06: Cruising: The Caribbean
Crossing Mona

Crossing Mona

After a week of waiting, our patience is rewarded with a weather window that will allow us to safely cross the Mona Passage to Puerto Rico. We check out with immigrations, check out with the navy (who board our ship and bring the DR-equivalent of the DEA). We give them twenty dollars and the remaining cold beverages left in our fridge: one tonic water, one ginger beer, and one Bohemia (regular beer). In return, they give us our check-out paperwork – we are free to leave the DR.

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Goodbye, Puerto Bahia Marina. Your affordable opulence was an unexpected treat in this poor, dirty country. I’m sure we’ll not see anything like it again in our travels, so thanks for the swank!


We are up and out of the marina by seven o’clock Friday morning, traveling with a (bunch? flock? pride? school?) number of other boats – there are six of us in total. The Free Range – Adastra – Slow Flight gang along with new friends: Mark on Osprey, Penney & George on Star Shot and Nancy, Ron and Wayne on Mandala.
The first six hours of the trip we are searching for whales! We have heard that this is the place to see them.

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Whale watchin’


I spend a few hours on the bow of the boat scanning with the binoculars for our special whale-friends. I see a few water spouts in the distance, flashes of black whale-body here and there, but nothing definitive and nothing close.

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You might have to click on this one to see it full-sized – it’s a whale tail!


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After spending too much time on the bow, I am feeling about 9.5 out of 10 on our Sea Sickness Scale. Assume the position.
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A Dominican fishing boat. Their crab pots are made out of what looks like wicker.


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The wind is minimal and so are the waves. We motor sail through the night, keeping close to our buddy boats and checking in from time to time. Everyone is doing well. Mona is mellow and so thus was the crossing.


We arrive in Puero Real, Puerto Rico around ten o’clock in the morning on Saturday. Our crossing took about 27 hours and we motored the whole way. We’d have loved a little more wind but what can you do?

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We get a cab to take us to US Customs where we check into the country.
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Enjoying a nice birthday dinner (Happy Birthday Judy!) with friends in Puerto Real. Check out Stéphane’s new sailing shirt! I love it!!! We did good work bargaining for two of these tropical shirts in Samaná.










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