So it's June 10th, we were in the Dominican Republic more than two and a half months ago, time to catch up a bit on the blog. There will be a few serial posts to catch us up (or at least get us through the Dominican Republic :))
After our 10 days of land travel across the forbidden country and a brief visit back to the Ragged Islands in the Bahamas, we proceeded onto the Dominican Republic to pick up two new crew members: Julie, a Canadian we met in Georgetown Bahamas that was awesome enough to meet us in the Dominican and jump aboard for a week (don’t hold that fact that she is Canadian against her :) ), and Jackie, a fellow San Francisco resident who began her own vagabonding adventure a few weeks prior.
Our first stop in the Dominican Republic was Monte Cristi, a small fishing village on the western portion of the north side of the Dominican Republic. Monte Cristi is a quaint town with all the necessities, great people, and our meeting point for Julie and Jackie. Before the two joined us we loaded them up with needed (or wanted) items from the US. First priority after their arrival was Christmas!
Monti Cristi takes the better part of an hour to explore in total; however, it is a great launching point to explore some non-sailable places by land. The land exploration is detailed in the sections below. Right outside of Monti Cristi is a national park called Los Cayos de los Siete Hermanos (translation: the Cays of the Seven Brothers). We spent an afternoon and evening at Terrero Cay, snorkeling, lobstering, watching a beautiful sunset, and doing what we do best, making fools of ourselves.
After exhausting all there was to see in Monte Cristi, we took the local bus to the city of Santiago for some nightlife and dancing. With Bachata blasting, the bus adventure was a fantastic way to converse with locals and get to the see the country side. On our arrival in Santiago, we flagged a taxi to take us to the house we rented for the next two nights. Unfortunately, the address we had to the house didn’t mean much to the taxi driver. He did successfully navigate us to the appropriate neighborhood, but finding the house in the neighborhood proved to be rather difficult. After five unsuccessful directions from locals on the street, another unsuccessful attempt from a nine year old that we commandeered from another car to ride with us (we were already rolling six deep in the small sedan taxi before he joined us), we found two kids on bicycles who finally showed us to the right house. The house was a five star resort compared to our typical accommodations on the boat and we took advantage of the luxury: long warm showers, fast wifi, outdoor rocking chairs, air conditioning, and so much more.
At night we ventured out to the nightlife district, and successfully found ourselves an establishment to practice our latin dance moves (with certain crew members having much more success than others…I was the other :).
As Julie’s time came to an end, we dropped her off in Puerto Plata to catch a flight back to Canada, and headed off to Cabarete via more local transportation. Cabarete is a well renown place in the kite surfing community for its consistent onshore winds and long beautiful beach. It’s a mixed community of expatriates and locals with a hippie beach vibe, niche bars that offer craft beer, and a great place to explore. Lars’s friend from Austin, Texas but dominican native, Angel, met us in Cabarete. Lars and Angel spent the afternoon getting their Kite fix, while Logan, Jackie, and I explored the town.
The next morning we headed out to the surf break just west of Cabarete to train for our roles in the next Point Break Movie starring Keanu Reeves (please watch the movie if you haven't, it's Keanu Reeves at his best ;)). The waves weren't fantastic, but neither are our skills so it was a good match. After a few hours of playing in the waves, we headed back to Cabarete for Lars and Angel kite for a couple of hours, before Angel was generous enough to drive us back to Monte Cristi. We had to prep the boat for the sail to the next stop, Luperon.