Thursday, March 15, 2012

Conclusion of the Dominican adventure

Monday was not enough to get the boat ready to leave and we had to return to the boat yard on Tuesday to check that what we asked for was there (additional fuel tank, oars, etc . . .) and to check that the motor was running fine.

We left on Wednesday morning at 4 with a truck from the yard, towing the boat on a trailer. This trailer was for us a major problem. The yard thought that we could launch the boat and then load the trailer on top of it and sail like that to Jacmel. That trailer is slightly larger than the boat and we could not see that without running the risk of damaging the boat.

But first we had to go through the 7 hours drive to Pedernales from Santo Domingo with Dominican music playing full blast, windows open, and rather chilly wind coming through the windows. Not very comfortable for me, sitting at the back of a double cabin pick up truck in company of the 9.9 spare outboard.

Anway, having left at 4:30, we arrived in Pedernales around 10:30, and we started with good news. Max was able to negotiate with the President of the Fishermen association of Pedernales the transportation of the trailer on another boat that will travel with us.

But first we have to get permission from the Commandante of the "Marina de Guerra" to launch the boat here in Pedernales. We don't want to have to cross the border on land as we don't want to have to deal with immigration on both sides (we never entered Domrep officially) and we certainly don't want to have to deal with Haitian customs.

It took three hours and several hundreds of pesos, but eventually Max went through all that with patience and experience and we were able to launch the boat around 1:30 p.m. and leave for Jacmel in Haiti, with the trailer following us on another boat.

The trip will not be without problems. We don't know the boat and we have had no time at all to test the equipment. The electric connections have to be redone, the bilge pump is running non stop and the GPS quit quitting. Max is very experienced with speed boats, but yet has difficulties balancing the boat properly. At more than 20 knots, the boat is slapping the sea very hard. Not comfortable even if it is not a major problem.

We arrived in Jacmel before sunset and the vehicle from IZ is also there. Unfortunately and after market fender at the back makes the towing ball out of reach. They had to go and look for a local "boss" to cut the fender loose. Also the driver is not too familiar with towing and even less backing a trailer into the water and we have to make do with what we can. We end up with the boat off center and listing a good 30 degrees. The argentine military staff who have a small base in Jacmel where we got in will help us put the boat back properly on the trailer and as night falls we are on our way to Grand Goave where we will arrive with a heavy downpour, welcome as it will rinse the boat properly.

This concludes the delivery of the 22 footer from DomRep and Max can be proud to have successfully and without a hitch completed the mission.

It's now back to the all too familiar Haitian problems.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What email are you using?
Tom in NC