Samaná

28th February to 6th March 2020

A little while after we arrived Domingo came out in his fishing-style-boat to explain (in better English than he gives himself credit for, though we were trying Spanish too) that the offices were closed and someone would visit us in the morning for formalities. As it was Saturday morning, and there was a small problem with a maybe-coronavirus-carrying-cruise-ship to deal with, nobody came. Instead Domingo took us to visit the offices of the Navy and Immigration. The process was simple enough, costs reasonable (small “tip” for the navy, US$120 for the boat and five of us for a month’s immigration clearance), and Domingo was very helpful.

Domingo suggested we move further away from the beach on the island because the kids would come to the boat over the weekend. We didn’t move. A group of seven teenage boys had an excellent time rampaging around our deck chasing the children (sorry, pirates) and then walked the plank very co-operatively when it was time for us to make dinner. Other visitors hung around on our stern ladder, or used the anchor chain to rest while swimming. Maybe stay further away if you are precious about people touching your things, but we’re not. Friday and Saturday nights are not a time to let small children see the beach unless you wish to have constructive discussions about mating rituals.

Other than that, it’s a nice beach for the kids. The area under the bridge is very shallow and full of interesting creatures. Apparently, there are bats at the other end of the island, too, but we didn’t get that far. The bridge is stunning.

There’s a Claro phone store that sells SIM cards a short walk from the town dock, and it is worth mentioning that data here is CHEAP – around US$4 got us a sim card and 10GB of data on Claro 😊. Food is a little further away, either a 30 minute walk or a short tuk-tuk ride to a reasonable supermarket and big fresh food market (the tuk-tuk driver will wait around happily while you do both, for a fee).

Boat-wise maintenance continued. Our saloon windows leak far too much for comfort so we’re slowly replacing them. Managed two while we were anchored here – a relatively easy process and because of how I’m bedding them (4mm thick, c. 10mm wide rubber ‘seal’ around the inner edge, Sikaflex from there to the outside edge of the acrylic – the rubber keeps the sika thickness consistent) I’m relatively certain that they wont leak this time around. At least not for a number of years 😉.