Monday, March 11, 2013

A stop in The DR

We arrived at Ocean World marina on March 5th. As we approached the scenery was beautiful with mountains and lush greenery. It was surprising how long it seemed to take to get into the harbour. What looked like a couple of miles was in fact over 12 and we were more than ready to stop.

We first headed for the fuel dock to fill the diesel and clear customs. The officials arrived and they included a representative from the marina who also did the translations, navy intelligence, Dominican drug enforcement and immigration. Daniel, the dockmaster was very nice and and spoke excellent English. The navy official was very young and dressed in fatigues. He spent his time drumming on our wheel. The immigration official was even young as well. Probably about 25. He thought it was funny that we had a "cato" aboard and he kept meowing. The DEA had a badge around his neck. Whether it was real or not who knows. We filled out the paperwork and they asked us a few questions about what we were bringing into the country. They never went below but did ask what were in all the boxes. Brian explained that that was our beer stores. All of them immediately said "ahhhh cerveza!". Brian asked them if they liked cerveza which of course they did. I was starting to worry he was going to bribe the officials, which he did. Daniel told us they would like to try some of our beer when they got home from work of course, so Brian brought out the 5 cold beers we had in the fridge. They readily accepted it along with a case of Natural Ice which was coming close to it's expiry date. 2520 pesos later (or about 63 dollars) our passports were stamped, we had cleared customs and were directed to our dock space in between Banyan and Que Sera Sera. Time for a big rest.

The marina is quite nice although it seems mostly deserted. The slip fees were $1.66 a foot which was reasonable and this was our first marina since Bimini. They offer wifi (yay!), a water park which we saw from a distance, a restaurant and dinner theatre, and laundry. There is a strong surge and this combined with concrete docks can chafe your lines very quickly. The docks are also very high which creates quite a challenge for us short legged people when getting into and out of the boat. Not a complaint, just an observation. We were quite happy to be on a dock for a couple of days. After a cocktail and a snack we were out like a light.

Yesterday morning we shared breakfast and a mimosa with Alex and Dave and then Brian and Dave did a few boat chores and Alex and I headed for the laundry. The laundry room in the marina is for guest use and hotel use. There was an employee working there who told us to go to the office for laundry tokens. Once there we were asked if we were doing our own at $3 for a wash and $3 for a dry, or they would do it for $5. We each had 3 loads and we didn't want to spend $30. Back in the laundry we found that our clothes had already been sorted and the mark in my jacket from a melted Halls was being treated in the sink. The laundry worker continued to wash, dry, fold and load our clothes into our bags. Wow! We both gave him a $5 tip.

Once back at the boat with our fresh sheets and clothes we decided to go and explore. There was a beach a few minutes down the road where we enjoyed a mohito, chicken wings and the company of the bartender. There were tourists tubing and swimming and sightseeing helicopters buzzing the beach. Brian showed the bartender how to cut and fiberglas a conch shell and how to blow it. He seemed very excited at a possible new way to make some money.

We then walked through a big resort. Same old story, pretend you know where you're going and nobody questions you. There were VIP golf carts zipping people here and there. Salons, restaurants, spas, the whole shebang. Very clean and nicely maintained. It was very hilly and we were getting really hot so decided to head back, pay our bill and go for a dip in the pool before dinner.

Not quite so easy. We had hoped to leave at first light in order to make it to Mayaguez by dark on Saturday. We had to receive our dispatchio papers before we could clear out and the officials would not be arriving until 8am. We could however pay them each $15 extra to come to work early. No, we would settle for leaving a little later in the morning. We ended the day instead with a cocktail party for 8 aboard Que Sera Sera.


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About Us

Brian, Sally and Cricket the cat sailing on our 41 foot Morgan Classic sailboat. In October 2011 we sold our house, quit our jobs and set out for Florida in search of a sailboat. We found her in Madeira Beach Florida. A 1987 41 foot Morgan Classic. Our plan is to sail for a couple of years. First to the Bahamas, after that...who knows.