Brad, Dan and Scott's Sailing Adventure

"There she is boys! The SS More Powerful than Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and the Incredable Hulk combined." This space will be used to post updates of our odyssey.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Long Passage, Quick Detour

The passage from Puerto Rico to the Bahamas was to be one of Kaleidoscope's longest. We set out on the 400 mile sail on Monday, full fuel tanks, full water tanks, and full provisions. Forest and Josh were just getting the hang of sailing, but Brad and I were more than willing to leave the boat in their hands if it meant more time for sleep underway.

We were met with immediate fishing success, catching two barracudas, two Mahi Mahi, a tuna, and a cero mackerel. We released the barracudas, but the others provided excellent offshore meals for the crew.

The first night passed smoothly. At around sunset on the second night, a thunderstorm began to approach. The winds increased and seas grew choppy. As time passed, the lightning struck at a spectacular rate. The sky lit up more than once per second out of the pitch blackness over a nervous period of several hours. We altered course and were able to successfully stay out of the storms path, but not without Josh chumming the waters with partially digested lunch.

Exhausted, Kaleidoscope turned left and pulled into Luperon, Dominican Republic the next morning, having covered about 240 miles.
The draws of Luperon were the low prices, interesting people, cheap beer and laundry services. I haven't had my laundry done since February, and I pretty much ran out of clean clothing in early March.
The drawbacks of Luperon were the customs and immigration procedures and potential health hazards. We had to give each official a separate fee, which added up to $90, not including the bottle of rum and half gallon of gasoline we gave the commandante when asked for a "regalito pequeno."
Last time we were here, our fleet almost entirely felt the effects of third world sanitation. For the next weeks we paid for our immersion in the culture by way of the toilet. We're trying to be more careful this time.

We're currently exploring the Luperon area, trying to meet up with old friends and enjoying the cheap food. The plans are for continuing the passage tomorrow, about another 160 miles to the Bahamas.