Like Columbus, in the night sky we see the northern star with Jupiter and Orion the brightest but we can watch google sky to spot planets. For night sails a full moon gives us vision on watch but we use AIS (vessel locator) to spot ship lights. We lifted anchor at 2am, SW tip of Puerto Rico, 10 Feb. and motor sailed 13 hrs. to arrive at Cap Cana Resort a 5*marina in DR. Only to be tied up by a dusty building site!Escape we did to Santo Domingo the 14c capital of Dominican Republic(DR) a 4 hr. drive, for a weekend at old Hotel Palacio in the heart of rustic Zona Colonial.
The first urban town built in the Americas, it’s now under rejuvenation - of worn cobbled streets, forts, churches, tapas bars and art stalls. Lucky for us a live gig by Latin legend Victor Victor playing “Por Favor” was on. Adoring fans slow danced the bachata-merengue style ,oh so HOT.
A morning Latin cafe hit the spot, before wandering 11sq blocks of colonial museums- inside were fine Spanish conquistador artifacts, Columbus Palace furnishings, armour, carriages on display alongside Cuban & Haitian art.
We got a lesson in military rules at the Resistance Museum..stories of independence, people fighting for liberation from colonial occupation & then corruption til 1960’s…sent chills up our spine.
Let's go with Roni & James- to the celebration of DR Independence Day. After an overnighter to the Nth coast, with SV Harlequinn- we tied up at Ocean Water World marina part of a dolphin/seal show - we didn’t see. Instead we went inland to La Vega Carnaval – where Limping Devils in satin costumes lash out hitting spectators with filled animal bladders- reminiscent of slavery, ouch Bruce got Whacked.
On arriving next morning whales were breaching in the distance. Yes, Sandy Cay has stunning deep blue sea to turquoise sands. Excited, we launched our new Sunny 2 person kayak to ride the wave break to the beach.
Next after dodging reefs and shallow water, the Turks & Caicos police boat visited us at 5pm, while we anchored for the night on the Caicos bank “10 NM from land” to ask us our names and destination (looking for drug runners?). After a BBQ meal and rest we woke by 7am to sail the sth & west coasts of Providenciales Island in 1 day to reach Turtle Cove Marina.
NEVER has Bruce helmed so nervously, Wyuna’s 25ft. width/ 5ft keels missed all reefs and beaches, by steering a route in currents, over and between wave breaks – luckily Gar min Navigation route plan was spot on – “Ah a cold Presidente beer” went down the hatch well at HHr.
We were glad to meet Sandy who arrived 10th March at postcard perfect ‘Provo’ – snorkels on, underwater we saw a Scrawled filefish! We stocked the fridge, ate fresh grilled lobster and cracked fresh conch shellfish, (yum local treat) and it felt great to stretch our limbs. All Dive boats were booked, so offshore we go. No sleep in for the crew, at 3.30am the main was winched up.We entered the lagoon of Mayaguana, an outer BAHAMA island and exNASA base (John Glen dropped in the water one time). On our dinghy ride to town, in mangroves, we spotted native Flamingos feeding at sunset, then spread their pole legs to fly.
A local man Reggie, a very friendly restaurant owner, cooked us conch and we ended up hiring his own truck (no rentals here) with Roni & James to Pirates Well (dug by pirates) & lagoon. Bruce drove dodging potholes.
Small Samana Cay is sublime for water lovers. After a tricky entrance, we knew why we love cruising off shore. Wyuna floated on deep blue water, we untied the kayaks, jumped in to snorkel reefs under white cliffs- til Bruce lifted a large Spiny lobster from its hole. We cooked it and shared it with Roni & James, Leslie &Terry on the fly bridge of Orient Express and wash it down with vino, watching the sun go down!!!!!! Cruisers paradise eh.
Next route, we rounded the Bird Cove Lighthouse for a night stop only. Sandy read, slept, winched, on watch on her final passage to Long Island, a quiet secluded island harbour.
We’d read about but have never seen Blue Holes, and the world’s deepest Deans is 600ft here, where freestyle divers compete. Our attempt was 5 secs. A farewell treat for us all was lunch at Seaside Village lagoon bar before waving goodbye to Sandy after 2 weeks of sun, hectic fun, endless miles of sailing, underwater excursions and adventures.
We can confidently say WYUNA's found her home – where the water is SO clear we can watch the stingrays glide past the boat and the barracudas DO follow you when swimming or scrubbing the sides of the boat-
"Oh the BAHAMAS islands (means low water)- are SUBLIME."
WE will continue to tag team with our mates Roni & James on SV Harlequinn and leave Long Island 3 April, after Kathy and Brian land here.