Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Champagne in a beautiful place

Just after I pressed send on the last blog post in la Bahia de Las Aguilas, we received a VHF call from "Mr. Fizz." At first, the Captain thought they knew him and were calling "Mr. Phil," but it turned out to be a very friendly couple from France on the sailboat "Mr. Fizz" who were about half way through their one year of sailing from France through the Caribbean and home again. They had come from the Dominican Republic, and although they spoke English well, they said their Spanish wasn't so good and they were happy to find people with whom they could socialize. They invited us to join them for drinks on the beach and, they had a bottle of Champaign to share! (They said they had a friend back home who made the stuff-guess we need more French friends...)

We had a great evening drinking bubbly on a moon-lit beach. The sand was stunningly soft and white with only a few shells for distraction and stretched on for miles in either direction.

This morning we left the pleasant anchorage and we thought we had an easy sail planned for Isla Beata, a few hours away. Well, six hours later after sailing close to wind through some choppy seas, we've arrived. Isla Beata is the southernmost point of the Dominican Republic, and although very beautiful, it is mostly uninhabited, with only a few fishermen and a coast guard station.

The officials came out to meet us in a fishing boat, as we were told they would, and were very friendly and courteous, despite the language barrier. There was paperwork to be done, of course, and that was obviously not their forte, especially in a foreign language. In fact, on the crew list for the 'despacho,' the piece of paper that gives us official permission to move from here to our next port of call, the Captain's name was listed as "First Name" for a short period of time, until we gently corrected the error. Tee hee hee

Tomorrow is up early and another full day of sailing. We plan to arrive in Las Salinas sometime tomorrow evening, but it's more 'easting' and judging from our experience today, it might take longer than we think. Cross your fingers for a good angle on the breeze...

If you'd like to follow along,we are at: N17 36.284  W71 31.732 Copy the GPS location above, click through to 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.

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