Ocean World Marina – boats, staff and the area

IMG_2921Well, we are still here at Ocean World Marina, just 4 miles west of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. The wind Gods have been howling pretty much ever since we arrived, and they are howling big time. This marina has a huge rock breakwall, I would estimate 25 feet thick and at least 25 feet high. The waves have lopped over the wall at times, pretty impressive to see. The rollers/waves at the channel entrance are just as impressive! The staff here are super friendly. It is a pretty good hike from the office area to Moorahme, and if they see you walking they are quick to pick you up in their golf cart and give you a ride back to the boat. The laundry facility here is impressive, and we took advantage of it and had our laundry done.

Moorahme is on a “T” dock. A “T” dock is at the very end of a dock, and offers very easy accessibility. The only issue though, is that you can’t tie the boat off on both sides….so there is a wee bit of rockin’ and rollin’ going on what with the ocean surge and the high winds…but nothing we can’t handle! A local here saw that we had no chafe protection for our dock lines, and was quick to offer me a great deal on some cut up fire hose…so now we have chafe protection! Yeehaw!

Moorahme at the T-dock

Moorahme at the T-dock

We have discovered a great restaurant/bar. Chris and Mady’s is an easy walk, and their curry dishes are amazing! They also rent out one and two bedroom condos, at a very cheap rate. It isn’t the Ritz, but clean, right across the street from the beach, and within staggering distance of great food! And cold cervezas! Check them out here…….www.chrisandmady.com for a cheap, fun vacation. Chris relocated here 30 years ago from Winnipeg, Manitoba…..he chuckles when he relates that he turns the heat on in the car if it is 75 F or cooler. LOL!

All of the sailboats that have departed the marina are heading to the Bahamas, Cuba, Florida….not one has arrived to head to Puerto Rico. Kind of strange……We hope to depart either Monday or Tuesday for Samana. This will be an overnight passage of about 18 hours duration…..so not a long run by our standards. At night the cool winds drop down from the mountains along the shoreline and create what is referred to as “catabatic” winds, which will help us along our route with their offshore push. I actually think I may have to put on a pair of jeans and a long sleeved shirt for this one…it does kind of cool off at around 4 a.m., which makes sleeping rather nice! But, no sleeping when on passage, at least not when it’s my shift.

There are some awesome boats here….a sixty foot Abeking-Rasmussen with an 8 member crew…all female! Lucky captain! They will depart for Cuba probably on Thursday. A Bayfield 32 from Quebec departed for the Turks and Caicos yesterday afternoon, their ultimate destination Florida. They took quite a beating getting out the channel, there are some big rollers and swells coming in these days, but they made it out fine and went merrily along their way. The sailboat beside us is from France…they were quick to point out that we had only half a Canadian flag when we arrived..so Beth and I hoisted our last spare. When we arrive in Puerto Rico we will order some replacements from Amazon, and we’ll also order some various parts and replacement items as well. There is also a French made aluminum sailboat here, I was told that it was a Canadian owned boat, but last night when we walked by the boat we could hear nothing but Spanish….I guess they could be Spanish speaking Canucks?

Tomorrow we will go on a tour of the area….hopefully enjoy the cable car if it is not too windy, tour a cigar factory, a rum factory, and whatever else our guide decides we should see. We are not going to rent a car here. Why you wonder? Driving here is incredible. No rules! There can’t be any laws or rules. It is pure mayhem..and yet everyone seems to get through it ok. We will hire a driver and let him worry about the traffic, which will be even worse due to the upcoming countrywide election and the president being in town campaigning.

It is a beauty day here so far, time to get up and at ’em. LOL…methinks Beth wants a pool day, and so it will be. The sun is up, very few clouds in the sky!

Keep your stick on the ice!

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic

As we near landfall, the smell of flowers greets us on the predawn breeze and as we get closer I detect the smell of smoke, inoffensive and almost like a pleasant cigar smell. The vegetation covered volcanic mountains are a nice change after the low shrubs and coral of The Bahamas.

Lush green mountains

Lush green mountains

Clearing into Customs and Immigration is quick and easy at this marina – everything is on site. There seems to be lots and lots of rules and money requests when it comes to leaving a port and entering another. Stopping at an anchorage (where there is no Customs) is not allowed. That means our next hop will have to be another overnight. Ahhggh!

