Florida to the Dominican Republic  October 2020 to March 2021      We bought a sailboat at the end of September in Florida.  We drove from California to San Miguel del Allende, Mexico.  We stayed in our house which we sold; the closing is in January.  Although we loved having a home in San Miguel, our plans are to live on our boat during the winter season, and spend the summer in California.  It will be our second boat voyage from Florida through the Caribbean.  We stayed 5 days in order to have personal items from our house shipped to California.  We gave our car as a gift to our maid, Guadalupe, and her husband, Manuel, who is our caretaker.  They were very happy, as their car was always in need of repair.  It was bittersweet to leave; we will miss them very much.  Manuel drove us to the Texas border, where we rented a car one way to St. Petersburg, FL where our boat was waiting for us.  We arrived Nov. 1 to get the boat equipped for our trip south.   It is a 50 ft. Hunter center cockpit sailboat which we named Oasis.  St. Petersburg has a cute waterfront downtown, which is a short walk from our marina.

Mid November, we departed for Key West.  It's good to be back here...the atmosphere is laid back, and the seafood is delicious!  I had dental work done while we were anchored near the town, and in early January 2021, we were able to get our first Covid vaccination, yippee!  We love seeing the manatees.

On Jan. 22, we left Key West for an overnight in Marathon, followed by Rodrigues Key.  We anchored the third day in No Name Harbor in Key Biscayne.  We have been here before, and it's a terrific place to walk Sushi and to have access to the town and Miami, where we received our second Covid vaccination on January 29.

We sailed 60 nm to Bimini in early February, where we took a Covid test for entry to the island.  There were tiger sharks at the marina.  Not much to see here; it's a good rest stop.  We left on Feb. 10 to sail 115nm to Clifton Bay near Nassau where we rested for a day. 

Our next stop was Highborne in the Exumas, a 50 nm trip.  Along the way, I caught a bluefin tuna.  We had delicious sashimi that day. 

Highborne is a private island.  We went to go to the grocery store at the marina, but we were not permitted to walk around. 

We continued 42 nm south to Big Majors, famous for the wild pigs which inhabit the island, but we did not see any.  On Feb. 15, we motor sailed to Lee Stocking island, 36 nm south, where we anchored for the night.

 We arrived in Georgetown on Feb. 16 to stock up on food and fuel and to check out with immigration for our voyage to the Dominican Republic.  We're excited to see our daughter Isabelle (she works for USAID) and her family who live there.

Despite having a good weather window for our two day trip to the Dominican Republic, we had a terrible trip with high winds and seas!  No desire to eat with the rough seas!  It was a tough trip for Sushi who was frightened due to the movement of the boat.  We had planned to sail direct to Puerto Bahia marina in Samana, but due to weather, we had to divert to Ocean World Marina in Puerto Plata which shortened the trip. 

We rented a car and met Isabelle, Niko and Lucia in Las Terrenas for the weekend.  We had a great time at the beach!

On March 6, we arrived at Puerto Bahia Marina in Samana.  We love this marina....the facilities are top notch, but the location is even better.   The area is beautiful, with great beaches and nature.   Isabelle and her family rented a condo in the complex. 

We motored (no wind to sail) with Isabelle and Lucia to Cayo Levantado, a small island nearby.  The water is crystal clear; it's an idyllic place to swim and have lunch.

Los Haitises National Park is nearby, and we motored over and took our dinghy up a canal to find a restaurant.  Unfortunately, the waterway was blocked due to a previous storm and we were unable to go there.  It was still nice to be on the water, and on the way back, we saw a whale in the distance.

We rented a beach house in Las Galeras for the weekend; it was beautiful with a huge swimming pool and oceanfront.  It's an easy 3 minute walk to the beach and restaurants are nearby.  Because there are only a few restaurants, stores and small developments, it's the perfect place to relax.  Lucia enjoyed the farm animals, the beach and pool. 

After a great weekend together, we said our goodbyes.  We are so grateful for the time we spent together!


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