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  • Writer's pictureSailing Koinonia

S/V Koinonia Weekly Sailing Log - Puerto Bahia and Samaná, DR (Wed May 17 - Tue May 23, 2023)

Updated: May 31, 2023

Wed 5/17 - at 2am, a loud, high pitched, intermittent sound created no small amount of distress in the night while underway to Samaná; it went away as mysteriously as it came; we suspect a loose and difficult to track electrical connection somewhere. Arrived at the Puerto Bahia Marina and resort in Samaná, DR around 7:45am; another boat was on the fuel dock, so we decided to proceed to our assigned slip. Marina was very nice with a 5-star resort hotel and condos with multiple pools and restaurants on site. Met Gavi the Harbor Master, then checked in with the Armada (Navy) and customs; no fees due.  Paid $175 US for one of the dockhands to wash Koinonia’s hull above the waterline, the deck, and the cockpit; he did an exceptional job and it was very hot outside.  Madelyn completed her Virginia Boater's Safety Course. Organized the boat, hooked up shore power, and turned on the A/C. GLORIOUS!  Had dinner with friends on S/V Bagia. The girls watched the new Mario Movie when we got back to the boat, to their great excitement. Aliza has been watching the trailers for at least 4 or 5 months. Slept with A/C running for the first time in a long time.

Thu 5/18 - slept in until 8:30am.  Put the canvas covers on all the hatches to reduce heat. Breakfast, then kids do school.  Ben dropped the staysail to tension, oil, and polish all fittings for the furler. Amber made some oatmeal peach breakfast bars.  Lunch was leftovers and tuna sandwiches. Cleaned out the forward head.  Kids watched the live action Alice in Wonderland.

Fri 5/19 - kids do school. Amber does laundry, including washing all upholstery covers. Ben did some consulting work and helped friends with weather routing from Freeport, Bahamas to St Augustine, FL. Met with Brandon and Ashley of S/V Bagia to hear about their experience taking a taxi into downtown Samaná. Walking back to the boat, we could hear that loud high pitched sound again all the way down the dock; as we approached the boat, we discovered the sound resonating from the cockpit; Amber and I were concerned and perplexed because all electronic and solar devices in the cockpit were powered off.  After pulling the cockpit apart to locate the sound, we found the culprit (see video above and pic below of the deceased perpetrator). Unbelievable!  It was the loudest one we've ever heard. Amber made butter chicken with black rice for dinner (a family favorite). Studied “Passages South” some more and looked at weather for the upcoming week to prepare for crossing the infamous Mona Passage.  No clear window as of right now.

Sat 5/20 - removed the starboard side Genoa track to re-bed it with Bed-it butyl tape only to discover it was bedded with 5200 (big no-no); so upsetting. To add insult to injury, a line of powerful thunderstorms with heavy rain rolled in right after we took up the track. Despite the frustration, we were thankful to be in port on such a stormy day. The kids watched several movies and played games. Our friends on S/V Sunshine (Jade, Debbie, Olin, and Emilio), arrived today and apparently managed to dodge most of the squalls. Split pea soup for dinner. Continuing to study the weather for possible windows to Puerto Rico.

Sun 5/21 - woke up and got a little more boat work done on the Genoa tracks before the heat set in. Breakfast followed by kids meeting friends and going swimming for a bit. Streamed worship with our home church back in VA, then ate left over soup with grilled cheese for lunch. More weather routing/ planning. Looks like we may have a relatively fair window to head east on Wed, but still too early to call.

Mon 5/22 - breakfast with the whole crew on the balcony of Puerto Bahía Hotel; it was very expensive by DR standards but good and the view was beautiful with the pool on the balcony, the marina below, and the mountains in the distance across the harbor.  Kids did school, then we hired a driver with a van to take us to the open air public market in Samaná; loaded up on veggies, fruit, and spices for cheap.  Went to the nice indoor supermarket, then had roasted chicken with pickled veggies and steamed plantains for lunch ($14 US to feed the whole family). Stopped at a bakery (panadaría) then went back to the marina. Took the kids to the pool in front of the Ocean Club Restaurant. Had chorizo tacos for dinner on the boat with guacamole and black rice.

Tue 5/23 - kids got up super early to finish school so they could play with friends. Checkef weather again and decided to start getting the boat ready to leave for PR. Checked out with customs and immigration early while they were onsite. Took the Jerry Cans to the fuel dock and topped up on diesel for $122 US.  Removed and stowed the outboard, then hoisted the dinghy. Put two pork tenderloins in the solar oven. Showers for all, then paid for one week of dockage and electricity; total was $598 US.  Ate our dinner then said our goodbyes to an impressive gathering of about a dozen friends and neighbors who came to see us off. Underway by 6pm, headed past Caya Levantado. Hailed our friends on S/V Bagia and learned they busted the webbing at the head of their mainsail while trying to hoist it and they were performing a temporary repair while underway. Not much we could do to assist, but they were back underway soon. Tiny fishing boats, many with no lights, remained on the water late into the night and sometimes far from shore; we dodged them all night. They often did not appear on radar until we were right on top of them, at which point they usually turned on some kind of light to alert us of their presence. Crazy!  The night sky was beautiful tonight with the Milky Way clearly visible; too bad pictures never turn out.  The crescent moon was turned like a heavenly smile as it set. Ben took the first watch at 10pm and Amber relieved at 3:30am.

God Bless,

S/V Koinonia

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