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Old 31-07-2009, 18:41   #31
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I just looked at the description for the book and it look interesting. But after spending hundreds on books and charts for the Bahamas alone, I am at my limit. But I have to say that I have wondered what prevents cruisers from sailing the south side of Hispaniola.
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Old 31-07-2009, 19:01   #32
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But I have to say that I have wondered what prevents cruisers from sailing the south side of Hispaniola.
I don't know.
I am not planning anything right now.
Just learning the boat and still working.
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Old 31-07-2009, 22:24   #33
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Sailing the south coast of the Dominican Republic/Haiti is quite a bit "out of the way" for folks on the way from Florida to Puerto Rico/Virgins. Add in the hazards of circum-navigating Haiti along with harbors along the south coast of the D.R. that are not "cruiser friendly" and you see there is not any real advantage to add all those extra miles.
However, folks transiting from Central America, Jamaica, or Cuba's south coast use the route extensively to get to Puerto Rico and eastward. The winds and currents are considerably less than those off the north side of Hispaniola. From Port Antonio, Jamaica they can stop at Il de Veche off Haiti and maybe the new Casa de Campo marina at La Romana in the D.R. before jumping off to Puerto Rico and beyond. Some even do it non-stop from Jamaica to Puerto Rico which is only 530nm (about 4-5 days).
In the case of a very unusual good weather window you can skip the D.R. and go non-stop from Sand Cay, T&C to Puerto Rico in a 310nm leg (about 3 days).
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:02   #34
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For an alternate viewpoint, with lot's of excellent information, see the Free
CRUISING GUIDE To The DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
by Julian Roe & Frank Virgintino
Goto ➥ Cruising Guide | Index

dominicanrepubliccruisingguide.com/
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:29   #35
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I have read The Cruising Guide to the D.R. - It should be read after Van Sant's and before sailing to the D.R. Especially the front section of the guide about the local attitudes and earnings of the D.R. citizens/officials. The section on "bribes" is quite good. I prefer to call the bribes - "user fees" - which is the USA term for paying "extra" for something your tax dollars have already paid for. This D.R. guide is considerably more up to date than Van Sant's and covers the south coast in detail.
But any guide, including this one, cannot give you - what is happening now - information. For that you need to troll the cruising websites and find reports from people who have been through the area in the last year. Currently along the south coast of the D.R. there are some of the mentioned ports where the officials are extorting large sums from cruisers in total disregard of D.R. federal laws. Historically, this is not uncommon in this country as each "region/area" has officials who consider their area as a fiefdom separate and apart from the federal government and will assess fees, etc. as they wish. In the D.R. whenever a different political party takes over the government everybody from "dog-catcher" on up to Presidente changes.
The "shift change" to new people usually ends up with the re-emergence of "revenue raising" schemes by the new officials until things settle down and the federal government officials are able to exert control over them and restore normal procedures. It is just something you need to realize happens and deal with it - as very well put in the D.R. guide - with a smile, tolerance and fist full of cash. It is always amazing to me how fixed published fees can vary 50% to 100% depending upon the attitudes of the cruisers as they enter the country. I have spent considerable time in the D.R. and know a lot of the officials and amazingly I somehow end up paying considerably less than "first timers." So don't get "bent out of shape" by the system in the D.R., it is just their way of feeding their families and rewarding/punishing cruisers with good/bad attitudes. Kind of like reverse tipping in a restaurant where the waitress would charge you more or less depending upon how "good" a customer your are. . .
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:37   #36
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South of DR

Cruising Guide | Index

I found this interesting and free! Of course he is promoting the DR, just go around to the south side.
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:37   #37
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Cruising Guide | Index

