We set off in nearly no wind from Cat Island awaiting the system to catch up to us and give us a little wind on our beam. After about 18 hours of motoring in near glass calm ocean the winds started to gradually pick up and we had the sails out. Our low pressure system was finally catching up to us. We were clipping along the seas at a steady 7-9 kts under sail. The waves were building and every so often we would get one break over the side into the cockpit. Our deck sits about 6 feet off the waterline. Our hardtop bimini is about another 5 feet and waves were breaking over the top of our boat. It was getting fun and we were glad to have a stout Antares catamaran easily taking us on our journey. The high waves were only about every third or fourth wave and most did not come above deck level. Gradually the winds started to abate. The seas calmed back down to a nice 4-5 foot height and soon we were trying to tack and claw our way East. We didn’t have enough diesel in the tanks to make a 5 day trip completely under motor so we were left with tacking as best we could until we were sure we could finish the trip under power if the winds didn’t change in our favor.
Sometime during the third day we were passing Dominican Republic. We didn’t have time to make landfall there but the North side of the island looked stunning. Something you might see in a Jurassic Park movie. Hopefully we can check out the area on our next trip through the Caribbean. As we continued tacking slowly making our way East we started crossing the Mona Passage. This is named for the little Mona Island. As the wind whips around the Western side of Puerto Rico it crosses the currents created between Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico oftentimes making for another area of wild rides. One good thing about the Mona Passage was it gave us another opportunity to sail a little longer. Since we were heading to Puerto Real we could head a little South. This let us take advantage of the East trade winds just a little bit longer before we were forced to turn on our diesel engines.
As morning broke on the fifth day we could see the entrance to Puerto Real. We followed the channel markers into the bay and approached the fuel dock of Marina Pescaderia with low fuel, a tired crew, and a salty ship. After filling up our fuel tanks and tieing up we quickly hooked up the power cables and cranked up the air conditioning. It was finally time to relax in some cool air and take a break.