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Early Sunday morning, we untied from the mooring ball at first light, then followed Jacasso, and Mezzaluna, and leading Necesse and Margi out of the bay, which has been our home for the last almost 8 months. The previous day was spent playing our last baseball game, followed by drinks at Pichichi’s bar for post game celebrations. We almost won. Muriel and I gave our baseball glove to our runners, to boys who showed up each week. After making our rounds to say goodbye to everyone we returned to the boat to do last minute chores and to wait for the goverment officials to come and issue us our despacho to leave the Dominican Republic.
The weather was exactly as predicted, light winds, and calm seas but it took most of the first day to get used to the motion after so much time spent in our calm bay
This coast is know as the rouchest part of the carribean, but today as we motorsailed, the seas were calm, with a 5ft swell. Getting around the capes, land that sticks out into the ocean it was a bit bouncy, we had some 8ft. rollers with the occasional 10.
We dodged at least 2 squalls and as nightfall came we were 60 miles down the coast. The night was very dark, no moonlight to guide us only the reflection of our running lights illuminating the foam caused by the wave crashing off our bow. We took 2 hour shifts each. When not steering we were napping.
By Monday night, after sailing 42 hours, we were at the Mona Passage, part of the ocean that separates the two countries, saying goodbye to the Dominican Republic. Early Tuesday morning, at around 5am the engine stopped caused by crud stirred up in the tank. We tried to fix the engine as we sailed slowly towards Mona Island. We now know Murphy had joined us for a ride,…..He is the guy who says ( ” what can go wrong will go wrong” ).
The lack of wind which is very rare on the ocean caused us to tack over and over trying to grab even a whisper of wind just to keep moving, Murphy hiding somewhere snickering. Finally around 3 30 pm the motor started. In 10 hours we had sailed 11 miles, our devious friend Murphy had either dicided to go for a swim or go bother someone else.
As we arrived at the small anchorage on the west side of Mona Island, Jacasso was waiting for us with dinner ready, the only boat we were still with. They had prepared Mahi Mahi a large fish they had caught on the ride over. A very thoughtful gesture by our friends, we were exhausted.
Each crew makes their own choices of which way to go and this is a stop we wanted to make, at this nature reserve consisting of two Islands. After 59 hours on the water we were looking to relax.
After a easy check in with the park ranger who only wrote down our names and boat info we were given the OK to explore the beaches. Due to it being hunting season for wild goats and pigs we were not allowed in the interior and to only fish from the beach.
The next morning it was raining off and on, but as soon as it cleared we swam to shore and took a long walk on the beach. In the afternoon we put the dinghy in the water and snorkeled around the anchorage. Since we were close to the reef, there were schools of fish around us. A group of sea turtles even came to visit.
This little piece of paradise is a great stop.