Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Monday 15th January

Dominican Republic

19 54.4 N
70 56.5 W

The sun shone for a moment or two and then we got out of bed and it started to rain. Gerry did his hours worth of downloading weather fax whilst I pretended to be sleeping still. The weather forecast for the next 48hrs is showing a very small drop in the wind and waves, we don’t think it is enough for us to be taking off out of here but we plan to be ready just incase it is better than it looks at present. To this way of thinking we decided to take our laundry into Steve’s place to have clean sheets, towels and clothing for the trip, and also to visit the supermarket to buy a few items that we are running low on. We loaded up the dink, made the trip across the harbour and tied up at the town dock, walked the short distance to Steve’s place only to find it closed. Luckily a couple of his employees were hanging around the place so we left our laundry with them – hopefully it will be ready for tomorrow when we return. We then headed off towards the bank to draw out a few more pesos but on the way we passed the supermarket so I went into there whilst Gerry continued on to the bank. The market was clean inside and had a fair variety of foods on the shelves, I particularly wanted some cold meats and cheese as we were running low on these, as I looked around I couldn’t find any but a helpful shop assistant asked what I needed and as I explained in my worst “Spanglish” he nodded and took me towards a counter at the back of the shop where the chest style fridges are. He told me that he hadn’t got any bacon – it had run out but he had ham, I asked to see it and the cheese – he produced 3 blocks of cheese, one for frying(?) one for cooking and one for eating and 2 blocks of sandwich ham. At this point Gerry arrived back and we sampled the eating cheese – it wasn’t the best cheese I’ve ever eaten but it would suffice, I bought a pound of it – if nothing else I can cook with it. I also bought a pound of the “better” sandwich ham – yet to be proved! I asked what else he had hidden in the fridge as it has no glass and I couldn’t see into it, he told me “Chops”- not being certain that the chops were what I expected them to be I asked to see them, he produced a muslin wrapped piece of meat which turned out to be cooked ham on the bone so I bought a pound of that also. Thinking we were set I looked around for Gerry, he was in the booze isle picking up 4 small bottles of rum – to use as “gifts” for any more officials that we need to grease the palms of – take note if you are coming this way bring bottles of beer or alcohol with you to had out as gifts, they don’t like the stuff that is produced in their own country! We paid for our purchases, then headed to the commandancia’s to find out what we needed to do about our delayed departure as we had already got our clearing out papers – dated for last Tuesday. Despite no common language we managed to get the papers changed, well the date scribbled out and rewritten as the 25th, and the comment of “no problemo”. With much hand shaking and gracias pouring from our lips we hit the road and returned to our dink. We decided to drop the shopping off at the boat and then continue on to the marina to see if the computer internet was working today. First stop was lunch at the marina – you can’t beat the prices there and whilst we were there Jim (the weather guru) arrived and sat chatting with us – I’m sure we will now be leaving next week and not this week as Jim thinks the window is a bit small and we will get stuck along the coast a bit further where the harbours aren’t so sheltered. We spent the next 2 hours on the computer loading the last couple of blogs and – yes, check it out – I managed to upload a few pictures! It took nearly 10 minutes for each picture to load so it was a slow and painful session; I hope you think it was worth it. If you are wondering why I take so many pictures of sun sets –it’s because one of these days I WILL catch the green flash on film and besides which my sister might do me a painting of one of them – ever hopeful on both counts!
I feel the need to tell you about the state of the harbour, as you have read it has been almost constant rain since we’ve been here. The harbour is like a very large lake, surrounded by mangroves, mostly flat calm and quite pretty however the weather has stirred up the harbour and the water is the colour of something nasty that I’m certain I’ve seen in a specimen bottle waiting for lab testing, add to this a light chop with foam on top – it’s not pretty any more. Then you have to add further to the mix – the floating debris of coconut husks, plastic bottles, dead fish, bloated dead dog, tree branches and the insides of a refrigerator, we had wondered where the rubbish tip was – I think we have found it right here! Our friend Dale has advised us to dive our prop shaft before leaving here as the barnacles tend to think it’s their new home, given the state of the harbour I don’t think that is going to happen as we don’t have wet suits with us and although our shots are all up to date neither of us wants to chance fate – barnacles or not!. At night we can hear the waves hitting the blow holes just outside the harbour, the waves are so loud that it sounds like cannon fire. I’m quite glad we are tucked away inside the harbour when I hear the blows.
Our afternoon was spent back on board, reading and making ice – one of the best purchases ever that ice maker!



Post a Comment

<< Home