S/V Koinonia Weekly Sailing Log - South Caicos, TCI to Luperón, DR (Wed May 3 - Tue May 9, 2023)
Updated: May 31
Highlights this week: staging to sail from South Caicos to the Dominican Republic; catching our first Yellowfin Tuna; checking in at Luperón; making new boat friends; eating amazing local food; boat projects and finishing the mountain of laundry we've been hording.
Wed 5/3 - went ashore at South Side Marina to get some fuel via our Jerry cans. 27 gals cost $210.66 US (including a $10 surcharge for using our credit card). Departed from Provo bound for South Caicos, about 53nm east across the TCI banks. This is only comfortable in settled conditions due to the shallow water. No wind in the morning, so we have to motor. Briefly touched bottom following the recommended route, but it didn’t even slow us down. Upon getting to South Caicos, anchored and went ashore to have dinner at the Sunset Café. Hot wings, ribs, and other foods we don’t get to eat often on the boat.
Thu 5/4 - filled the Jerry cans at the gas station at South Caicos (pictured center above); attendants were definitely operating on "island time" as I waited for 30 minutes after visiting the office and walking out with the guy who was supposed to be helping me. Decided to find the customs and immigration office in the morning to check out of TCI, since we had no idea how long they might take. Checking out cost $50 US and was relatively prompt. Returned to the boat to make water and prepare to get underway. Toggled on Starlink “Priority Data” for offshore/ in-motion use. Left the harbor at 2pm bound for Luperon, DR. Beautiful conditions; full moon all night long. Got hooked up with four yellowfin tuna in route; 3 of the 4 broke off but we managed to land a small one that still weighed about 35lbs; four XL vacuum seal bags of thick tuna steaks packed into the freezer.
Fri 5/5 - arrived at Luperon at 7:30am. Took a mooring ball with “Papo” for $25 US per week; rates are cheaper if you stay longer. The Navy (Armada) came to the boat to check us in; super nice. Offered the armada officials cold root beer we had in the fridge, which they gladly accepted. It was very hot outside. Went ashore to check in with Customs, Immigration, and the Dept of Agriculture (trash disposal); paid a total of $150 US for 30 days. Took the dinghy ashore and had a huge lunch with freshly picked rose apples, fresh squeezed fruit juices, cokes, and freshly prepared food for $2,350 pesos ($45 US), plus tip at Las Palmeras. Explored around town for a while then went back to the boat to eat dinner and rest. Amber made General Chu’s chicken in the Insta-pot for dinner.
Sat 5/6 - cleaned out the forward head. Took all trash ashore. Printed an emergency contact label and mounted to the transom of Koinonia. Met up with another boat family on S/V Bagia who has been sailing to many of the same destinations since we left Long Island, Bahamas. Had a delicious seafood lunch for $1,750 pesos ($35 US) at Titanic, followed by ice cream; large scoop in a waffle cone cost $200 pesos ($4 US). Walked to a small grocery store and picked up some essentials, went back to the boat, then met our friends back ashore at Puerto Blanco Marina for drinks, dinner, showers, and kid play time.
Sun 5/7 - Papo delivered 50 gal of RO water this morning for $1,000 pesos ($20 USD), filled the starboard water tank. Cleaned out the freezer, thawed the plate, and repacked. Made breakfast. Amber has a bad headache today. Went ashore to do laundry and had a late lunch at Puerto Blanco. Hung out until about 8pm while kids played and adults talked. Got showers ashore to save water on the boat. Showers are $50 pesos ($1 US each).
Mon 5/8 - kids have school. Organized the nav station on Koinonia and stowed a bunch of “stuff.” Cleaned out the aft head. Checked the drive shaft coupler to ensure all bolts are tight; no issues. A very small amount of sludge in the bottom of the Racor fuel separator bowl. Did a load of laundry at Puerto Blanco then went to dinner with friends on S/V Bagia at Las Palmeras; dinner cost $2,250 pesos (~$41 US); we got swarmed by flying termites at dusk while we were eating! Called Ben’s grandmother to wish her a happy 94th birthday; the kids sang for her.
Tue 5/9 - stripped all the sheets from the beds and took them to Puerto Blanco. Adults had breakfast and coffee for 200 pesos each ($4 US). Stored all of our throws and blankets (definitely not needed down here)! Changed the zinc on the engine; checked fluid levels on oil and transmission. Arranged transportation for our family and S/V Bagia with Niño’s taxi service to explore more of the interior of the DR. Amber got a ton of laundry finished at the marina. Made blackened Mahi tacos with red rice for