Sunday, April 7, 2013

Dominican Republic

It was a dark and stormy night the eve before Good Friday when we arrived in the Dominican Republic.  And it was late.  We found perfect shelter from the northeast wind behind a big hill in Los Cacaos Bay.  Surprisingly the whole town was awake and playing music and playing in the water and partying in general.  Semana Santa (the week of Easter) is a big deal here.  
The next day was still rainy but the partying continued for most.  The hard-working fishermen were not partying.  They were fishing. They spread out their huge nets with their rowboat and 2 swimmers stationed themselves at either end.  The swimmers splashed the water to scare the fish into the net while the fishermen heaved on the lines.  They were out every day we were there.

Scary concrete thing that the fishermen used to organize their nets.
The wind changed in the middle of Saturday night, so we dropped anchor in the lee of the big island to the left.  It was only about 1.5 miles away.  Still raining!

I think this is the most beautiful place I've seen.  The mountains are dramatic and green. There are flowers and palm trees.  We rode horses to a waterfall.  On the way, many plants were pointed out to us.... coffee, cocoa, grapefruit, breadfruit, anise, avocado and pineapple.  The land is very rich and the inhabitants poor.

Cascada El Limon

On the road between Las Terrenas & Sanchez.  Lots of steep hills!

Overlooking Samana Bay
Tomorrow we head south and west from here - we are at a marina near Samana - to Los Haitises National Park.  We will return here to clear out of D.R. to go to Puerto Rico.  No wifi!  

For Ona & Aunt Grace.... truck selling orchids.  They have roses in the back.

One of Dale's flower creations.

Ray made us pancakes.  I think it's a sign!!!

A year of the Bond voyage

April 9th marks a year on the boat!
Barb, Katie (& Amber) with the best send-off sign ever.  
This year has been an awesome travel experience with a steep learning curve, many repairs and a new appreciation of teachers.  We miss our friends and family! I (Marty) have had opportunities to vacation from this vacation over the year.  I was able to go to my niece Megan's wedding in Woodland, CA last May.  The kids and I escaped Fort Lauderdale to Ft. Myers and then to Arizona in August while Dan labored in sealing leaks and installing shaft drives.  Then all of us came to AZ for a few weeks in December/January.  It was so nice to see everyone that we got to see!  So happy that you are following along with us in spirit!

Ray and Dale with Lucia Spring 2012.

Can't believe how much muscle one year has put on these two.  Dale can do about 25 push-ups (with one hand) and Ray doesn't even have to use the trick of pushing his biceps up with his other hand. He is the rowing king.
Sunny Ray even had some visitors over the year!
Ken, Barb & Kenny visited us in May while we were still in Texas.  It was so appropriate that you got to be here the very first time we were able to anchor out in Sunny Ray!  Just like a lake trip ( except for that one motion med).
So many dolphins in Port Aransas!

Dan & Dale with sweet sisters Pam & Sue in May. Bob & Ray in Port A.  So glad you could stop in for an evening!

Pam & Bob saw us off from Port A as well as Marsha, Ralph, Barb, Buddy, Olaf, Ron & Stratos with Liz in spirit from the municipal marina.  That was sweet,  Thanks for the yummy food and thanks for the pictures, Olaf!

Zula & Hank came aboard in St. Pete in June.  Many fond memories.  I want to go to Cody's again!

Lou & Rip hanging out with us in Stuart, Florida in September.  

Lisa & Lou in Tucson.  Thanks for including us for Christmas!

Cousins Dale & Megan.

Dave & Jen, you are so awesome for driving more hours than you could stay just to come see us!


January in Stuart.

                                                        Ray & Lela in February
Once in the Bahamas, we realized the kid's passports were about to expire.  Party foul! It became a fortunate event when Dan's parents were able to meet us in Nassau and play for the week!

Sorry we missed you in St. Maarten, Rychetskys.  I hope no repairs stand in our way next time.  Surely, everything is fixed now!

We are hoping for visitors in this beautiful sea.

Thanks for being part of our adventure!