0700 I weigh the anchor and Kirsten took Cat’s Eye out of the Bay of Boqueron. Our weather window was now or wait till next week. Now it was. One reef in the mainsail should do it to start our longest leg to date, 147 miles should take us roughly 24 or 25 hours. As we entered the Mona Passage it was quite tranquil. That didn’t last long. For the next several hours until we made the turn to the southwest of the Island of Desecheo the seas were either breaking on the deck or Cat’s Eye was burying her bow into the 12 foot plus north swell. The wind direction was a perfect 15 to 17 knots with occasional gusts of 27. Kind of makes you feel more alive when you’re watching the knots climb. Well, we made the turn and the tip of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic was only 49 miles away. Although the seas still up, were now hitting Cat’s Eye at a much more acceptable angle. All of a sudden about Smokey came alive barking and charging the netting on the lifelines. There they were, dolphin after dolphin coming to the starboard side and riding along side. Then they went to the bow and seem to lead Cat’s Eye. (took a couple of pictures).
We’ve seen lots of dolphins in the Caribbean but these were larger than I’ve ever seen before. There were at least seven that stayed with us for a good five minutes. As they departed, two of them turned swimming sideways and looked right up into my eyes. I hope it was more than they can’t believe the crazy humans are out in the middle of the ocean in a little fiberglass tub. It always a great feeling when those beautiful graceful creatures bless me with their contact. It’s 1640 and no land insight when Kirsten says, “what’s that floating, a refrigerator?’’ it was white and about 50 yards off the starboard aft. All of a sudden, the blowhole exhaled and the whale turned right side. The whale was a small humpback. We watched it play for a couple minutes and the humpback bid us farewell with a slap of its tail as it sounded. Two hours later off the starboard another blowhole. What a day. We were finally able to see land as the sun set over the Dominican Republic. Night was falling and we still had another 13 or 14 hours of sailing before we anchored in Samana. A most beautiful star filled cruising night was on us. Of course the sunrise was another spectacular beginning of the day. After anchoring in Samana we needed to clear in, so I raised the “Q” flag and lowered the dinghy. My attempt to clear in became very clear to me that they do not want you to find their offices. After a brief runaround I returned to Cat’s Eye and waited for our friends we met in Boqueron to arrive. Before they were able to lower their dinghy, they were approached by four men in a very small dinghy. One was in military garb. Then the dinghy came over to us. They requested to come aboard. Denied. Then they advised that they were the Department of Navy, Port Authority and National Drug Agency. They did have proper ID and said that I could either have my boat search now or after I cleared in. They were welcomed onboard but only after they removed their shoes. (I’m still the Captain). They sat in the cockpit taking down information until they seemed to be satisfied. I excused myself and returned with three bottles of Cruzan Rum. I thanked them for their hospitable welcome into their country. They were very thankful and told me that they didn’t think they would find anything even if they did search the boat. We all went into the town and did have a great afternoon. After being up 39 hours, one more scotch was all I needed to tuck myself in for an early evening sleep. After checking the weather we will leave here Saturday morning for Luperon. Only a mere 130 mile sail. Kirsten will return to the blog after this long winded session of mine.