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Old 17-05-2016, 22:20   #1
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Mona Passage - Westbound

There is a great deal of information about crossing the Mona Passage eastbound, from the DR to Puerto Rico, but I can't find much of anything about going the other way.

We just arrived in Puerto Real (Marina Pescaderia) on the west coast of PR today and plan to leave for Luperon, Dominican Republic in the next couple days.

From the dock I could see lightning directly west starting at about 6pm. I've heard that the t-storms are a regular thing that roll off PR and head west. How far to these storms typically extend westward?

My current plan is to leave here around 6am so that we're at least 60 miles west of the PR coast by early evening. Any thoughts? Advice is appreciated.
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Old 17-05-2016, 22:27   #2
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Re: Mona Passage - Westbound

No info here just wish you a safe passage! Where are you guys headed to?
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Old 17-05-2016, 22:32   #3
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Re: Mona Passage - Westbound

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No info here just wish you a safe passage! Where are you guys headed to?
Luperon as a base to explore the DR for a few days then off to Mayaguana and the rest of the Bahamas!
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Old 18-05-2016, 04:51   #4
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Re: Mona Passage - Westbound

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There is a great deal of information about crossing the Mona Passage eastbound, from the DR to Puerto Rico, but I can't find much of anything about going the other way.

We just arrived in Puerto Real (Marina Pescaderia) on the west coast of PR today and plan to leave for Luperon, Dominican Republic in the next couple days.

From the dock I could see lightning directly west starting at about 6pm. I've heard that the t-storms are a regular thing that roll off PR and head west. How far to these storms typically extend westward?

My current plan is to leave here around 6am so that we're at least 60 miles west of the PR coast by early evening. Any thoughts? Advice is appreciated.
Check www.wunderground.com for weather, choose a good departure date, and go. I'd suggest you stay a couple of miles offshore going up the DR coast and if you need or want to take a break, you can pull into Samana which is about half way from where you are to where you are going. Bahia Escondido is the bay we anchor in when in Samana. You can also b just drop anchor outside on the leeward side of Sona Island just outside of Bahia Samana. One last suggestion. Depending on who you are and what you are use to, Ocean World sometimes is preferred to Luperon simply because of the security, safety of a marina, and ease of getting around as well as clearing in. I say this because you are currently in a marina.

Safe travels and fair winds..
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Old 18-05-2016, 08:32   #5
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Re: Mona Passage - Westbound

Find a good three day weather window and put in at Mona Island, close to the halfway point. Free moorings a d decent protection from E, NE & SE wind.
Don't go in duringbany other wind directions and don't attempt the Mona. passage in a north swell.

Watch out for the shallow bar on the NE corner of the DR, can be ugly.


Clear in at a marina. The officials are not allowed to ask for bribes when using a marina. At Puerto Bahia (about a mile west of Samana), the dock master will tell you what the official rate is for each official and he will only permit one official on board at a time. Same should be true for Ocean World.

Don't miss Las Haitis (sp?) National Park, across the bay from Samana. Inexpensive, multiple safe anchorages in karst canyons, great trails and fun dinghying up rainforest rivers.
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Old 18-05-2016, 08:58   #6
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Re: Mona Passage - Westbound

I've been both ways when the weather was forecast to be good, and got the snot kicked out of me anyway. You can always stop at isla mona if it gets too rough.
The DR is a great cruising ground but unfortuately you will be hassled in every single bay or inlet you anchor in. Some idiot in camo fatigues will come out to your boat and demand money. Their navy doesn't even have boats for these guys they just commandeer some local fisherman's boat and split the money.
I would let my dog up on deck to bark and snap at these guys and pretend I didn't speak Spanish until they went away. Ruined my time on the island. Stay in marinas if possible.
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Old 18-05-2016, 09:31   #7
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Re: Mona Passage - Westbound

IMO, I would not do the southern Mona Island route. That would force you to cross the hourglass shoals on the NE corner of the DR which can setup some pretty nasty conditions. I would favor the west coast of PR until you get up above Isla Desecheo, then crack off and go above hourglass shoals to Luperon. I crossed about a month ago to French Cay in the T&C's.


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Old 18-05-2016, 10:07   #8
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Re: Mona Passage - Westbound

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I've been both ways when the weather was forecast to be good, and got the snot kicked out of me anyway. You can always stop at isla mona if it gets too rough.
The DR is a great cruising ground but unfortuately you will be hassled in every single bay or inlet you anchor in. Some idiot in camo fatigues will come out to your boat and demand money. Their navy doesn't even have boats for these guys they just commandeer some local fisherman's boat and split the money.
I would let my dog up on deck to bark and snap at these guys and pretend I didn't speak Spanish until they went away. Ruined my time on the island. Stay in marinas if possible.
You guys must not know where marina Pescaderia is because it is directly west of his current position and considering that the OP is traveling the NC of the DR, this would be a bad move going to Mona Island because he would be going "The Wrong Way".
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Old 18-05-2016, 10:10   #9
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Re: Mona Passage - Westbound

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Find a good three day weather window and put in at Mona Island, close to the halfway point. Free moorings a d decent protection from E, NE & SE wind.
Don't go in duringbany other wind directions and don't attempt the Mona. passage in a north swell.