I found this interesting and free! Of course he is promoting the DR, just go around to the south side.
Very nice.
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Old 02-08-2009, 22:19   #38
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The "new" procedures for Checking in/out of the Dominican Republic have not happened at the two most frequented ports by cruisers heading down the Thornless Path - Luperon and Samana.
These "new" procedures only address ports with marinas that take transients. No mention is made in the new procedures for boats that anchor. In fact in Samana there are NO marinas - anchoring is the only option. In Luperon there is only one small operating marina - Puerto Blanco which normally does not take many, if any, transients as it is full of permanent boats.
Until such time as the "new" procedures are expanded to cover anchored boats - the "old" ways are still in force.
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Old 05-08-2009, 13:21   #39
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I just want to put a plug in for Chris Parker's book 'Coastal and Offshore Weather'. It is easy to understand and follow and I love his writing technique. I will go back and read Van Sant's weather section after I have completed Chris' book.
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Old 26-09-2009, 18:52   #40
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Cruising the Dominican Republic South Coast

If you are going south and you miss all the virgin anchorages along this fantastic coast, you are doing yourself a disservice.
Van Zants book is excellent if you want to go down the north coast. However, the north coast is rough and dangerous.
The south coast, on the other hand, has one good anchorage after another.
The comments that have been left by some that you should skip the country, leaves me to wonder why someone would simply dismiss the second largest island in the Caribbean with so many beautiful stops and such a fantastic culture.
I have cruised it for years, and you can research it at the free cruising guide to the Dominican Republic, Cruising Guide | Index

Good Sailing
Frank
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Old 27-09-2009, 03:17   #41
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Frank.
Thanks for creating a wonderful (free) resource for cruising the DR.
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Old 28-09-2009, 09:37   #42
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Yes, I wish I had that resource when I was there. I read the whole thing, great job! Definitely dont miss the DR. Just relax, get on island time, and figure out how to check in when you get there! I'll take the DR over the Virgins and PR anyday....
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Old 28-09-2009, 13:16   #43
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Many thanks Cheechako for the compliment on the cruising guide. It was a great deal of work, but definitely worth the effort.

Good sailing
Frank Virgintino, director
Dominican Republic Cruising Guide
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Old 04-11-2009, 07:04   #44
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Back Aboard and headed for the DR

After a rather uncomfortable experience on the first part of the thornless/thorny path and a long summer totally landlocked, I'm preparing for the run from the Turks and Caicos to Puerto Rico.

We tried to go offshore from Provo to the east coast of PR about 5 months ago and were totally beat up by weather! My advice: Don't do it! If you want to go offshore start east in Florida or Nassau; no farther south than that. I ended up putting my sloop on the hard in Provo and spending the summer (a pretty wimpy hurricane season) in the Rockies.

Now some comments on the questions in this thread:
I found Chris Parker's book much easier to read but Van Sant still has a wealth of information. I was (more or less) planning to follow his route until I read Frank's free guide. Now I'm seriously thinking of heading back west through the Windward Passage and along the south coast of the DR. I have no personal experience in the DR but I know that the south coast of PR is a lot mellower than the north coast. I'm looking forward to better beaches and anchorages.

I've spent hours and hours listening to Chris on the SSB and he saved my butt when we were trying to beat East and hit squalls. (not literally, we weren't in real danger but the discomfort factor was close to my limit) I agree, you need as much weather information as you can possibly get and you'll still make some mistakes. But I'm going to subscribe to Chris' services...no question!

I'd be really interested in any reports from anyone who has sailed along the south coast of the DR. Not that I don't trust Frank, just that more information is always nice.

I'm not sure if I'll raise some ire with this comment, but noonsite has information on the new (now rescinded) laws on entering the DR and a few stories from other sailors.

While plugging various internet sites here are a few weather sites...of course they don't work when you are offshore!
Storm Carib Caribbean Hurricane Network - stormCARIB.com - Local Reports on Tropical Systems threatening the Caribbean Islands
Wunderblog Wunder Blog : Weather Underground
Windfinder (a little harder to use but lots of information once you get used to it) Windfinder - Wind forecast maps
Passage weather PassageWeather - Sailing Weather - Marine Weather Forecasts for Sailors and Adventurers
NWS (The standby!!) National Weather Service Marine Forecasts

I guess that's verbose enough for now! I'm just making up for months of not reading or writing here!

Bill
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:42   #45
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Living on a small island is like being on a boat that is permanently anchored. We definitely watch a lot of weather sources here. We got no place to run to.

One good source for a number of weather inputs is Bear Paws. they basically bring in info from all the sources they can find:

Welcome to BearPaws Weather
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