Phil's Logs


The Boat

The Crew


DATE: May 14, 2007
LOCATION: Dominican Republic

My April 6th entry, I thought, would be my last entry from anywhere south of 21 degrees North. But I sit here in Parallax's salon and I still haven't made the move North. On leaving the BVI' s I was prepared to make the passage but a low coming off the coast of North Carolina was timed to meet me in the Gulf Stream, an engagement I had no qualms about breaking. I have since learned that storm claimed one boat and its crew of four and crippled three others, So I ducked into Dominican Republic to meet some friends I had made while in Dominica from the sailing vessel Makulu. It was a good move on both counts. Makulu's crew is an assortment of educators, editors, licensed captains and writers. (They all do everything) Between them they speak a slew of languages and generally are five of the most capable people you will meet. They are part of the Reach the World. Organization and were completing an Atlantic circumnavigation (including North Africa) where they as a team had researched and written about each of the many countries and island states they had visited as part of an interactive learning program with underprivileged New York school children. I am sure, there are some kids who will find some inspiration here and certainly a few role models. Makulu and Parallax left the Dominican Republic together May 10th. I didn't explore the DR as I would have earlier in the trip, just one adventure on the local bus and that without my trusty camera which after a couple of super glue fixes, could barley be coaxed to take a decent picture. Check out http://www.reachtheworld.org/ and you can get a much better education about the DR than I could ever provide. Makulu was bound for Bermuda and then New York where they will get the full fire boat welcome in New York harbor and thereafter conduct non stop classroom teaching (in Macula) for the next several weeks. The weather forecasts were uncertain as we departed and once again a cold front was rolling off the coast. I needed to make one 200-mile day and five 150-mile days to beat the system and though I thought we had a shot I again pulled up, this time in South Caico in Cockburn harbor, where I sit tonight. My plan was to just delay a day or so and meet that cold front in mid ocean where I had plenty of room to deal with the 25 knot north wind, but while I was waiting on that yet another low has formed south of Cuba and will march right across my path. I don't mind messing with a strong cold front but I will stay put for a tropical depression. It seems I will remain south of 21 north until at least the 19th. The professional forecasters tell me that it has been a hell a year for coastal storms and early tropical and sub tropical lows. I am truly glad no one is relying on my forecasts but me.

In the meantime I have discovered that South Caico , well off the beaten track and 30 miles away from the diving hub of Provinciales, has some of the most pristine and unspoiled reefs in the northern Caribbean. If you get lemons make lemonaide. I have purchased yet another bottle of super glue and my camera, now in pieces beside my computer, may yet take another underwater picture.

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