Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thursday 25th January

At Sea to
Dominican Republic

19 12.077 N
69 19.879 W

The motoring continued and we watched the sun rise which was quite breath taking. I forced myself to go below and cook up some breakfast which went down well as we hadn’t eaten anything substantial since yesterday’s lunch. The beginning of the day was fairly pleasant, nothing too untoward happening but as the day progressed the winds and waves began increasing and we were beating into the weather again, making only 4 knots an hour by the time we reached Cabot Samana. It was crunch time for us – either to continue or to run into Samana and the shelter of a harbour. We checked how much fuel we had left and worked out that we could probably just make it to Puerto Rico if we could maintain the 4 knots speed, so we agreed to go for it and review it if things got worse. Gerry went for an hour’s sleep and when he came back up on deck I had to tell him that we were loosing ground, our speed was down to 3.5 knots and sometimes less, we were bashing into the waves even more regularly. We did a re calculation and came to the decision that it would be touch and go for us to reach Puerto Rico if we continued at the same rate and were unable to do anything except motor. The wind didn’t look like clocking around for us to be able to sail so with some reluctance we turned back and headed into Samana. It was 3 hours out of our way but at least we would be able to fill our now empty jerry cans, have a hot meal and a good night sleep before setting out again in the morning. Of course as soon as we turned we had the wind behind us, we popped the jib and flew down to Samana doing 7 knots, in fact we saw 7.9 knots at one point – why couldn’t it be doing that in the direction we want to go?! We watched the sun disappear behind the mountains and the sky turn red – it was awesome and of course the camera was down below stowed away. Then we had to find our way into the harbour in the dark. I can almost hear you asking what the problem is, well the problem was that we were tired and there were hundreds of lights everywhere making it very difficult to pick out which ones were the harbour marker lights and which were shore lights behind them. Of course there was also the added problem of the anchored boats which had no anchoring lights on what so ever – all sent to confuse and worry us! We navigated our way into the harbour both watching out for the obstacles, which we managed to avoid, and found ourselves a spot to anchor – in 17 feet of water. The anchor dug in and I was immediately down below in the galley preparing a hot meal whilst Gerry tidied up the cockpit stuff and turned things off and on (navigation and motoring equipment off and lights (including our anchor light!) and fans on. One drink each, a hot meal and showers and we dropped into bed.



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