Watch out for the shallow bar on the NE corner of the DR, can be ugly.


Clear in at a marina. The officials are not allowed to ask for bribes when using a marina. At Puerto Bahia (about a mile west of Samana), the dock master will tell you what the official rate is for each official and he will only permit one official on board at a time. Same should be true for Ocean World.

Don't miss Las Haitis (sp?) National Park, across the bay from Samana. Inexpensive, multiple safe anchorages in karst canyons, great trails and fun dinghying up rainforest rivers.

The swell in the Mona is from the north or NE 95% of the time... Should he wait forever???
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Old 18-05-2016, 10:21   #10
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Re: Mona Passage - Westbound

In my (limited) experience those t-storms should dissipate or at least moderate when they get about 20-30 miles west of the PR coast.
They are usually more of a problem for boats heading the other way.
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Old 18-05-2016, 14:54   #11
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Re: Mona Passage - Westbound

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In my (limited) experience those t-storms should dissipate or at least moderate when they get about 20-30 miles west of the PR coast.
They are usually more of a problem for boats heading the other way.
That's what I wanted to know, thanks! I figured that they wouldn't extend all the way across the Mona Passage, but glad to see that notion confirmed.

Thanks for all the other bits and pieces of advice, everyone. After staring at the charts for a while I think we're going to leave Puerto Real at 5:30am and head NW as fast as possible to clear the evening t-storms and stay in deep water. No intention to put in at Samana so I do not need to go anywhere near all that shoaly stuff.

We've got 3-4 days of light (<10 kts) easterlies forecasted and a full tank of diesel, so off we go on Friday! Let's hope the forecast holds true.

As far as marina vs Luperon, we're pretty keen on roughing it with the latter. I expect the bureaucrats to be a hassle, but we've got cash and rum to placate them.
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Old 18-05-2016, 23:28   #12
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Re: Mona Passage - Westbound

[QUOTE=kellymj;2123473]IMO, I would not do the southern Mona Island route. That would force you to cross the hourglass shoals on the NE corner of the DR which can setup some pretty nasty conditions. I would favor the west coast of PR until you get up above Isla Desecheo, then crack off and go above hourglass shoals to Luperon. I crossed about a month ago to French Cay in the T&C's.

+1

Be welcoming when the officials show up and you will be treated well. Samana was a great stop for us. A guy named Chicho helped us get checked in and out and got us some help when we needed it. Cold Presidente beer helps too.
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Old 23-05-2016, 14:46   #13
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Re: Mona Passage - Westbound

Update: passage went great. We left Puerto Real just after 0600 and steered 325ish for the first 100nm. That put us far enough west and north that the afternoon thunderstorms didn't catch up with us. We could see them in the distance to SE.

This course also kept us in deep water and far from the shoals. Had a steady 15ish breeze with well organized 5-7 foot ENE swell. No sloppy confused stuff. One little rain squall at 3am but only 20-25 knots and no lightning.

Second day's forecast showed strong (25+) wind along north coast of DR during that evening, so we opted to sail fairly close (2-5 miles) to the coast to take advantage of the nightly land breeze that counteracts the tradewinds. It worked so well that we actually had to turn the engine on to maintain 5 knots.

Entered Luperon at 7am.

Totally, completely uneventful with the exception of landing a big bull mahi on the second morning.

Lessons: stay north of shoal water and get far away from PR coast by early evening.


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Old 23-05-2016, 15:36   #14
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Re: Mona Passage - Westbound

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Update: passage went great. We left Puerto Real just after 0600 and steered 325ish for the first 100nm. That put us far enough west and north that the afternoon thunderstorms didn't catch up with us. We could see them in the distance to SE.

This course also kept us in deep water and far from the shoals. Had a steady 15ish breeze with well organized 5-7 foot ENE swell. No sloppy confused stuff. One little rain squall at 3am but only 20-25 knots and no lightning.

Second day's forecast showed strong (25+) wind along north coast of DR during that evening, so we opted to sail fairly close (2-5 miles) to the coast to take advantage of the nightly land breeze that counteracts the tradewinds. It worked so well that we actually had to turn the engine on to maintain 5 knots.

Entered Luperon at 7am.

Totally, completely uneventful with the exception of landing a big bull mahi on the second morning.

Lessons: stay north of shoal water and get far away from PR coast by early evening.


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Be careful in Luperon. It's not like St. Vincent, but people there are very poor, and things happen in Luperon. Just keep aware of your surroundings. If you need a taxi driver, Pm me. I know an expat from the states there.
Still enjoying Anguilla BTW.
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Old 23-05-2016, 15:54   #15
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Re: Mona Passage - Westbound

Yeah the thunder storms are big time off the end of the PR. Going from the DR I saw them on the radar for 50+ miles all night.
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