It is 10pm and Eben is out on deck, in the dark, stowing away. I think this definitely falls into the category that we are the worst procrastinators ever. With a planned departure of 6am tomorrow why is it that we are scrambling to get things done rather than relaxing and watching movies on the laptop. How did we not think of putting all that stuff away before today. Or better yet how did we expect to actually get it all done today without feeling rushed. FAIL. I think this six months of sitting still has made our sailing and planning skills a little rusty.
With six months in the DR under our belts, the weather window for our departure is now upon us. We had thought that we were leaving on an earlier window and had prepped for that one, but with the window getting smaller and “less than ideal” we let it pass us by in the hopes for a better one. That better one has come, but all that prep work from the prior anticipated departure, was all lost. We had eaten away at our food stores, used our gasoline, emptied our water tanks, and let the boat mess take over. So starting yesterday we were back at it. Fill the tanks, do the groceries, scrub the bottom of the boat scrub the dinghy and paddleboard, stow the boat, etc. And in the midst of all of that we did our checking out of Luperon. I still believe that had it been just the two of us we could have made it work, but with the adding the girls to this whole mix, meaning feeding, entertaining, and mediating for them, all of this got a bit over our heads.
The check out process was rather easy for us, still a bit time consuming though. It involved three offices and one boat visit. First stop was the Luperon harbour office to pay the harbour fees for our stay, $20 a month. Then it was immigration, fill out the departure slips and have them stamp our passports, and double check our receipts to ensure that those fees were all paid up. A few months ago we paid 4000 DR pesos for a nine month stay. The third office was up to the commandantes to give them our boat info and advise them of our departure. They arranged a boat visit with us the next day. Today the commandantes’ men came to the boat, not even inside, to verify all of our paperwork and give us a despacho from the DR, this was free. Paperwork done.
Today I spent most of the day stowing the inside of the boat and entertaining the girls. While I did this, Eben did an oil change, changed the oil filter, added more water to our tanks, got gasoline, and stowed on deck. I spent the most part of the day mindlessly drumming along, getting this and that done while making sure the girls didn’t kill themselves, or eachother. By nightfall I was spent and am still in awe that Eben is out there working, and that we were so foolish. I just finished plotting our course, based on Van Sants waypoints, and the rest we will play by ear depending on the wind/waves when we get out there.
One weather for this trip looks dead. It seems like we will be doing a lot of motoring, and although this isn’t ideal, since the weather windows this season seem to be few and far between, we will go with low wind rather than too much wind. When we are route planning we estimate that we do somewhere around 4.5knots, and so this trip should take us some where around 50hours. If we see that with all the motoring we may arrive in Puerto Rico too early, before daybreak, we may have to slowdown somewhere, but our goal is to arrive with sun up, that way if we are too slow somewhere we are not risking arriving in late afternoon winds blowing off the coast.
Both girls are sleeping right now, I gave them both a dose of children’s Gravol tonight for their first time ever. We hope it will help them with the rocking motions of motoring, and just the ocean’s motions alone, since we have been sitting still for so long. Usually after a day of sailing your sealegs return and I am hoping that is the case for our little ones, if not I already have the sand buckets in place in the cockpit, for emergency situations. I have learned this, unfortunately, from those same situations when a bucket wasn’t handy and mama ended up the vomit receptacle.
We are hoping that tomorrow and part of the next day we will still have internet connection, since we are running the 3G off of the cell towers, but if not our Spot tracker will be on, sending out our departure message and our arrival/anchor down message two days later. Keep us in your thoughts.
This was the day we arrived in DR 6 months ago. Crazy how time flew by.
This is the weather predicted for our Mona Passage crossing. We should be entering it early Monday morning.