On this journey I have shared a lot about sunsets, beaches, meeting great people and the joy of exploring new places. Certainly, these are the highlights that keep us going. What I haven’t talked much about is the sometimes tough mental aspect of living and cruising on your boat. We have had small pockets of very stressful times (like our alternator alignment issues and our leaking bow thruster) but our more common angst is usually over weather. More correctly, about the weather we need to move further south safely and comfortably. Not everyone reads weather the same way and we are not always in sync with our boat buddies. This can be tough on us mentally, for sure. Being left behind is never fun. But Mike and I have always said that we don’t want to choose to be uncomfortable or unsafe, even if it means saying “see you later” to boating friends.
Most of the time we are just looking for great wind to be able to sail from place to place. These days, though, it is more about getting through some dicey passages with maximum safety, a little bit of comfort and with zero fear or seasickness. Yeah, it can get that bad. For us, we try to study the weather with no hidden agendas. We remove any inkling of a schedule or emotion. When the weather is great and we are well-rested, this is a super easy exercise. Let’s go! When the weather is really not great and is sprinkled with several bits of “maybe” and a few short hours of “pretty good”, but you have already been here for two weeks and all your other boat buddies have already left? Well, that’s when things get a little challenging. Being patient while waiting for the weather gods to cooperate is tough.
All of this is top of mind these days as we sit in Luperon, Dominican Republic. Our next passage is to go all the way east of the country to the town of Samana. From there, we will cross the Mona Passage to Puerto Rico. Both passages need a good long (24 hour) dose of mild weather. Unfortunately, the prevailing weather at this time of year is a strong E-NE wind that whips up every afternoon. Since we are travelling east, we would be travelling directly into it and the high waves and ocean swell that it generates. Yuck. One option is to just grin, bear it and get through. Our two boat buddies went with this option. Without going into details, lots of rocking, rolling and seasickness was part of both of their passages. The other option is to wait and wait and wait for a proper weather window where the wind is mild. These windows come around, only not often. We just need to be patient.
In the meantime, we are here in Luperon and very content actually. We have lots to do tinkering about town or on the boat. The food is delicious and cheap. Ocean has lots of access to shore, ocean swimming and attention from people and other dogs. And we have quite a few boating friends in the anchorage to share our stories, meals and even a beer or two. 😊
Click the link below to see where we are now!
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.