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  • Writer's pictureSailing Koinonia

S/V Koinonia Weekly Sailing Log - Luperón and Puerto Plata, DR (Wed May 10 - Tue May 16, 2023)

Updated: May 31, 2023

umbrella street in puerto plata, dominican republic

Sailing Log Highlights This Week:

continuing to explore Luperón; two days in Puerto Plata including a visit to the Spanish Fort Fortaleza San Felipe, a cable car ride to the top of Isabel de Torres, a tour of a chocolate factory, and exploring the 27 waterfalls of Damajagua; Mother's Day in Luperón; getting our despatcho and departing from Luperón to Samaná, DR.

Wed May 10 - did boat chores and kids did school. Ben went to town and rented (borrowed) a motorcycle to run some errands. "Handy Andy" delivered all of our Jerry cans filled with fuel along with four cases of bottled Dasani water. Total was $260 US, most of which was for fuel.

Thu May 11 - kids have school. Ben dropped the genoa (large head sail) and disassembled, cleaned, tensioned the headstay, and reassembled the furler. Amber and Ben ran some errands in town and had lunch at a local restaurant. "Handy Andy" delivered 50 gals of drinking water for 1000 pesos ($20 US), plus two bags of ice. Laundry and showers back at Puerto Blanco. Dinner on the boat and packing for our trip tomorrow to Puerto Plata.

Fri May 12 - hired a driver with a 12 passenger touring van to take us, and the crew of S/V Bagia, to Puerto Plata; van was very nice with cold A/C. Two days cost $160 US. Explored one of the oldest European forts in the Western Hemisphere, Fortaleza San Felipe. It is the last structure still standing from the 16th century. While waiting for a cable car ride, the girls each got to join in and play with a Dominican street band (see video above); took the cable car to the summit of Isabel de Torres (the silver mountain) and explored the national park surrounding it. Had lunch at a beachside restaurant, then toured the Del Oro Chocolate Factory; bought way too much chocolate. Stopped at a roadside produce stand and bought freshly cut bananas, watermelon, mangos, and sugar cane.

Sat May 13 - took the van back to Puerto Plata and stopped for breakfast at a panarea, then went across the street to a vendor selling coffee out of a carafe surrounded by a swarm of honey bees that were attracted to the sugar. Drove to the 27 waterfalls base where guides outfit our helmets, life jackets, and watershoes and then guided us on a hike to the falls up the mountain. Aliza was ahead of us on the trail and tripped and fell between the guardrail. A good samaratan and former military doctor jumped to her rescue and prevented her from falling further into the ravine. It was a miraculous save and we were so grateful!! Aliza was not injured or even scratched and seemed unphased after about 5 minutes, so we continued on with the tour. We jumped, or slid, down seven waterfalls (the rest were closed due to the low water level). Everyone had a great time. Went to lunch at a nearby Dominican cafe, then went for ice cream and exploring downtown. We went to the umbrella street, then bought empanadas to go for dinner. We asked our driver to help us locate some passion fruit (Chinola) but we struck out after stopping at 8-10 stands along the road between Puerto Plata and Luperón. Stopped for juice and then went back to the marina. Walked up the hill from the marina and found passionfruit growing on a vine; picked about a dozen ripe ones and then went home and made passionfruit juice for tomorrow's breakfast.

Sun May 14 - Mother's Day. We slept in and had a large brunch with eggs, Parmesan grits, avacado toast, and fresh passionfruit juice (jugo de chinola). Basically just had a chill day. Elizabeth made a "Happy Mother's Day" banner and hung it over the settee. Amber chose the family movie, a classic black and white Frank Capra film starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert called, "It Happened One Night." It was a fun movie; it won 5 Oscars in the 1930s.

Mon May 15 - kids do school. Getting the boat ready to go offshore; studying weather and planning our route to Samaná. Looks to be a perfect window. Had 100 gals of water delivered by "Handy Andy." Went ashore to get showers and go to meet Richard at the Armada office for our despatcho. Took a three wheeler motor cart/ rickshaw (margarita) into town; it was like a clown car with all five of us stuffed in the back (see video below)! Stopped for frozen juice and cake then had one last dinner at Puerto Blanco before turning in early.

Tue May 16 - departed Luperón around 8am. Sea state was a little rolly at first and the girls became sick; Lizzy fed the fish and then felt better. The sea state improved and we continued to hug the shore around the 30 fathom line, occasionally avoiding local fisherman and fishing nets poorly marked with makeshift bouys. Encountered a few short rain showers; wind maxed at 14kts for about 10 mins; saw a big rainbow. Tried trolling but didn't catch anything today; no birds or fishy action. Darn. We did make good time motor sailing, so had to slow down to time our arrival at Samaná in daylight. Ben took the first watch.

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God Bless,

S/V Koinonia

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