Where is YOLO?

...Off to the Sea for Adventure

...Off to the Sea for Adventure

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My old man and the sea

Mi Padre arrived at the aeropuerto in Santo Domingo, a 4 hour bus ride away.  I went down to the capital to meet him, and together we spent one night at a not-so-classy hotel in this large city.  After exploring the colonial district, and several forts rich in history we decided to take the bus back to Puerto Plata where we had a room at an all inclusive resort and lance was miserably waiting for us in the lap of luxury.  At the bus station, the only thing we could understand was that there was a “problema” with the bus.  It turned out the road to Puerto Plata had been barricaded and we had to take the bus to Santiago followed by harrowing taxi ride through the mountains.  After over five hours we arrived at the all-inclusive resort and spent 2 days sipping pina coladas on beach beds!  Not usual for the YOLO crew but they had a special-rate for us that we couldn’t pass up.

Our departure from Luperon was made difficult, not because of the weather, or boat problems, but because of the Comandante.  The Dominican navy has to clear every vessel in and out of every port.  We had to get a piece of paperwork called a “despacho” from the Comandate, every departing cruiser has had trouble getting it without paying extra unofficial fees/tips.  It took some time and over 1000 pesos but eventually we motored out of the harbor with “Despacho” in hand!  It was quite ridiculous considering we were only cruising to Samana and not even leaving the country.

My dad has all the pictures from the beginning of his trip, so hopefully they will follow in another post.

Calm winds most of the way meant motoring, but at least it was very comfy

Look at this giant Mahi my old man reeled in

The passage went very well, 24 hours along the north coast of the D.R. with Mi Padre e mi amigo Lance.  Lot’s of stars, massive cliffs, and Humpback whales surfacing and blowing their spouts around us, it was amazing.  Just before turning into Samana bay one of our fishing reel made that beautiful zipping sound of a fish swimming away with the lure.  My dad hauled in the beautiful Mahi-Mahi and it was recorded as the second largest fish of the trip, 16 lbs.  After we anchored in Samana at the city dock, there was more talk about our “despacho” but we successfully evaded the authorities and got out of there to the marina 2 miles away.  We pulled in and docked right next door to our old friends “Eclipse.”  It was a pleasant surprise for both of us and Miles was chomping at the bit to give us a tour of the Marina.  Fabulous place with 5 swimming pools and a hotel attached.  After the long passage we spent several hours there relaxing and BBQ-ing, then sailing off together for a national park paradise.  However, once again the Navy wanted our “despacho!!!” The system they have for clearing into ports here is just too confusing so we gave up and left without it.  

There was good wind for sailing some of the time

Our friends "Hajira"  were perfect buddy boaters.  We sailed on formation the whole way and they are exactly the same speed as YOLO

In the park Lance, dad and I got to explore miles of narrow mangrove rivers in the dinghy.

One of the many caves in the national park

Dad and Lance pretending to be captain Morgan

The Hufford family was happy to hear about the Mahi-Mahi and offered to cook it and have us aboard “Eclipse” for dinner yet again!  It was absolutely delicious and they even had made a birthday cake for me!  What wonderful friends they are.  We always have a great time with them and make so many memories.  The park was beautiful and my dad got to see huge caves with petroglyphs, an ecoresort built into the cliff with amazing architecture, natural swimming pools, and a zip line through the jungle.  The Hufford family was there and we just had a blast on my dads last day in the D.R.  Today we had to say goodbye as he got on the bus to Santo Domingo. 

Look at the Hufford's nice clean matching hats.  Great sun protection

Dad going Tarzan style

Tying our dinghies together is now the preferred method for traversing mangrove rivers.  The kids got to practice differential steering

A view of the park and our beard progress

Eco-resort built into the cliff, very awesome

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