Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday 21st January

Dominican Republic

19 54.4 N
70 50.5 W

One day closer to the weather window which seems to be holding for us! We started the day by going to the Flea market / swap meet at the marina. We didn't buy anything but we had a round of chatting with just about everyone who is in the harbour at the moment. We did get a container of water and then headed back out to our boat. We had decided that we were going to take the boat out of the harbour to a small bay just ouside where we have been told everyone goes to clean off their prop shaft prior to leaving Luperon. Despite my earlier protestations about not cleaning the prop shaft because of the state of the water here we had been talked into doing it by just about everyone who has been in this harbour before. So a little after 10.00 we hoisted the anchor - what a sorry state that was, it was covered in a clay like mud which seemed to be everywhere and got on everything. I feel sure that some health farm would love it for mud baths! We headed out of the harbour and turned right into a small bay, we knew we were in the right place as there was another boat there doing exactly what we were about to do. We anchored, Gerry tried to clean the anchor off by throwing a bucket overboard - literally, as the rope attached to it undid and the bucket made it's bid for freedom, I hurridly handed him the boat hook in the hope of saving it but alas it sunk, never to be seen again. Gerry then donned his snorkelling gear and jumped into the water, I remained on board as some one had to make sure we didn't drift off - great reason isn't it! I acted as the "gofer" - collecting all the things and handing them to Gerry as needed, I also cleaned the mud off the anchor and chain - with buckets of water (I had another bucket thank goodness),but oh for a hose in the anchor locker! Meanwhile Gerry was scrapping the barnacles off the prop shaft, rudder and anywhere else he found them. We were amazed at the growth considering it was clean in the Turks and Caicos Islands - it must be the yucky water here that encourages them to attach themselves to boats in the hope that they will be taken along as passengers to the next port of call! I felt a little sorry for Gerry in the water, fighting the current and trying not to swallow the water as it made it's way down his snorkel, enough to make a quick batch of muffins so there was something warm to eat when he finally got out of the water. At last the boat was barnacle free and Gerry came back on board, showered and changed and we headed back into the harbour and made our way to the mooring ball, Gerry was navigating from the charts below as our C map chip has no details of the harbour on it and there are some VERY shallow spots - we almost managed to ground on one but I was quick off the mark and steered us away from it. Gerry picked up the moring ball and tied us on to it without a problem. Once settled we thought we would try the internet to see if we could pick up a signal here and yeah we managed to find a signal so we checked our emails and I loaded a blog picture or two whilst Gerry went into the marina and bought another container of water. We dinked ashore in the evening to the marina and had dinner and a few drinks there with the harbour rabble.



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