Forty Miles east of Monte Cristi, along the northern cost of the Dominican Republic, is the port where most cruisers clear into the Dominican Republic (DR), Luperon. The northern coast of the DR presents numerous challenges and dangers to sailers; however, Luperon provides a complete escape. It’s a hurricane hole, an extremely protected bay surrounded by tall mountains and mangrove. Despite the weather in the atlantic less than a half mile a way, in Luperon, you are kicking back sipping a cocktail with no worries in the world. This attitude reflects over on the town that accompanies the anchorage. Describing the town as sleepy is an understatement, but it provides a welcome relief from the weather… and cheep beer.
We managed to time our sail from Monte Cristi to Luperon with a good weather window, so were treated to pleasantly light winds and fair seas. The crew took advantage of these conditions for a little grooming on the way. Jackie Leavitt's Barbershop was open for business.
As we pulled into the harbor, we heard a familiar voice shout “BUEEELULLLER!!!!”. Daniel, from Gypsy Spirit, who we met in Georgetown was moored at the front of the anchorage. We soon realized that Island Hopper, and a couple of other crew who we made good friends with in Georgetown, Bahamas were also in the harbor. Ecstatic to catch up with them all, we hurried to the bar to grab a few drinks and hear their stories since Georgetown.
The following day, we spent a few hours exploring town before checking the weather. The weather window we took to Luperon was closing quickly, and another window was not forecasted for another two weeks. Realizing with our time table, we couldn’t afford two weeks in Luperon, we packed and up headed out early the next morning. Luperon was a place we wanted to spend a few days exploring, but when the wind blows (or blows at a reasonable amount), sometimes you have to take it. With that, we started the 120 mile sail down to the Bahia de Samana, following this guy.
Samana is large bay on eastern side of Dominican Republic where humpback whales migrate to every year to birth and rear the young. It also houses a large national park on it’s western shore, which we were looking forward exploring.
Since a couple of other good friends from Georgetown were also in Samana, we decided to treat ourselves and pull into the Marina with them. The Marina de Samana offered four star resort features: infinity pools, swim up bars, rain showers, wifi, and boat services. Our initial plan of only spending a night, turned into three. We spent a good deal of time a Georgetown buddy boat, Uno, and made good friends numerous other boats including Alley Cat, Nancy Lou, Raven in addition to others. We also took a pleasant day sail out to Cayo Levantado with Angel where we found an amazing Pina Colada made fresh in a Pineapple for $5 USD. We also had a bit of fun on the sail, swinging on the secondary halyard while under sail.
Unfortunately, again our intentions of exploration were cut short due a brief favorable weather window to cross the Mona Passage to Puerto Rico. As we were trying to sail on a schedule due to prior crew arrangements, we had to take the window to make the jump or risk getting stuck in the DR for longer than we could afford. We took off with Nancy Lou and Raven, our first buddy boat crossing. While we left Dominican Republic behind sooner that we would of preferred our progress eastward continued where more adventures awaited.