Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Monday 8th January

Dominican Republic

19 54.4 N
70 56.5 W

Time –around 03.00hrs,
Gerry gets up to go to the toilet,
“here Nick, have you seen this?”
“when you flush the toilet it’s like fireworks going off in the bowl”
“oh, yeah, I’ve seen it”
We have a habit of trying not to turn the lights on during the night if we get up to go to the toilet and as we pump the sea water into the toilet bowl to flush it there is a series of sparkles from the phosphorescence - it is quite fascinating to see. Gerry also tells me that as you urinate into the water it gives off sparkles too – not that I can confirm this! (It’s a boy thing like writing your name in snow!) I just needed to share this insight with you.
The day dawned wet and overcast, Gerry fiddled around filling the fuel tank from our jerry cans, trying to find 2 screws to put into a hinge that seemed to be missing them (who knows where they went!) He then radioed Handy Andy for some diesel and some drinking water to be bought out to the boat. We had breakfast and then Gerry then decided to change the oil and filter and the transmission oil on the main engine. As he was doing this Andy arrived with the fuel barge so I organized the filling of the jerry cans, payment and was enquiring about getting our laundry done at the marina today when another barge pulled up alongside us and an official looking man climbed aboard our boat, he was from the agricultural office – here to clear us in from the fruit and vegetable point of view! He asked if we had any fruit and vegetables, I told him yes, he asked where we bought them, I told him Bahamas, he scribbled a couple of things on a form, asked if we had any trash, I said a little, he said he had 2 special blue bins at the dock for “foreign rubbish (not sure about the implications there!) charged us $10 for the privilege of his visit and left us with a piece of paper and a smile. We have been warned by our neighbours in the harbour that a second agricultural officer may appear – this one to fill out forms about meat and fish and to relieve us of a further $10. Then the man with the drinking water arrived so Gerry had to stop what he was doing and empty the water into our tank, and treat it, as I couldn’t lift the containers. Back to Andy – the lady who does the laundry wasn’t here today so we would have to take it into Steve’s place if we needed it before tomorrow, which we did. Once Gerry had completed the oil change we loaded our laundry into the dink, picked up our documentation and headed towards town, thinking we would get out clearing out documentation done today as we plan to leave tomorrow. We hit Steve’s place first, depositing our laundry, checking our emails and having lunch then we headed to the “office block” of the authorities. We firstly had to get our Tourist Cards stamped and then dropped them into a box in the office. Then we crossed the road and climbed a hill to the Commandancia‘s office to get our departing authority. The man we saw there was very pleasant, asked for a piece of paper that we hadn’t got, charged us $17 for a departure document and sent us back to the “Office block” for the missing piece of paper. A lady there filled out more forms with the same information, charged us $11 and gave us the bit of paper – we still aren’t sure what it’s for! Having exhausted ourselves with the backwards and forwards of trying to get leaving documents we headed back to our boat for an afternoon siesta. It continued to rain on and off into the evening but we decided to take the dink into the marina and go to the yacht club for dinner. The yacht club is a fantastic building, which sits on a hill overlooking the harbour, It has an open terrace, straw thatched top floor which is the main socializing area, then there is a large room underneath that which looks like a function room, there are 2 swimming pools, one is empty and the other looks in need of a good cleaning. The view from the terrace area is one not to be missed, it encompasses all of the harbour. Anyway we tied our dink up and climbed the million steps to the club, when we got there we were surprised to find it almost empty, there was maybe 4 people in the entire place. We asked about dinner only to find the cook was having the day off! Anyway we stayed for a drink and to enjoy the view as the sun set and then we took off to the marina where we had diner. The marina had what appears to be a few “regulars”, people who have arrived here and never left the place. As the evening progressed the rain got heavier and heavier becoming almost monsoonal and the thatched roof of the marina restaurant began to leak. This got worse and all the patrons retreated further and further inwards until we were all packed into the narrow area around the bar. Everyone was very chatty and we had a couple of interesting conversations with these people that seem to have adopted Luperon as their home. Eventually we decided to brave the wet and got in the dink to return to our boat – good job we had taken our wet weather jackets with us or we would have been soaked. Finding our boat in the dark was very easy as we were the only boat that had put an anchor light on! It looks like we will be leaving here tomorrow evening after picking up our laundry plus a few bits of provisions as there seems to be a small weather window which will make a pleasant change for us if it is what the prediction says.



Blogger tom white said...

I have just started reading you blog and nikkie you write very well. sorry about the head sail problems. glad i put that ring in the sail as a back up. Sincerely tom white ps what was the cause of the forestay failure.

5:19 p.m.  

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