Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The wonders of waltzing west

All right, all right, I will stop all this lazing about in tropical locations and write another blog post! 

(Actually much thanks to those of you who emailed me and gently asked, "Haven't seen a post lately, are you OK?" It's so nice to know that people actually read this stuff. :)

We are well.  Very well, in fact. UNBELIEVABLY well, really.  You know why?  (Because the Captain loves the fact that the Dominican's make their beer in 1L bottles?  Partly, but stay with me here...)

We are doing so well because we are going WEST!

Now, if you're a regular reader, you know that we have spent the last month trying to do the impossible in the Caribbean - sail east into the prevailing wind and waves.  And honestly, by the time we got to Las Salinas, we were taking it personally.  The Captain and I were having deep discussions about how maybe we just didn't know enough about sailing, maybe our lovely boat was just too old, and these were the reasons why the sailing had been so hard.  We pretty much gave up on going further east.  (We'd also not heard very nice things from other cruisers about the marina further on where we were planning to stop.) 

We just weren't feeling the sailing love.

Las Salinas is a resort town with some country homes for wealthy Dominicans who live in the city.  During the week there is no one there, but during the weekend we saw lots of BMWs, Landrovers, and Mercedes, not to mention a whole pile of kite surfers.  It's windy and pretty, but there isn't much to do other than drink beer in all of the little bars/shops/restaurants - we were there a week and went to a new one each day, so we got through most of them.

On Sunday, we decided we'd tried all the bars worth trying, and it was time to blow this popsicle stand. We had to sail back to Barahona to check out of the country with customs & immigration, a sail due west, across a bay where we'd sailed in extremely uncomfortable conditions twice before.  We were nervous.

But you know what? It was an AWESOME sail!  It appears we do know what we're doing - we just have to go west!  The wind was not too strong, coming across our port stern quarter, and we had a lovely, flat, uneventful sail back to Barahona. Wooo hoooo!

So that settles it my friends - the 2015 Wrong Way Tour has suddenly started to go right for a change (actually, that will be left looking at the map, but let's not mix too many metaphors here.)

It seems, in spite of not intending to come here at all, that Barahona will be the town that we know and love best here in the Dominican Republic.  Yesterday the laundry man greeted us with a smile, the pineapple/water seller gave me a kiss on the check to say welcome back, and the immigration dude tried once again to sell me a day trip to a nearby lake, but graciously took my "No thanks" when I offered him a beer instead. I can guarantee you that this town isn't going to make the top 10 lists of "places to go in the Dominican Republic," but it's certainly made the top of our list. 

Instead of drinking beer in bars, we are trying to set the record for how many days in a row we can go to the grocery store.  Our game will be up by the weekend, as we plan to head south, retracing our steps back the way we came. Best guestimate is that we will be back in Montego Bay, Jamaica by mid May. (But we're sailors, so don't put any money on that.)

They say it's all down wind from here, folks!

P.S. This is the windward side of the beach in Las Salinas: you can see the enTIRE thing! (Bad joke by the Captain)

P.P.S. We bought these in the grocery store - Salsa China?  But soy sauce, of course.  Salsa Inglesa? (English sauce is the literal translations) But Worcestershire sauce, of course!

If you'd like to follow along, we are at: N18 12.869  W71 5.280
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.

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