In 2003 we too were not so amused by the reception in Punta Macao. I also found the anchorage so-so and we had to ram through some breakers to get out (yes could have waited for better weather ;-)
But I don't understand your experience in Escondido (El Valle). We anchored close to the beach in front of the cave and had pure deep sand with perfect holding. There's a lot of sand there with a big beach all along.... or did some hurricane wash that all away??
Shame you didn't stay there, it was our favorite place in the DR.
I assume we're talking about the same Puerto Escondido (about 19 17 N 69 19.7 W). I didn't see the cave (too worried about anchoring?). We tried anchoring along the beach on the east side with the rock cliffs to our east. It seemed like it was rocky bottom. I have a heavy Bruce anchor and it wouldn't hold. One of the fishermen stopped by and said that we should be careful, boats had wrecked anchoring in that area. Eventually I changed anchors and used my Brazilian Raya and it grabbed right away. As my notes say...the bay is pretty deep everywhere until you get pretty close to the beach. Maybe about 25 to 30 ft?? Anyway, a couple of fishermen stopped by to say Hi and the beach sure did look pretty. We didn't put the dinghy in because we behind schedule anyway.
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