Viequez, one of our favorite spots in the Caribbean. It's calm, with no charter boats. Throw in some great snorkeling, a mile long beach and its pretty ideal. The only downside is that both land and sea are littered with unexploded ordinance - but that's a small price!
The trip across the Mona Passage was good after we untangling our selves from an abandoned anchor. We even had a sendoff from the USCG who, we think, had to Google paravanes when we tried to explain what they were. We also had a “Welcome to the DR” visit from the Dominican Republic Coast Guard at 4am. They scared the crap out of Lena, who was on watch as they approached within 50’ of us at 25 knots, but all was fine.
Our first DR port was Santa Barbara/Samana and it was a pleasant surprise. We didn't even get the anchor set before a boatload of officials, with an English translator, arrived: Port, Navy and Drug/Intelligence agencies. They basically sat in the salon drinking soda and eating muffins while filling out a few forms. Contrary to some reports we'd heard, they weren't interested in inspecting anything and could care less that we had a dog. They even recommended an uninhabited island ~200 feet behind us as a good place to run Morgan. The whole process took maybe 20 minutes after which Lena took off to the island with Morgan and I went off to Immigrations to get our passports stamped. No problema!
Somehow we didn't expect to have to repeat the whole process here in Luperon. Another boatload of officials showed up (but no translator this time) but after a round of cold sodas everyone’s smiling. We had to make yet another visit to Immigrations but oh well things could be worse. Luperon is completely different than Samana being a small town with no tourism industry. In our opinion, the Dominican Republic has some of the friendliest people we have met. Everywhere we have gone, they are quick with a smile, courteous and polite. A country we will come back to.
Looks we have perfect trawler weather on Friday and Saturday so we’re on to the Bahamas.
Pictures: Motorcycles/scooters rule the towns. You can buy anything at the public markets. The US seems to have a small presence here as evidenced by the DEA agent who appears to have been in deep cover a little too long. Inspected vessels? The government dock in Luperon is busy but there’s a large secure free dinghy dock with good access to town.
...Can you tell me the story behind the anchor in the 3rd photo down from the top?
We were pulling the anchor in Boquerón, PR after a week when we got tangled with this abandoned anchor or old mooring. Another cruiser saw our dilemma and helped us get another line around it so we could take the pressure off our chain. He then help us untwist it all. It was shame to put it back on the bottom. It is testament though to the Light-House 1500 windlass and it's power.