(Cabo Rojo, Dominican Republic)
Uggggghhhhhhhhhh. Again there is little I want to talk about regarding the journey east. Tacking in the choppy sea is not fun. It’s hard on the boat, and it’s hard on the people on the boat. I will say this though – I feel like I should make an infomercial for instant abs. One rough overnight passage sitting at the helm of Oceanna and you are guaranteed a six-pack. Guar-an-teed!
We dropped anchor in Cabo Rojo, Dominican Republic shortly before noon today. As we were only stopping for mere hours to get some rest and recoup before we pointed south we weren’t planning on checking into the country. Unfortunately, the officials in the Dominican Republic take new vessels very seriously and within two hours we had 6 armed men on our boat.
There were representatives from the Dominican Republic Cost Guard, Customs, Immigration, and Drug Enforcement. They conducted themselves very professionally, but still being the only cruising boat in a bay with 6 armed men and a huge language barrier on your boat makes for an uneasy experience.
Our (un)trusty port engine had began to leak oil on the crossing over so we were lucky that Greg had the engine, yet again, torn apart when the officials boarded. Because of this we were able to claim “Safe Harbour” and use the excuse of a problemo with our moto as our reason for stopping and not checking in. After going through our paperwork and an extremely thorough check of every nook and cranny of Oceanna the men gave us a thumbs up and said we were bueno.
Pfewf! All that was left now was we had to go into the Comandancia (Coast Guard post) and get a despacho to leave the country. We waited about thirty minutes and headed right in. What was supposed to be a quick stop to grab a piece a paper turned out to be over an hour of sitting in an office, utilizing Google translate, and chatting up the one official that knew some broken English. It was productive though as the office had wifi and we were able to get new weather files for our crossing south.
Eventually the officials finished their reports and we were given our despacho. Time to get back to Oceanna and get some sleep!