Vol. 2 April 2019 – The 3rd Cruising Adventure of Jim and Meryl Felds aboard their Hatteras 48′ LRC – Into the Caribbean

February 7, 2021

As I sit here in the pilot house aboard Kokomo looking out at the white caps in Falmouth Harbour in Antigua, West Indies while finishing my second cup of decaf I decided that it is time to publish this latest drafted blog post from almost two years ago.

I don’t know what happened that caused me to stop writing let alone not pressing the button to release this seemingly ancient installment. In the beginning I had truly enjoyed writing these and assembling the photos and maps in the hopes of making these posts interesting. Perhaps I simply got tired of journaling our experiences, but for whatever reason, I just found that the words didn’t come to me anymore so I assumed they would bore you. Or maybe it was just a case of a ship adrift in a windlass basin, rudderless and stagnant.

So much has happened in the last year and a half, between US politics, Covid-19, and some personal and family challenges that it seems almost unimaginable that I sit here, truly without a care in the world. Am I among the most fortunate, I believe I am.

So, perhaps I’m back, with a renewed sense of self and some direction. We’ll see. In the meantime I hope you enjoy this installment of our journey albeit a little late in coming. But maybe, it will act as a refreshment and a mirror to see just how we thought about life back then (a mere 18 months ago) before the world went a little cuckoo.

June 18, 2019

Today we sit at anchor in a beautiful bay in Deshaies, Guadalupe, which is located in the French West Indies about midway between St Maarten and Martinique. We have been here for a few days winding down and catching up on sleep from our recent overnight passage from St Maarten and our trip to SoFL to visit Rebecca, Matt, Sarah, and Ethan. It was a wonderful visit but I left with Ethan’s cold which settled into my chest for which I have been drinking French cough syrup.

As you will discover it’s been two months since I worked on this blog post. I can’t really say why it’s taken so long to catch up except perhaps looking forward to the work process it takes to put these together. I just have to be in the mood.

The good news (depending upon whether you like my writing style or not) is that this edition will be mostly photos. Hopefully a picture will be worth a thousand words. Hope you enjoy.

April 8, 2019

Today we sit at anchor at Isla Caja de Muertos, off the southern coast of Puerto Rico and the City of Ponce – Puerto Rico’s second largest city. It’s a beautiful little island with turquoise waters similar to those we were accustomed to in the Bahamas. Nice to see again.

Here’s where we’ve been since the last installment.

Day 1
Dollar Cay where we spent our first night after leaving Georgetown
Our buddy boat with our new friends Dave and Gerry Diehl aboard
Day 2
Saw a whale blow its spout right below where the date is in the picture.
Day 3 and 4

This leg was an overnight trip of 150 nm. Pretty smooth passage and beautiful entering the harbor of Sapodilla Bay in Turks and Caico
The camera timer would have us believe that this was a sunrise shot but I really think it was sunset which would have been behind Crooked Island over towards Long Island, Exuma

We arrived at Sapodilla Bay on March 6 to a lovely sunrise and calm seas. For us Turks and Caicos was just a rest stop as we were more interested in getting to the Dominican Republic. When we revisit TC we will head around to the north side – Turtle Bay – and enjoy what the country has to offer. We stayed in Sapodillo just a few days waiting for a weather window to cross the TC banks for Six Hills Cay.

Interesting side note, I had sent out a regular In Reach broadcast showing our position and included the Hatteras LRC club in the post. (Anyone who wants to be regularly updated on our position in close to real time which includes a link to a map of our location is welcome to send me a message and I will include you on that list). Sure enough I received a message from a member who lives in TC, keeps his boat in Washington state and owns a hotel on the island. He of course invited us over but we were too far away to get there by dinghy and were leaving within a day or two on the tail of a weather window to keep pace with our plan.

March 9th we headed east across the Caicos Bank to Six Hills Cay where we anchored next to a island to hide from the strong winds waiting for a weather window to cross south to the Dominican Republic. We bounced around here for 3 days in beautiful turquoise water but it was just too windy to risk a jump into the water. It would make a great place to visit in calm conditions as it is a national park so no fishing is permitted so the snorkeling should be very nice.

Short hop, only 43nm
First glance at the coastline of the Dominican Republic

The following pictures are of the entrance to the Luperon Harbor, and the harbor itself at about 9 a.m. on 3/12/19

Took a mooring ball in Luperon for $2/day. That’s right, 2 bucks where the market price in other cruising grounds is up to $25. That put an immediate smile on my face.

