Once we’d cleared Ile a Vache heading east, we found ourselves in choppy seas, 20-25 knot winds on the nose and so Onda Boa wasn’t making any progress. The options were limited: either motoring and staying relatively close to shore, or sailing SE for abt 75 miles and then tacking back towards Baia dos Aguilas. After some calculations, it was decided to sail the 75 miles out and then tack back, as we obviously would spare the engines (and diesel) and in the end would be arriving more or less the same time (in theory, that is of course).
So, beating on close range to the wind it was. Round abt 3 am, we reached our point of changing course and tacking back. No small feat to do this in gusting winds of 28 knots. During this manouvre a couple of things didn’t go as planned, resulting in the genoa ending up getting ripped to shreds (mind you it was a 10 year old sail). This was not good, not good at all…Frustration is the best word that would describe the emotions.. (on the upside Dora was able to add some new Dutch words to her dictionary). So now we were 75 miles out of the coast line, unable to use the genoa sail (so badly needed when going up wind), and so the engines and the main sail had to do the work. Motor sailing back would take us at least 24 hrs more. I will mention here that I learned to become fast and efficient in changing and cleaning the primory fuel filters, as they continue to clog up. Finaly the next morning we have the Haitian/Dom Rep coast line on our bow and we are heading for the much talked about Baia dos Aguilas, still in 25 knot head winds. Needless to say that Captain and Crew were drained after this ordeal and we were eager to arrive, drop anchor and sleep. But, no, it wasn’t over yet… When trying to find our way into the bay, we couldn’t spot any tranquil anchorage location, it was just a bare and baren place, wind blowing like stink and no protection at all.
This wasn’t going to work, and so, brave, we decided to give this bay a miss and head straight for Isla Beata, another 20 miles E/SE. When we turned the rock formation False Cape, more wind and waves on the nose, and that is when I decided to change plans.. Captain, Crew and Boat, were not prepared for another 10 or so hours beating against this.. we turned around, found what appeared to be a more protected anchorage and dropped the hook. Out of the blue some fisher men came by and we exchanged two fish for a couple of Brazilian t shirts….
The next day, checked the damage and after lunch we left for Isla Beata. A small Island at the most southern tip of the Dom Rep.
Merci beaucoup Ile a Vache!!
Genoa Sail blowout…
A great view to soothen the stressed minds…