Sunday 16 March 2014

Hello Bahamas...

We had a rough dinghy ride in to the dock to clear customs – luckily we had put our long wet-weather jackets on.  We were greeted at the wharf by “Yule” a local whose family had been there for 7 generations.  When we arrived at Customs we found they had run out of some of the forms, so they said – just clear in somewhere else – “don’t worry”.

We have now found that the “predictable” trade winds have been left behind and we have to watch the weather closely, ensuring that we head to anchorages that can give us protection in the varying winds.

We had a lovely close/broad reach sail to Castle Island at the bottom of the Acklin Islands.  On the way, we hooked two tuna at once, we needed to slow Our Rose down to pull them in, first spilling wind from the sails, still too fast, next – jib in, still too fast, next motor on and into the wind.  They were 10lb and 6lb Black Tuna – YUM

Richard and Brett went for a snorkel and look what they got...

So we had Crayfish Kilpatrick, Crayfish legs with dipping Sauce and Tuna 3 ways – Sushimi, Sesame Seared and Smoked, along with a Cucumber, Apple & Ginger Salad – delicious!

We had a lovely couple of days at Mudian Harbour – very calm anchorage, then sailed to Little Harbour a anchorage that would protect us from the forecasted Northerly.

Yesterday was Bretts birthday – they came over for “Chelsea Buns” and pressys in the morning

Then we went over to Seismic Wave for a lovely birthday dinner.  
Teresa had made delicious Foccacia Bread with nibbles, followed by Scallop salad, 
followed by BBQ Ribs and Rice.  
I had made Bretts requested Birthday Cake – Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese icing

Turks and Caicos...

We cleared customs early in the morning and motored up Samana Bay in rough choppy seas.  
Once we headed around the Peninsula the main went up, the jib went out and we had a lovely downwind sail on the North Coast and overnight to Great Sandy Cay in Turks and Caicos.  
We caught a Mahi Mahi...

As we entered the Cay, we were greeted by two Humpback Whales and a Turtle.

Next morning, very close to Our Rose, was a Humpback Mum and her Baby
(The picture below shows the Baby Breaching and the dark shadow is Mum beside it.

The photo below is Mum

Next day we had a lovely light sail across the Turks Island passage to Caicos Bank – our first experience of very shallow waters and watching out for coral heads.

We made our way to Cockburn Town to clear in.  
Walking to customs, these photos show the houses, with the church and its crooked entrance

Customs is upstairs from the bank.  The bank is only open one day a week, where the staff fly in – People queue all day to get their wages.

Immigration turned up and offered to take us on the back of the truck to her office, 
however decided she would be happy to deal with us at the customs building
  At anchorage, while having a Sundowner, this spectacular sunset occurred, 
with Seismic Wave in the foreground

 then it intensified to look like something from a Sci-Fi movie...
We then sailed to French Cay and onto Sapodilla Bay.  
Here we hitchhiked into town to try to find a rental car – to no avail… 
so we stopped at “Da-Munchies” for Jerk Chicken, Jerk Pork and cold beer.  
The owner then kindly drove us back to our dinghies.

Brett managed to organize a rental car (which was delivered to us), so we drove the island.  
Next day was Teresas Birthday – we drove to Bay Bistro and had lunch, 
then went for a walk on the beach
We then headed back to Our Rose for Strawberry Daiquari's, Crayfish Salad, Panko Crumbed Crayfish with citrus ginger dipping sauce, Chocolate Cake & Chocolate dipped Strawberries.

Next day we cleared customs, sailed to South Caicos, 
ready for the early start the next morning to Mayaguana, Bahamas.  
When entering the harbour, a “HUGE” shark swam passed – not to be deterred, Brett & Richard headed off for a snorkel – no Crays, however lots of fish, lovely clear water and dramatic coral.

Saturday 1 March 2014

Dominican Republic - Friends and Waterfalls...

While at the marina we met some lovely people...

Hazel along with her gorgeous baby Gaelon...
 We were so lucky that Hazel sang for us - she has an amazing voice - it was a real treat to hear her...

Hazel also organised for us to go with her friend Cookie to some waterfalls on his property...

We also met Danny and his crew (Tristan, Jimmy & Elesha) from Dezeo, who we had fun with...

Left to Right - Jimmy, Tristan, Danny, Elesha, Jen, Hazel, Brett, Teresa
David (Davids Mum) and Isobel from Morning Haze were right next to us at the Marina.  They were so very helpful to us with information on Turks & Caicos and the Bahamas
Also my sincere thanks to David for adjusting me!

Mark and Fiona from Avatar also gave us so much wonderful information 
also on Turks & Caicos and Bahamas - thank you, thank you

Dominican Republic - Big Day Out...

We went on a wonderful journey with a guy we met "Chocolate", 
to his home Sanchez "fishing village", 
then on to Los Haiteses National Park - what a fantastic day!
On the way to Chocolates Village - this guy is carrying his wheelbarrow & tools on his bike

Chocolates Mums home - She gave us the most wonderful hug and welcomed us to her home.

Chocolate and Brett with Local Fisherman that just returned with his catch

Repairing of the nets
 Everyone in the village is involved in the Fishing - the children help take the fish out of the nets - others repair nets etc etc

The four of us along "Toronto", Chocolates Brother.

 For two weeks at a time, the local fishermen go to this "remote" fishing camp, sleeping in tents, when not out on their boats, cooking on the open fire (this dish is rice and fish).

We explored the caves, with carvings that are purported to be thousands of years old

The Mangroves are Huge!

 On the way back, there were we were getting a little low on "liquid refreshments"

We were also getting very low on fuel - so Chocolate got on the Phone and rang his friend Angie, who came to the rescue with more...

A local fishman throwing his net
We saw such beautiful birds on our trip...

Pelicans on wharf at Sanchez Village

Baby Pelicans
 When we arrived back to Sanchez village, the children ran out to meet us...

Chocolates Mum had made us a late lunch - Chicken, Fish, Beans & Rice, Salad - it was delicious. 

Chocolate with his Mum and Niece
A lot of the local villagers came to say Hi and as always, they were playing their favourite game - Dominoes.  Brett joined in for the challenge also...

The day was not yet over - we were back in Tonys Car and headed off 
with Brett & Toronto in the boot...

They took us to one of their favourite local bars and tried to give Teresa and I Merengue lessons...

Angie - Chocolates friend who came to the rescue came to the bar with us
 These guys were sitting across the road watching the goings on (also being a bit quieter from the music)  Richard took them over a beer...

A the end of the day/evening, Chocolate, Toronto, Angie & Tony 
all came back to Our Rose and Seismic Wave for a couple more drinks.

We are very grateful to them all for a wonderful day!
Chocolate and Tony