We were very fortunate to get a four day break in the
howling Trade Winds. This was a full twenty hour sail taken over a day and
We arrived mid-morning with little wind and a slight
easterly swell. We tucked down into the deepest part of the bay with two
other boats already at anchor.
The wind swirls around the rock walls holding you parallel
to the beach while the swell bounces off the adjacent walls hitting you
abeam. It's a little like anchoring in a washing machine. God help you in
any northerly swells - don't try it. Laying a stern anchor might help hold
into the swells.
We were visited by the Marine Coast Guard who inspected our
Despachio for Punta Cana. He searched our boat for illegal aliens and
satisfied of our honorable intentions, departed with a small bottle of fine
rum. (A suggested act of goodwill on our part.)
The scenery here is absolutely spectacular, but we were very
tired and did not venture ashore to try local cuisine. We understand the
chickens are killed as you wait, so freshness is not a problem.
A cold front was sliding down from the north. We
decided not to get locked into Punta Cana for a week. In the morning, the Captain
vessel made a command decision (approved by the Admiral) to bolt straight through to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
The "Passages South Guide" by Bruce Van Sant warns Cruisers
that the port of Samana has security problems. Since the 8th Edition
publication, the situation has deteriorated. Now the treatment of
visitors borders on criminal. Expect no help from the local authorities and
expect to be ripped off by officials, beggars and thieves. We know a couple
who ran aground there, got pulled off the beach and were charged
about seven thousand dollars USA for the help. That was just the beginning of
their troubles in Samana.