Lonely cow on the road to the beach

March 14, 2019

Dave Diehl directing cow traffic on the road to the beach

On March 15th together with Dave and Geri from Mi Via and Lise and Jean Francoise from L’esardo (a 32′ sailboat!!!) and we took an excursion to the waterfalls. We all had a great time. Pics to follow.

First group of pics is suiting up

Dave and Geri
Lise and Jean Francoise

This next group is the initial hike to the falls.

A rest stop at the top of the first mountain.

And the trek continues…almost there…

Near the end of the trip.

Meryl with a college student from UNCG…A great day was had by all!

Luperon Carnival

March 17, 2019
Meryl, Dave and Geri Diehl and Lise and Jean Francoise hanging in the park across from the Helederia waiting for the Carnival Parade to begin.
March 17, 2019
Two young boys waiting for the parade to start
March 17, 2019
A parade troupe from a school anxious to get in the action especially when a tourist is shooting pictures
March 17, 2019
Center of town in the park where the parade passes by, and the location of the reviewing stand. Of course there are prizes for the winners.
Is she enjoying herself?

Just like Yoga!
Regular folk just havin’ a nice time strollin’ in the parade..
A few actors caught my eye so I took some video

On the March 19th we hired a car and driver and together with Dave and Geri from Mi Via we headed for Puerta Plata (about an hour’s drive) for a day of site seeing, lunch, and shopping. Below are a few pics.

On the way back we stopped at Christopher Columbus’ compound from 1493 a few kilometers from Luperon.

Leaving Luperon 3/21/19

On the 21th we said goodbye to Luperon and headed for Samana which lies east and south of Luperon. See map below.

Luperon to Samana
134 NM in 22 hours. Was a nice passage for us once we navigated around a line a heavy squall activity about 5 hours into the trip
Arriving Samana 3/22/19

An uneventful passage between Luperon and Samana made it wonderful for us to arrive in Samana where we had a wonderful time.

on 3/23/19 I discovered that our port side engine room bilge pump was not operating correctly. It continued to cycle on and off continually. The reason is apparent – broken hose.
I had purchased some “iron like tape” from an internet infomerial – very expensive stuff – based on videos I saw of the repairs they made to sinking boats, shovels and other mechanical things. Works great!

We loved Samana. One of our fondest memories was shopping in the Cafateria, which is a covered roof but open air market with dozens of booths from local farmers. We had never seen vegetables like this before. Giant radish, carrot and other root vegetables and pineapples galore for 35 cents each. We left with at least 20 pounds of produce for less than $20. It was quite amazing and the quality is unsurpassed.

We had a great lunch across the street of fresh chicken (well, we don’t really know how fresh) stew and other delights – full plate meals for $5. We could really get used to this low cost living thing together with a warm, welcoming people what could be bad?

As you can tell from our visit in Luperon, Meryl lkes to do “touristy things”. So we opted for a visit to another water fall but this time it was all about getting there and getting back.

We had guides to the falls and back – great folk and very helpful

On March 29th we headed for Puerto Rico having to cross the Mona Passage. The Mona Passage is renowned for being a nasty body of water simply because it is like the middle of an hour glass that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean Sea. Below is a closeup.

The actual satellite track from 3/29/19. Total distance 138 NM from Samana to Puerto Real, PR

Another fairly benign passage with fair winds and calm seas except for a line of squalls we had to maneuver around.

Puerto Real was a wonderful stop. The marina was great (as you know we rarely stay in one but we had several packages shipped here so we felt obliged to stay and enjoy their services) the people warm and welcoming and the fresh fish was the best we have had. Of course it didn’t hurt that the fish market was on the marina property. The restaurants boasted the same fresh fish which we took advantage of – truly a delight and we would definitely return. Oh…I almost forgot – mangoes everywhere. I hadn’t ever really had much experience with mangoes but I’m a fan now!

Feb 7, 2021

I hope you enjoyed this installment of our adventure. We didn’t plan it the way it turned out but we’re loving it. We think we will continue with it for a few more years but with so many unknowns with Covid-19 we take it a month at a time. I’ll really try to catch up with the next installment soon. so you can follow along where we’ve been and some of the trip’s highlights. Until then, stay safe.


One Response

  1. So happy to hear that you’re both doing great. All is well here at the Wagner house. Stay safe and keep the wind at your back.

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