We arrived at Ile a Vache at 2:30 am this morning, after leaving Barahona on Friday evening. It was a long sail, longer than we'd hoped, but for the most part it went fine. We discovered the true downwind sailing, with the wind coming directly over the stern of the boat, presents its own challenges, mainly on holding the course. Our wind vane self steering wasn't such a fan of holding an accurate downwind course, and our electronic autopilot gave up on it a few times as well. So we were stuck holding the wheel ourselves (fun for only about ten minutes) or sailing slightly off wind, and also slightly off course. However, it was great to sail with the waves behind us, instead of coming straight at us.
Highlights include a green and white flash across the sky. Just after dawn on Saturday the Captain looked up and a meteorite was visible, tracking across the sky for three or four seconds, bright green with a white tail. Either that or the aliens have felt the same way about the DR as we did and were heading for home.
We also had a great little sail up the Beata Canal, with nice winds and flat seas. It's shallow waters, five to twenty meters deep. I was on the helm and had good fun. We had a fishing boat approach us as we entered the canal and wave a giant grouper at us, an offer of fish for sale, but we declined the opportunity to have a good size fishing boat raft up to us while we were moving quickly and navigating currents and shallows!
We are now enjoying the lovely harbour at Ile a Vache. It may be a developing country, but we've certainly received first class service this morning, with several people that we'd met previously out in dugout canoes, catering to our every whim - well, a package of cigarettes for the Captain and a SIM card set up for mobile data for the Crew. Yay for Haiti!
We like this spot, and the winds are forecasted to be a bit much for us to move on this week, so I expect we'll just have to suffer through some really fast internet, beautiful white sand beaches, and fresh bread from the local bakery. It's a tough life. :)
If you'd like to follow along,we are at: N18 06.259 W73 41.730
Copy the GPS location above, click through to http://netvicious.com/gps/ and paste the coordinates in the box in the upper left hand corner. Push the 'Convert and map' button and you will see where we are. On the upper right hand side is an option to toggle map vs satellite view.