Waiting for a norther to pass through
Tuesday 21st February 2012
By the end of the day yesterday the aft lockers were sealing as well as we could make them and we were about to put everything back into them when some dark clouds appeared overhead. Given that the contents had been soaked in salt water we felt a good rinse off with fresh rainwater was just the ticket so we left everything out on deck for a wash. In the event, it didn’t rain, so they are still there, waiting!
When we retired below to make supper and check emails with the satphone, the laptop said there was a wifi signal available. We were extremely surprised, as apart from the bauxite works it looks as though there is nothing else here! We had assumed there would be nothing available and hadn’t bothered to look. We put up the Wirie (our booster aerial) and lo and behold there were loads of signals, one of which is a Free Public Wifi Hotspot. We connected up and we now have wifi, albeit sometimes a little flaky. Steve is currently following the West Ham game on the iTouch and has the hump because the goalkeeper has just been sent off! (The Wirie aerial has a router inside so when we pick up a wifi signal it makes it available to all the devices on the boat, so we can both stare at screens at the same time and don’t need to speak to each other!)
We knew when we stopped here instead of rounding the cape that it might be a week or more until the next weather window, and sure enough, when we checked the weather forecast yesterday evening it showed no let-up in the strong winds for at least a week. So we set about working out how to tell the Marina de Guerra (Coastguard) that we did not want to leave the anchorage for a week or more. With the aid of Google Translate we put together an explanation of our situation, and went ashore in the rib this morning to throw ourselves upon his mercy. In theory he could make us leave as we have not entered the country officially at a Port of Entry, though we found it hard to believe that he would, given that the first available Port of Entry is on the other side of the Cape! We found him in his air-conditioned office surfing the net and he was very warmly welcoming. Once he knew the situation he said there was no problem with us staying, and even offered to ride his motorbike into town, some 20 kilometres away to buy some provisions for us if we gave him a shopping list! What a lovely chap! We declined the offer right now because we still have fresh food on board, but he also mentioned that we could get a taxi into town to do some shopping ourselves and so we may do that in a few days as it will give us a chance to get off the boat and also to see some of the Dominican Republic.
The wind began to pick up in the night as expected, and is now blowing about 15 knots from the land. The anchorage is calm with no swell at present and just some little wavelets from the direction of the beach. We’re glad we’re still on the lee side of the peninsula as it will be pretty lively on the windward side! It does mean, however, that we will have to stay here and sit out the blow – one of the famous ‘northers’ coming down from the States – until it has blown itself right through and the sea has had a chance to die down. As we have said many a time before – there are worse places to be weather-bound!