"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

Captain's Log Archive

>> Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 10, 2009 Santo Domingo, DRThere we were, Carinival was over and the ship’s company was looking forward to 664nm of open, off the wind sailing, 110 hours(4-5 days). Then customs shows up in a speed boat with weapons enough to invade a country. Dressed in black combat gear and the darkest sunglasses manufactured. “Just a routine check of your paperwork, Captain.” “Ok”, I say, and bring it up. I am thinking, “You need all that hardware to check up on a bunch of high school student?” All was in order of course and we upped anchor and made for Chacachacare, an abandoned leper colony. But… on our way, Trinidad coast guard comes by in a speed boat, armed to the teeth. “No way,” I think. “Captain, we need you to go tie up at the coast guard dock for a ‘routine inspection.’ ” So we strike sail and motor over to the dock.Four or five coasties and immigration guys come aboard and look through the vessel and chat for a while. One of them wants Sally’s phone number, I hear later. Then we are underway again to get to Chacachacare late and supper is at 2100 and all is well… until… customs comes by, “Just a routine inspection, Captain”. This time I don’t even come on deck. The next morning we explore the abandoned buildings on the island then get underway back to Chaguaramas for laundry and to clear out of the country, and on our way… guess who?! Yes, customs again. I have since found out that President Obama is visiting Trinidad in April and they are training their security folks. We must look like a good training ground. They love our new president as does everyone I have spoken to in the Caribbean.Now we sail and sail and sail. Glorious off the wind, never touch a sheet, rolling along and you feel like you could just go forever. This is the time that you know that sailboats are humanities greatest blend of art and nature.One night, flying fish come aboard and one hits Sari. We get 10 or so and the cook fries them up for breakfast. Sooooo good. And we get another big eyed tuna!!! We fetch the DR in 5 days. No record broken, but a good run anyway.Normally when we arrive here, we tie up and officials come aboard, etc. But Sansouci Port is legit now and I find out that “our man” Senor Benitez is no longer but they accommodate us and other than Sally getting her wisdom tooth out the students and crew have had a great time here. The cook, Mr. Hunter, gets two days off (very much deserved), the students eat out, get ice cream and go dancing along with walking the same streets as Christopher Columbus and Sir Francis Drake. No big deal!Well today we are underway for Honduras and our voyage continues!
Fair winds, Captain Flansburg


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