Sunday, January 14, 2007

Wednesday 10th January

Dominican Republic

19 54.4 N
70 56.5 W

The sun shone brilliantly all day making us wonder about the validity of the forecast weather front but the forecast in the morning confirmed that the front was bearing down on us. Gerry spent most of the morning going between us and Jim, chatting, sharing information and charts. Jim has a very keen interest in weather prediction and from what he says I suspect that his job at some time involved dealing with weather patterns – though this is just a guess. He told us that we would have got stuck at Samana and that we would have found the anchorage there very exposed to the front, in other words he thought we had made the right decision. Gerry and he obviously had a bit chat about our trip as Gerry came back with info sheets on traversing the Panama canal and the passage south through the pacific – all in all Jim was a very informative and helpful guy, we will be watching for when he leaves and we will be in his wake! At the moment it looks like the next weather window is about 11 days out, we hope it’s a bit sooner but at least we will be able to enjoy a bit more of the surrounding country whilst we wait. I spent almost the entire day with my nose stuck in a book. I forgot to mention that we have asked about the lack of use of the yacht club, a very sad tale unfolds. Apparently the very wealthy owner decided to get very greedy and began charging people to tie up at the dock, to park cars in the car park, raised prices for drinks and food and generally made the yachting community feel unwelcome, as a result the "long stay" yachties decided to boycott the place, so on any night it is almost always empty the only patrons are newcomers like us who haven’t had a problem. We made comments about what a great place it could be and why the swimming pools were empty and dirty, we were told that the pools were built in April and because the owner refused to pay the price of the water required to fill them they remained empty until October – and then one of them was filled as a couple wanting their wedding reception at the yacht club wanted pictures next to the pool so one pool was filled. It struck us as quite vindictive of the "long stay" yachties and very sad for the entire community - the club has a prime location and I’m sure that with the right management it could be a terrific spot for yachties to congregate. We have also heard that the place is up for sale so who knows; maybe it will achieve status again. We dinked into the marina for a couple of drinks and dinner – the bar was full of the "long stay" yachties socializing, which just highlighted what the yacht club is missing out on. As we returned to our boat the weather front began to close in around us, the rain began and the winds started to howl around us, finally we felt vindicated in our decision to delay our departure.



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