Puerto Rico – Dominican Republic

Route 2_2024

Road: San Juan-Arecibo- Agudilla-Puerto Real- Boca Chica
Dates: 19-26.01.2024
Miles/ Hours: 248 Mm/58h

January 19 Friday San Juan

There is a festival going on in San Juan (Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián) – stages are set up in the old town, there are stands with drinks and snacks everywhere, and school buses transport partygoers. The party starts around 4 p.m. and ends well after midnight.

January 20 Saturday Arecibo

In the morning we leave San Juan and sail along the northern shores of Puerto Rico. An attraction along the way – we catch a dolphin – it’s an edible fish, so Mateusz cleans it and puts it in the fridge. In the evening, let’s anchor in the Arecibo port and take the boat to the beach. There are shelters with grills set up there, so we eat grilled fish for dinner, return to the yacht with the intention of pulling the boat on board the next day before sailing away.

January 21 Sunday

In the morning a man comes to us in a boat and says that in 10 minutes a large ship will enter the port, so we have to leave – we quickly pull the boat on board and sail away – on the way we actually pass two tugboats pulling a large ship. Mateusz catches another fish, unfortunately it is a barracuda – a poisonous fish – we release it. We’re running out of fuel in the tank. We bleed another tank and move on. We anchor at the beach and take a boat to the shore. There’s a party going on on land. It’s Agnieszka’s name day, so we go for ice cream at a nearby ice cream shop.

January 22 Monday Puerto Real

In the afternoon we enter the Puerto Real marina. We stop at the gas station and fill up two tanks with oil. The price is $4.35 per gallon (taxes are already included in the price) – cheaper than in Poland.
The distributor is locked, so you open it for us. In the meantime, he calls the marina office and we get a place on the other side of the pier next to the station. The marina costs $2.50 per foot of boat length + taxes. Water costs $3.50 per day and electricity is metered. You need cards to enter the marina and showers – they give you one card per boat, but in the evening you get two more cards. Marinero also lends us a power adapter (we don’t have one like the one here).

Check out from USA Puerto Real

You need to fill out the CBP Form 1300 form, take it to the marina office, they send it by e-mail to CBP and they send you a signed and stamped document back by e-mail. They print it and that’s it – the whole thing takes about ½ hour (queue to the office, writing an e-mail and waiting for a response)

January 24

In the morning we leave Puerto Real – a very nice marina, although not that cheap. At first there is almost no wind, so we sail with the engine, but around noon it dissipates and the wave grows. The wind reaches a speed of over 30kn (that’s a good 7B).
There’s a full moon – it’s wonderful.

Marina ZarPar Boca Chica

The marina is behind a coral island with a nice view. 3 marineros help us on the approach (but they did not respond to the VHF call). After docking, a man from Immigration and Customs came. The customs officers boarded the yacht and took photos, and the man from Immigration took photos of the passports and the yacht’s document. Then everyone went politely to the office, where the gentleman scanned the passports (2 copies) and the lady wrote out the residence permit (visa?) using carbon paper. I paid $310 in cash for everything (8 people, yacht, marina assistance, customs and immigration office). The whole thing took about 2 hours
The next day I came to pay for the marina – it costs $1.18 per foot and an additional $1 per day for water. Half of what in San Juan. Electricity is billed at the end of your stay. The people in the marina are very helpful. On weekdays, there is a bus to the grocery store twice a day at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The only minor drawback is that local motorboats go out into the lagoon opposite the marina and play music at full volume. Apparently you can pay attention to them in the marina, but not 100 meters away.
There is an exchange office in the town where you can exchange dollars and euros for pesos. The rate is 58.35 pesos for 1$ and 63 pesos for 1€. From Boca Chica, you can get to Santo Domingo from the bus station for 100 pesos.

Diving in Boca Chica

We dive with the Tropical Sea Divers diving agency, it has very good opinions and good Dive Masters. The price of a single dive is $38, for equipment rental (BCD and regulator) an additional $10. We dive first at Matna Reef (max 22m), and the second dive at Coral Garden – max 11m. It is very nice, although the visibility is not the best. After diving, coffee, shower and we go to a nearby pub for the menu del dia – everyone chooses chicken breast in spicy sauce – it is very tasty. We return to the yacht by Uber.

Santo Domingo

A large city, very diverse both in terms of architecture and people. Half of the Dominican Republic’s population lives here. It’s worth walking around the old town and seeing the colonial buildings from the times of Columbus. Unfortunately, a large part of the old town is under renovation, so some of the facilities are fenced off. There is a district of elegant hotels, slums and, of course, the Chinese district, where we eat a tasty dinner.

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