Nestled on the north coast of the Dominica Republic is a hurricane hole housing over a 100 cruisers from a variety of home ports. Entering the harbor brought about a question of confidence. As I neared the mile invisible border outside the entrance to the port my GPS showed a disarming note: BREAKERS IN A BIG SWELL. Gritting my teeth I wondered what was considered a big swell. My estimate was the average wave was about 4 feet. Two rogue waves slapped me in the face as they forged their way abaft the beam. In truth, both splots felt tool. After a long morning of sun shining on my left side, the clear water was a refreshing treat.
Back to breaking waves though had me concerned. Slowly, with great caution, I visually piloted my approach while comparing the preferred route indicated on my paper chart and on the Garmin chart. Despite both references, it looked like veering a little more to the right was the safest approach. The red channel marker clearer came into view. It was to be taken to starboard. With the last 100 yards to go I did my best to get a picture of the channel maker in my small triangular window of the dodger. I failed at that attempt but sang with pride over an 'uneventful' entry into the port.
Wow, after 36 hours of sailing a close reach from Caicos Marine and Shipyard, deciding where to drop the hook was the priority. Not the best stop, perhaps, but it secured me and SPRAY for the night. The next morning, a boating friend, George noted my arrival. He introduced me to Luperon's #1 boat helping guy, Papo. He showed me to a mooring which cost a whopping $3 a day. He arranged for one of his 'guys' to clean SPRAY's bottom for $40. He brought fuel and water. I didn't really want to add either at the time, It was the polite thing to do.
Slept came immediately after taking 4 aspirin. My nursing mentor would have said two of the four were wasted. My hands and calves were so stiff and aching I couldn't resist. Within minutes of slopping them down with a gulp of water, I hit my bunk. Me, Toodles, Tood a loo (my doll babies, Teddy, Ted and Sassea Spray's mascot were snuggled together. My heart filled with pride I drifted to sleep.
By the next morning I dragged myself off the bunk and did a long overdue headstand. Doing so always energizes me. Before retreating to an upright position, my beau sent a nice text wishing me a nice day. Where I go from here is a question. Reconciling with a man I adore is on the table. Despite trepidation, aware leopards don't change their spots, I welcomed his apology and am grateful to give life aboard the s/v coupleship is worth a shot. If it doesn't work out, I don't believe I have any tears left to shed. I will simply continue my solo voyaging.
In the meantime I welcome a visit from my good friend Linda M. Arranging for a countryside trip across the DR or luxuriating in a 4 start resort are the choices. With easy internet access in the town we can at least share our thoughts.
More to come......