It’s strange how it can be difficult to remember how much we love sailing. Sometimes the winds are too light, sometimes way too strong, The seas can be uncomfortable and unnerving. Sometimes you have to move when you don’t want to. But SOMEtimes, everything comes together and we are reminded of how much we love this. Our passage from Puerto Rico to the Dominican Republic was smooth sailing and proved that Sailing. is. Awesome.
Remember what I said about not believing the 10 knot weather forecast? Well I was partly right – our trip definitely didn’t start out boring. We had 20 knots sustained and 5’ seas, but it was actually perfect for downwind sailing – just unpredicted. So one hour off the coast of Puerto Rico, we were screaming across the Mona Passage and what did we spot?! WHALE!!! And BABY WHALE!!! They were both doing this move:
They were a bit too far away for our photos or videos to turn out, but the experience was truly magical. They are so huge, so graceful, and so freaking cool. Later in the day we saw a few whales doing these moves a little closer:
With my goal for the entire trip knocked out so quickly, it was time to relax. As the day wore on, the winds slowly died and the seas settled. Finally around 9 we caved and fired up the engine to motor sail the rest of the way to the Dominican Republic. So why am I talking about how awesome sailing is if we had to motor sail for over half the passage?
Day two of any passage seems to be my favorite. The first day is full of excitement and nerves, but by day two I have started to fall into a rhythm. Monday morning I took over the helm to start my watch at 9am and Logan went below to catch a few z’s. I made a pot of coffee and sat in the cockpit with the sun on my back and a warm breeze on my face. The sweet smell of the DR wafted in and I just couldn’t help but feel completely totally dialed in. Sailing brings such a sense of simplicity to the world, simplicity and balance. In the “real world” these seemingly easy concepts get buried and disguised so quickly. But out on the open ocean there are so few distractions from the important stuff. I don’t mean to get all sappy here, but that’s what sailing brings to me. Sometimes I feel it as I am hand steering thought heavy seas, harnessing the power of the ocean, and sometimes I feel it on a sunny Monday morning as I stare out on a flat calm. It’s a cool cool thing.
Tuesday morning we made our approach into Bahía de Luperón and found a front row spot to anchor next to the town dinghy dock. As we were tidying up the boat, Papo and Pedro stopped by to offer their services – diesel, water, laundry, propane, mooring balls ($3/day!!), beer – you name it! No kidding. After a lengthy check-in process, we toured the town of Luperón and found J.R.’s which offers $1.50 tacos and $2 GIANT beers. Just a guess, but I think we are going to like it here.