Sunday, June 15, 2014

Dominican Republic

Anchorage behind Hotel Salinas

Anchorage at Club Nautico el Manati, Barahona
Las Calderas (Salinas).
Barahona was my port of entry into the Domincan Republic. I found the people to be friendly and patient with my very limited grasp of the Spanish language.  The town center with all its attractions is a short walk from the yacht club. There are numerous hardware stores and supermarkets to shop at. No "big box" stores here, they are all different. If they don't have what you are looking for you will be sent to another store that may have it. And then there is the Market, an incredible shopping area with an amazing selection of  produce, beans, spices and everything else from clothes to shoe repairs and music.
I stayed here nearly a month working on the boat and enjoying the local culture before sailing 30 miles to Salinas for a change of pace. It was only a short distance, but a huge change from the city life to a small town at the end of the road. Barahona is at the base of lush green mountains and the anchorage is behind a wall of buggy mangroves, Salinas is in a large basin with desert mountains and cactus. The katabatic winds blow off the mountains daily at 20-30 knots keeping the boat cool and bug-free. The water is clear enough to see you anchor on the bottom.  There are several nice cafes in Salinas and some limited groceries available but for restocking the boat it is best to go into Bani, a large city about an hour away by bus.

Dominican details:
Clearing in at Barahona the cost was immigration$10 USD for a 30 day visa and renewed once for the same cost, boat $43USD and $25USD for the despacho. and of course a small tip for all those who cleared me in. There was no charge for the despacho to sail either way between Barahona and Salinas and no charge upon re entering Barahona. To clear for a foreign port, it is $20 for the despacho and $10 for exit stamp from immigration.  Docking at the yacht club in Barahona is about $20 USD a day or $175USD a month. Dock space at Hotel Salinas is by the foot 20 peso$0.47USD a day, no monthly rate given. Propane is about $11USD to fill a twenty pound can and diesel is around $5.00 USD per gallon. Motorcycle rides around town to the marina are 50 pesos and double that hauling propane and diesel jugs  to be filled. The water in Salinas  is clear and there are no bugs at anchor. In the harbor at Barahona, the water will foul you bottom and anchor chain quickly and screens are a necessity to keep the flies out. Mosquitoes can be a problem ashore at sunrise and sunset but few make it out to the boat at anchor- stay out away from the mangroves for a better breeze too. In Barahona there is a coal ship that comes in about once a month to resupply the powerplant and all boats anchored in the turning basin have to move outside the channel until the ship is docked and then can return to the basin as it takes a week to unload the coal.  The anchorage near the park is  great place to watch the ship make the dock but it is only calm in the morning, when the picks up in the afternoon it can get a bit uncomfortable with the tradewinds blowing straight in and the chop breaking on the beach a couple hundred feet behind you.