The island hopping is over – the stretches between our destinations have grown longer again. On 7 March, we reached the Dominican Republic.
The sea was very smooth. We left the harbor of San Juan with all its luxury liners and airplanes in the evening. The next day, we were still floating along the Puerto Rican coast; and then again we had 360° of sea around us – and swarms of small flying fish – as we know it from the Atlantic crossing. Just before sunset, a huge cloud castle appeared at the horizon. Suddenly, an elegant thin vortex was formed below the gigantic cloud mass – a whirling spindle thread connecting the sky with the sea. Let’s hope that this mini storm is not the forerunner of a mega version. The next morning, the sky was covered with grey clouds. But we were already used to be assertive that we did not have to wait too long for the sunny sky. And really, 3 hours later, it cleared up and the batteries sucked the precious tropical solar power as usual. The Canadian TV station Discovery channel called us. They wanted to send a film team to the South Bahamas. We chose the island Great Inagua as meeting point.
On 7 March 2007, we approached the narrow entrance into the so far most beautiful lagoon of our trip, the bay of Luperon in the Dominican Republic. Big breakers splashed against the rocky coast. High spray clouds exploded in the crevices. They rose high up into the air – sometimes 30 feet high – before they were dispersed by the wind. The completely flat and calm lagoon water is surrounded by mangrove woods and wooden hills, over one kilometer long, completely protected – ships
come here often if there is hurricane alarm. This "quiet tip", by the way a protected nature area, has become quite popular in the meantime: There are over 50 boats anchoring and docked in the bay; all the same, there is peace and silence, no traffic, no noise, no hectic. What a contrast in town: Not many cars but herds of roaring, stinking motorcycles and scooters that puff out thick black-blue clouds of exhaust fumes, sometimes 12-year boys on them; traffic laws and policemen do not seem to exist. And the people look happy, open smiling faces. They hoot (not as a warning but as a greeting) and wave and shout: "Ola!" The whole all day life is happening on the road, in front of the huts and small houses, most of them made of wood or
corrugated-iron shelters. Every second house is a small store, a mini restaurant or a workshop or garage. Children – all of them well dressed, there are no children in rags – are running around. Today, we saw a woman with three children sitting in line on a scooter. Goats, sheep, lambs and dogs have access to everywhere. In the internet office and in the restaurant at the main crossing, we meet people from all over the world – the carpenter Patrick from Grenoble, the dentist Dr. Michael Gross from Santiago who came here from Mönchengladbach 1 ½ years ago and Aldo Caduff from Acletta, Switzerland, who adopted an AIDS orphan child. Our stove needed repair – Michel’s son, Yves, arrived as co-skipper and was immediately thrown into the water: He fixed the stove, quite a piece of hard work. Tomorrow, we will start for the South Bahamas. Our next stop is: Great Inagua.