel.
The view from Shango in Luperon Harbor. Rainbow added for effect.
Leaving the Dominican Republic for Great Inagua, Bahamas.
The last view of the DR
Finally some off the wind sailing after all those weeks fighting to windward.
We only had a little over 140 miles to sail to Lantern Head. We had to slow the boat down so we wouldn't arrive too early the next morning. So for the entire trip, we only sailed with the main. Shango is surprisingly stable and fast with just a main while running.
All day just smoothly running with the wind and waves
Lantern Head is another Bahamian reef harbor. We are anchored in 6 feet of water. The dark colored water just beyond the reef is open water that drops to 1000+ feet within a quarter mile.
This is looking toward shore. Shallow water and sandy beach
Shango all by herself inside the reef
This gives a sense of the size of this sheltered bay inside the reef