08 February 2012

Bye Bye Chicken Harbor

If you read this, we finally left "Chicken Harbor" towards Hispaniola. Yes, George Town is sometimes also called Chicken Harbor. A lot of cruisers there will never go further. Actually I think most of them. Some folks even leave their boat there over hurricane season and fly in and out, we met guys they've been doing this for 10 years in a row. Currently there are 300+ boats anchored and the community is well organized. Sunday is church on the beach and any other day is Yoga, Volleyball, Rock and Roll night or Trivial pursuit - you name it. All announced every morning at 0800 over the cruisers net on VHF. And don't get me wrong, the community is very helpful. They have as well free seminars for weather, SSB and so on. It's really a friendly place to be. It's actually a paradise within a paradise. Decent stores (at least after all the previous 20m2 "Supermarkets"), nice beaches and even better fishing grounds. I actually caught my first wahoo directly from the boat! The water is so clear, you can see the ground even in 20 meters of water. Almost perfect.

But leaving the boat on the hook for a few months, maybe a bit near island hopping - that's not cruising, it not even makes you a cruiser. In the normal world we would call this camping! OK, camping on a boat. No offense, but this is not our lifestyle, even though you almost caught us! This lazy days between fishing trips, burgers and beer for lunch and cocktail beach parties in the evening raises the question: What more do I want? If you talk to several long time campers, ahh cruisers, you instantly realize that most of them have what I would call "Viking Syndrome": They strongly believe the world is flat and at some point after the Bahamas it may end. If you not get crushed by storms, pirates or sea monsters you could simply drop off the planet after leaving George Town. So this kind of stationary cruisers create all sorts of problems, excuses and delays to stay: A Chicken Harbor!!

Despite all this temptations we finally freed ourself from laziness and are on our way to Hispaniola. For those who are interested in navigation: There is a big fight between two major cruising guide writers on which way to go: Should you take the rough Atlantic North coast of the Dominican Republic (DR) with almost no shelter or the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti and then take the more lovely South Coast of DR to head East against the Trades? We decided for the later, we think it's saver, and as we have to visit Santo Domingo for some visas anyways it's more convenient. But maybe the last ten days of camping just made us soft.....

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