|Leaving Salinas as the sun came up
|Battling the forces of nature...
|After tacking around Punta Palenque it was smooth sailing
|Santo Domingo in the distance
The only thing we found floating in the water once we had past the city were these floats with flags attached. They had some sort of floating box and either a net or a balloon drifting beneath the water's surface. We saw at least six of these thing and we wondered what they could possibly be. Were they weather balloons? Or were they drug drops awaiting some high speed boat to come out here and scoop them up. We studiously avoided them just in case and hastened on our way.
|Enter from the left and stay in the channel
Once we got closer to the small island we could see the very clearly marked channel leading us into calm water.
|Loading container ships
I had hailed the marina on the radio but got no answer until we were well into the channel between the small island and the mainland. We had already decided that we would just find a place to anchor and check in the next morning... when we heard the marina telling us to stay close to the ships for deeper water.
We had to pass right in front of their bows but depths were ample and we could see the marina staff ready to tie us up alongside an easy-to-manage T dock right in front.
After a long day on the water, we were tired and apprehensive about the check-in process so the extra hands getting us docked was a welcome sight.
There were some tense moments when I learned that the prices advertised on the website were not entirely accurate. I thought we had a deal to stay in a slip for a month... when suddenly the price was higher than I thought. You only get the lower monthly rate if you agree to pay for two months in advance.
|The dinghy dock
We decided that instead of staying the month we had planned on, we would just take a mooring ball and leave as soon as our visit with our guests was done. So Frank, if you're reading this... instead of getting another slip filled for a month, you got less than a third of the income you would have made due to your unfriendly policies...
|Decent laundry facilities
The laundry machines took three tokens per load and the dryer was large enough to do two loads for four dollars. Each token was $1. It had been a long time since we had had the opportunity to wash clothes so we had a lot!
One of the perks this marina offers is a free ride to the Olé Supermarket in nearby La Caleta. We were horrified at the traffic between the marina and the store and were glad for the driver to deal with it instead of having to make our way to the store on our own.
|No idea what they do with all this dried fish!
We spent hours in the store trying to find the things we needed and gawking at all of the foreign-looking produce and fish. They have a huge section of dried fish that smell AWFUL! I couldn't spend much time in that section without feeling nauseated...
Once we were done with our purchases, we had to try to communicate our need to be taken back to the marina to the customer service staff. That was not much fun as they looked at us like we were aliens... But eventually they took us back. It's a nice arrangement that the marina has set up for us.
Later that evening we moved the boat out to our mooring ball. Bruce had to go out there with the Harbormaster (Rigo, who turned into a friend) and put a float on the pennant so that we could catch it with the boathook... ??? We had a front row seat to all the traffic and excitement going on in the harbor for those days... never a dull moment.
|Fixing the pennant with a float
|Daily buzzing by the PWC crowd
|More trips to the supermarket. Nice dinghy dock!
|Marine store about a block away. Nice folks!
|Cute little produce truck in town
|Little Colmados everywhere. They all sell liquor!
|A clothing store
So we did boat projects and wandered the streets nearby. They were shabby and bustling and completely foreign at first. But I was amazed after some days how my perception changed and these sights began to "make sense" to my brain. They no longer looked quite so disorganized and ramshackle. They seemed more familiar and more pleasant so that we eventually even stopped in to buy things here and there... including a couple of pieces of Arepa. I won't pretend it was good... but I'm not sure that some of my aversion to it came from the swarms of flies that got shooed away so that our pieces could be cut and served to us. (ick)
Active Captain is full of complaints about the loud music here. Mostly we enjoyed the free entertainment, although sometimes it was not to our taste.
|Carrot Croquets Creative cooking while stuck on the boat
We had some frantic times... our dinghy needed to be patched. When we started working on it we realized that our poor old dinghy may be on it's way to the junk heap. We spent a couple of days exploring the possibility of obtaining a new one. Not really possible. So we patched it as best we could and it will work for a while longer.
|He's gonna swim for it!
We didn't have enough wi-fi to use our Skype phone to call Rigo, so Bruce had to suit down and swim for shore...
|Off he goes with his dry bag full of clothes
|Can he do it?
|He's doing it!
|Yes! Score one for the Old Guy!!!
Finally the day arrived for Robert and Kathy to come. The waiting was OVER! They'll be here tomorrow!!!!