We left the Turks and Caicos with a weather window forecasted for light NE winds.  Along the way we got to see a "mating dance" between two humpback whales.  It was very spectacular with at least 80% of the whale coming out of the water - Quite a sight. 

We were aimed for Puerto Rico, but ended up in the Dominican Republic. We know this because like in the movie "Captain Ron" when we arrived we "just stop and asked  directions".  O.K. so we weren't lost, just did not end up where we had planned to go, but are really happy that it happened that way.   The plan, which can always change, was to make the east end of PR but the waves and winds made us rethink that and we ended up sailing into Samana Bay and staying at Marina Puerto Bahia.  At just .90 cents per foot, it was quite reasonable, and since Customs, Immigration and the Navy representative were on had, quite easy to check in and be legal in the country.   The marina is very nice, and it is part of a resort that is quite pricey, however as marina guests, we got to use all of the facilities that the rich folks did.  Two infinity pools, exercise room, concierge.  We got a free taxi ride into town, as the resort is about 2 miles outside of town. 

The taxi was  a pickup with crew cab.  We were going with our friends on Good Trade, so there were 4 adults and two kids, however the kids are the same size as Kris.  Dean got the front seat being the largest, and the other five got the back, with Derek on Kris' lap, and two people sitting in the middle of the backseat where the cushion was torn and sagged down about a foot lower than the rest of the seat.  We made it to town just fine, and wandered the touristy part just briefly, and then headed off to the non-tourist area.  Found a local grocery and got a few items, then off to lunch at a small restaurant where all the locals ate.  Two pieces of fried chicken, rice and lentil soup for just under $5 per person.  The food was delicious.  We were all getting some really good practice with our Spanish.

After lunch we headed to the farmers market to buy some fruits and veggies, and had a great time with the locals naming the items and asking for prices.  We got instruction on preparation and the nice lady even gave us some stuff for free.  They had a great time trying to teach Kris how to say cinnamon in Spanish correctly, and after about 8 tries she finally got it right and there were high 5's all around.  Derek did good asking prices, but then the lady quizzed him later and he got all tongue tied.   The lady and her husband that we got our produce from, flagged a taxi for us for the return trip - but this taxi was a little different. 

There are lots and lots of motorcycles used for transportation here, but most would not be street legal in the United States.  They attach a two wheel cart that would seat 4 normally to the motorcycle and that is the taxi.  We got all 6 of us plus groceries in one cart, and off we went.    The Dominican Republic is very mountainous and we had a very steep hill to climb to get back.  The guy on the motorcycle towing us was overworking his poor motorcycle to pull us up the hill.  At one point half of us got out and walked up a small steeper portion, and then we all got back in.   Two other motorcycles came up behind us, and one put his foot on the back of the cart and helped push us up the hill while on his motorcycle.  At one point Dean and Ross got off to help push as well.  When we took off, Ross got back in, but Dean was left behind - no problemo, one of the other guys on the motorcycle following picked up Dean and brought him along.   It was all to no avail though because halfway up the hill the motorcycle died completely - probably never to run again.  NO PROBLEM, the guy pushing with his foot, hooked us up to his bike and we continued on.   Everyone along the side of the road was staring at us and could not believe the gringos scrunched into this little cart and the motorcycle whining at a high pitch trying to get us up the hill.   It was a case of the tourists becoming the attraction.   We gave the second taxi driver $10 and he was thrilled with that.  Don't know if he was going to split it with the first guy with the broken bike or not.   

So far we have found everyone here very very pleasant and nice and had really enjoyed our time.    More on the Dominican Republic later.

 

 

 

02/10/13; Missed it by that much 


Breeching whales


At the marina
 
The infinity pool was great

In the vegetable and fruit market

How do you say "cinnamon"?

Downtown

Our taxi


Had to stop for gas and fill up
 
Dean gets a ride
 
Happy to have delivered us safely