5.11.2010

Salinas Dominican Republic | Cruising

The harbor at Salinas is one days sail from Boca Chica. The harbor entry is well marked and fairly straight forward. Beware of an unlit and unmarked fish farm when approaching the main harbor entrance from the south. It is located at about N18 13.50 and W 070 33.84. We were made aware of this fish farm in the Dominican Republic cruising guide but the coordinates were way off. Be aware and stand a good watch! Once you enter the harbor there is a marked channel leading to the hotel to the south with approach depths to the dock of over 10 feet. The holding is good in the area of the hotel. The high rugged mountains to the north of the harbor are beautiful and the beaches are snow white. We arrived just before sunset and had to off load the dinghy in order to meet the Marina de Gueira and Navy representative at the hotel dock. The Marina de Gueira is the Dominican Republic’s Coast Guard. When you arrive at a new port they must come to your boat and inspect it and receive the dispatch papers that you were given when you departed your last port. You are then required to obtain a new dispatch before leaving again. This is a cumbersome process that is required by the port authorities. We picked up two individuals and brought them to the boat for the official visit and then returned them to the dock. The harbor is beautiful and well protected. There are many homes along the shore on the southwest end and a commercial ship yard on the east end. The hotel is on the south end of the harbor and has slips available for $10 per day. The electricity does not work and there is no dockside water. The hotel owner/manager is very helpful and the food is good. The prices are a bit high by Dominican standards but this hotel serves the crews and guests of the commercial ships that are at the shipyard. These individuals generally have expense accounts and he has smartly adjusted his pricing and service for this clientele just as he should. The town is clean and quiet with small stores located along the main road. We went to the Caribbean side of the beach and found several choice pieces of sea glass. Sea glass has a great history and hunting it has become one of the admiral’s favorite hobbies. She can spend days on a single beach inspecting every square inch within 30 feet of the surf. The beaches on the Caribbean side of this town are lined with highly polished stones from agate size to the size of a large softball. They are polished to a smooth high gloss from years of being tumbled in the sand and surf. The sand is a dark brown and gets quite hot to the bare foot in the mid-day sun. We found the people of this area to be warm, helpful, inviting and friendly. We had some difficulty receiving a dispacho (dispatch) from this port. Thanks to Frank a Dorthy (a German couple) for helping us with our limited Spanish. We have since heard that no more dispatches will be issued from Salinas and cruisers must report to Barahona for dispatchos before leaving port. We received our dispatcho for Jamaica just in case we wished to stop there but our intentions were to go to Ile La Vache in Haiti and then to the United States. Since there are no custom or immigration officials in Ile la Vache we did not want to get the dispatch to that port. We also stopped at Isla Bieta in the Dominican Republic on the way to Ile La Vache to rest and enjoy the wonderful water and fish camps on the island. We explained to the Marina de Gueira that our engine was running a bit warm and we needede to stop and access the situation before we could continue. They allowed us to stay two days with no problems and could have stayed longer.

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