I liked Boqueron, Puerto Rico, and if we didn’t have a tight schedule I would have stayed and let the messy weather pass. But off we went, motoring. Not unpleasant, initially. But as we got offshore the swells built, squalls came and went, and at times the wind blew…dead against us even though we are “supposed” to be in favorable trade winds. There was a major depression just north of us (close enough to see the lighting over the horizon). Not conditions for a happy crew!
All the motoring was raising a question as to whether we had sufficient fuel. I “answered” that question by forgetting to turn off a fuel transfer pump, resulting in our pumping maybe 10 gallons overboard through the tank vent! Crap!
Between needing a break and needing fuel, we headed for the Dominican Republic after all. We had heard that Ocean World Marina was a good destination — a modern marina (showers), easy customs clearance with no bribes, and fuel would be readily available. Those three pluses turned out to be accurate. But this place has some major minuses, too. It is a resort and theme park. Music plays constantly, occasionally nice most mostly bad. We get to hear the overly enthusiastic announcer for their dolphin and sea lion shows thrice daily. It is a playground for the wealthy, with a casino and a cigar lounge and a Las Vegas style night club show. Not much connection to the larger community (other than providing jobs, of course). And maybe if the place were busy and thriving I would get into the spirit; but it is nearly empty. Huge docks designed for superyachts are bare. The terrace lounge has seating for a hundred or more, four seats in use.
At least we got to take a run into the nearby town of Puerto Plata. The supermarket offers pickup/delivery for us to shop there. Of course they are thinking we will be doing major provisioning, but we did that in PR since we didn’t plan to stop here. Still, we bought more food. But the highlight was our driver taking us the scenic route through the historic district, past the oldest cathedral in the DR, and allowing us to stop at the local produce market (after we had already bought all we needed at the supermarket).
Oh well…the people are friendly, and it’s fun to speak a little Spanish again.
Our fuel tanks are full. Our water tanks are full. Our freezer is full. Our counters are full of the produce and other items that won’t fit in the full lockers. In the morning we set out once again for the Bahamas. The wind will still be against us initially, but it is predicted to veer favorably by nightfall. And it should be sunny and pleasant except for some lingering swell from the distant gale.
Besides a hot shower, there was another highlight yesterday. I got an email from a student at Yale who was preparing for mock treaty negotiations in a climate law class. She is representing Tuvalu against the industrialized powers, and her web search took her to my posts from Tuvalu, especially the last one where I wax philosophical about the conundrum of climate change and climate refugees. I went back and read my own post (https://zekethesailor.net/2015/07/), and it made me cry. That time was so long ago and far away…and that post was so close to my heart…and that was when sailing the Blue Planet Odyssey included a bigger purpose…