Docked for a while

Docked for a while

The othe three boat left the following day for Samana, but I’m too tired to think straight. We miss the chance to get a  dispatcho so we can leave the marina and catch the small weather window. There will be high winds and big seas for the next week or so. So hear we stay.

This marina has lots of things to see and do. There is a sea lion show twice a day that we can hear from our dock.

The Casino at the Marina

The Casino at the Marina

A lovely big boat

A lovely big boat

Atop the casino is a lovely cigar bar with a magnificent view.

Bar staff - they make a mean Mojito

Bar staff – they make a mean Mojito

The view from the bar

The view from the bar

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Olivia - performing

Olivia – performing

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This young man and Randy had an animated Spanglish conversation about baseball players, boxers and wrestles. Sports – universal guyspeek.

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Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos – a new stamp for the passport!

When you enter a new country in a boat you have to take down the courtesy flag of the country you’ve left and raise a Quarantine flag to indicate that you haven’t checked in yet. Once you have cleared Customs and Immigration, you  can hoist the courtesy flag of the new country.

 

Randy hoisting the Q flag at dawn.

Randy lowering the Bahamas flag and ready to  hoist the Q flag at dawn.

 

Storm clouds on the other side of the island

Storm clouds on the other side of the island

Pretty and blue ahead

Pretty and blue ahead

Checked into Customs just waiting for Immigration to arrive to stamp our passports

Checked into Customs just waiting for Immigration to arrive to stamp our passports  – Randy, Gary, Tom, Sandy

It de islands mon!

It’s  de islands mon!

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Anchored in Sapodillo Bay

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Drinks and appetizers

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The new dinghy - securely fasened

The new dinghy – securely fasened

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Docked at South Side Marina – fuelled up and waiting out some big winds.

We needed to get fuel for the next leg of our trip and South Side Marina is the place to go. The only problem is the charts say the water depth into the marina is only 5.5 feet of water ….and we have a 6 foot draft. Bob, the owner, says we can make it at high tide – he’ll talk us in. And he does! Our depth sounder said there was just a couple of inches of water under the keel – nail biting- but we did it.

Bob at South Side Marina

Bob at South Side Marina

Bob's Bar

Bob’s Bar

Fixed something

Fixed something

Randy took the opportunity of being on a dock and near a boat parts store to fix a few things.  Salt water is so corrosive.

The weather settled down and we were ready to move on. The next section of the trip will take 8 hrs and if we want to do it in day light – and we do – we have to leave early in the morning. But high tide isn’t until 2pm. So we leave the marina the day before and go back to Sapodillo Bay for the night. Our friends Sandy and Tom on Renaissance II and a couple from Quebec , Richard and Diane on Rodingard, will be travelling with us.

Sapadillo Bay sunset

Sapadillo Bay sunset

We sailed across the Caicos Banks and arrived at Sand Cay. Sand Cay is the farthest southeast island of Turks and Caicos. A good place to stage to jump across to The Dominican Republic.

Sand Cay

Sand Cay

Once we were ancored, we got a call on the VHF radio from our friends on Sandy Feet! They were up at Salt Cay,the next island North, watching the humpback whale. This is the time of year when the whales move through this area to mate and birth calves.

Andy - up the mast on Sandy Feet

Andy – up the mast on Sandy Feet

Sandy Feet joined us in the anchorage latter on.

So, we have four boats on our night crossing. There is something reassuring in hear another voice in the night.

Escape from Chicken Harbour

George Town has the reputation of being the place where people stop heading south. Nicknamed Chicken Harbour for those who decide it’s too scary, too far, too bumpy, too something to go farther. For many it is the intended destination and it’s certainly comfortable and fun for those who stay.

We planned to go farther – but it was tempting to stay….

We sailed to Calabash Bay, Long Island – still in the Bahamas.

Sunset - Calabash Bay, Long Island, Fhe Bahamas

Sunset – Calabash Bay, Long Island, Fhe Bahamas

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We planned to meet up with Irene and Gary on St. Somewhere. They arrived just a few hours after us and then we were surprised to see Tom and Sandy on Renaissance II sail in.

We had cocktail on Moorahme and made plans to sail to Mayaguana the next day and following night.

It was a lovely sail during the day but the wave kicked up and made for an uncomfortable night. St. Somewhere stopped at a different Island to carry on to Turks and Caicos the next day.

We followed Renaissance II to Abrahms Bay, Mayaguana (still in the Bahamas) arriving about noon. Five hours longer than planned.

