I cannot recommend Boca Chica. I visited Noonsite when planning my itinerary along the D.R. south coast. Still provided as information there is this:
"Anchoring in Boca Chica is uncomfortable in very tight quarters behind the island."
I learned to my dismay when arriving in Boca Chica just after dark two things. First, my vhf
calls to the marina went unanswered because "...nobody speaks English". Second, when someone finally spoke to me in English
on the vhf
I was told anchoring
is prohibited. This person asked me where I wished to go? If I'd planned beyond anchoring
behind the island where I believed I was supposed to await the arrival of customs
and immigration (now removed from the Noonsite Boca Chica page), I could have answered. But, here I was in the dark prohibited from anchoring with no idea where to go next. How could I tell this person where I wanted to go when I had no idea where or in which direction to go next? There was no attempt to give directions to the marina or that I should go there at all.
Fortunately a man in a small boat happened by and correctly deduced I needed assistance. He led me to the marina where he indicated I should anchor! After being informed anchoring was prohibited I refused. Shortly thereafter an American sailor arrived in his inflatable
offering to help. The first available mooring
was missing it's pennant - alleged to have been carried away by an angry sailor. As we jockeyed to attach a line between my boat and a second mooring figures appeared on a nearby marina dock shouting and indicating I should bring my boat there. The marina owner and four other men
were on the dock. After a brief discussion it was agreed immigration and customs
could wait until morning. Told that it would cost $50 USD to tie to the dock overnight I opted to take a mooring for $20. Shortly after tying to the mooring with assistance from the aforementioned American sailor a police boat came along side. Three men
came aboard, asked questions, completed a form, did a cursory search of my boat and left.
does not allow for $20/day moorings - so I decided to leave the following morning.
Reason suggests that the dispacho I had from Puerto Rico
- since I had not yet cleared into the Dominican Republic
should have sufficed for me to simply cast off the mooring and leave.
No. Raul indicated that since the police had already boarded my boat and taken information there may be problems if I left without clearing in/out of the D.R.. So, I was made to clear in and out of the Dominican Republic, paying $70 for the privilege
. This mind you was a reduced fee, a deal...
This is the only place I have visited after completing two separate voyages encompassing a distance nearly the circumference of the world where anchoring was not an alternative. There were no fewer than 11 empty moorings at Marina Zar Par. If anchoring is not an alternative no fee should be charged for moorings. Contrast this experience with Grand Cayman Island where anchoring is discouraged (not prohibited) and moorings installed and maintained by the port authority are free.
I told the marina I could not afford to pay $20/day for a mooring. You would think with at least 11 moorings sitting unused the marina would have considered making my attempt to visit their country a possibility by waiving the charge.
I was promised a dispacho by 11:00 after clearing out. The dispacho was not available until between 16:00 and 17:00...
No need by those of you preparing to flame me for poor or at least incomplete planning - I've already self flagellated.