5.11.2010

Boca Chica | Dominican Republic | Marina ZAR-PAR | Cruising

Boca Chica took one long day to reach by sail. We had following winds and seas the entire day. We spent several days at Marina ZAR-PAR after leaving Casa de Campo in La Romana. We were certainly spoiled by Casa de Campo’s excellent service and facilities. We were pleased when we arrived at the harbor entrance to Boca Chica to learn that the Marina Manager was going to meet us in his dinghy to escort us through the narrow entrance channel to the marina. The entrance is marked but can be a bit intricate once past the markers. If you read the water well and favor port on entry, you will be in the channel. The charts do not show the reef that extends the entire length of Boca Chica so be sure to follow the buoyed channel near the commercial harbor. We contacted them first by phone and then switched to radio. Frank from Casa de Campo provided the phone number to us on departure. Raul Medina is the marina manager at ZAR-PAR and his personal cell phone number as of this writing is 829-520-8905. His email is rmedina@marinazarpar.com and the marina website is www. Marinazarpar.com The marina is fairly new and well built to quality standards. There are gazebo type structures placed throughout the marina that are great spots to relax, play card and board games or enjoy a beverage in the cool shade. The electrical panels are US standards and work well. The marina advertises cable but it does not work. The water is included in the price of the slip but it is NOT potable. We purchased five gallon bottles of RO water to fill our tanks before departure for about $1.50 per five gallon jug. It took two days to get it after requesting it but it did arrive. We used a local mechanic to remove the oil from our engine and his charge was about $30 US. We provided our own oil and filter. Raul works very hard to make your stay very comfortable and seems to run around the entire day taking care of little things that others did not get taken care of or do correctly. If you need water or services be sure to make your request early and follow up several times to make sure it is done on time. Expect some delays and minor complications. Our stay had to be extended due to false expectations of on time delivery of water. Also expect to pay for each service independently. The marina does not compile a bill for all charges as one might expect. The marina also has a fuel dock that can present a bit of a challenge for deep draft boats or when the winds are not favorable. It is not situated on a T dock as most fuel docks are built and you pay separately for the fuel. You can also expect loud music well into the night, as is in keeping with the local culture. Over all we had some very wonderful experiences in Boca Chica. The Dominican Republic cruising guide indicates that there are near by beaches but we found them to be heavily littered with trash, glass and debris. The local jet skis and speed boats are quite reckless and freely move about within the swimming areas. We recommend a visit to Marina Zar-Par but, be mindful of the level of your expectations. Raul is a great guy and a wonderful resource that makes this place work.

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