Sunset at Abrahams Bay

Sunset at Abrahams Bay

We went to bed early after letting RenaissanceII know we’d be leaving about 3am. They have a much faster boat so they said they leave around 6 and meet us there. We woke up at 1 and set off . Always fun trying to leave an anchorage in the dark.

Made it to Turks and Caicos by noon! Yay – finally out of The Bahamas!

George Town and a new Dinghy – Finally!

We sailed to George Town to pick up the Dinghy. We need it here – we’re anchored out again.

Here it comes - the dinghy

Here it comes – the dinghy

Gtown sunset

Gtown sunset

Randy has friends here from Blind River. We’re anchored right near them.

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The east side of Monument Beach

The east side of Monument Beach

This guy was having a blast

This guy was having a blast

Jumping waves (too bad you can't see the kite in the picture

Jumping waves (too bad you can’t see the kite in the picture

I had fun too

I had fun too

And got a bit wet

And got a bit wet

 

Looking out at Elizabeth Harbour - George Town

Looking out at Elizabeth Harbour – George Town

Sunday at the beach (last day in Gtown)

Sunday at the beach (last day in Gtown)

Herding Cats

Herding Cats

Catching up – February 2016

Getting groups of our friend together for several different outings -Dinner, a hike to lunch, pot luck at the club house…

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Randy

Randy

Tish

Tish

Steve

Steve

Stephan

Stephan

Marie-Claude

Marie-Claude

Interesting vegetation

Interesting vegetation

Group trek to a restaurant

Group trek to a restaurant

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Sail boat headed for George Town

Sail boats headed for George Town

Ghost crab

Ghost crab

Still looking for that restaurant....

Still looking for that restaurant….

Not the one we were looking for

Not the one we were looking for

But we fit ...

But we fit …

They have beer...

They have beer…

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And fancy drinks...

And fancy drinks…

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Even if they won't let Allie in

Even if they won’t let Allie in

We are blessed to have met so many wonderful friends and to have had the chance to meet up with quite a few of them while we wait for our dinghy.

Return to Emerald

Catching up – end of January 2016

When we arrived with the convoy, there were only a few boats in the marina.

Only a few boats at sunset

Only a few boats at sunrise

 

Sunrise

Sunrise

We spent a lot of time at Emerald Bay Marina last year. It’s a great place to pick up guest. The George Town Airport is fairly close and easy to get to. We intended to pick- up our friends Syeve and Tish and sail with them to Turks and Caicos.

Fate had other plans.

A departing boat killed our dinghy!

A departing boat killed our dinghy!

Fortunatly the dinghy was there. The boat that hit us would have hit our boat and the dock very hard (they were going pretty fast as you can see from our dinghy) if the dink hadn’t acted like a big fender!

We rented a car to pick up Steve&Tish and go into George Town to see about a new dink and what to do with the old one. Randy did some running around with the locals to dispose of the old dinghy while Steve, Tish and I toured town, ate, drank and did some shopping. I’ve been looking for a piece of art for the big blank wall behind the settee. I found it !

Beautiful new art !

Beautiful new art !

Several old friends had arrive at the marine by the time we got back. Bonnie & Jeff on Light Waves with Jim and Rhonda on Windarra, Ashley, Ren and Ani on Jade, and Monica and Gab on ???. We’ve made new friends on the dock and the other boats we sailed in with are all here on dock D.

We had impromptu pot luck parties on Moorahme three nights in a row!

An opportunity to visit with old friends!

An opportunity to visit with old friends!

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And meet new ones

And meet new ones

Randy - master kook - I mean cook

Randy – master kook – I mean cook

The dock is full now - weather coming in

The dock is full now – Mostly with our friends!

Another trip into Gtown included taking the water taxi over to Chat and Chill on Stocking Island, eating, drinking and shenanigans. Mmmm Rum Punch and Delicious ribs!

The water taxi driver's new puppy

The water taxi driver’s new puppy

Chillin' at Chat 'n Chill

Chattin’ and Chillin’ at The Chat ‘n Chill

Where?

Where?

Its hard to see in the pictures, but there are ropes suspended to walk on and to hold to get your balance.

Jeff performing athletic feats

Jeff performing athletic feats

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And not to be out done....

And not to be out done….

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The gang

The gang

Friends, Food, Fun and just a little bit of Fixing….We are having a great time!