Published: March 2nd 2011
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Samana, Dominican Republic

I awoke to a cloudy sky. By 10 am the when the tour started it was pouring. The rain stopped as we boarded the tender. At the pier our group boarded the catamaran and Wellington, our guide promised sunshine in a half hour. Evidently he has a long line to the weather god as the sun came our and we had a beautiful day.

We sailed along the coast and Wellington pointed out the various resorts and small villages that line the coast. Fishing and farming along with tourism are the main economic activities. DR also fosters and trains promising young baseball talents and the major leagues have profited.
We sailed/motored to a small offshore island. I was second into the warm water and headed to the rocky shore. The bottom was mostly sandy but I was able to locate a cleaning station and hovered above. This is usually my plan as I have found that sooner or later the fish come to me, or rather the cleaning station.
Small wrasse, today they were yellow, congregate at a spot and other fish come by for a spa treatment. The wrasse clean parasites from the fish and have a tasty meal. The other fish go away clean and happy.
Along with the common sergeant majors a large puffer swam by, needlefish grazed in the grasses, angelfish, tangs, and other colorful fish stopped by. There were colorful stars and very large and healthy fan corals. It wasn’t the Great Barrier Reef but it was perfectly fine.
Then it was time to put up the sails and head for a beach. We flew across the water, the only sound was the waves and Bob Marley and Jimmy Buffet. Cuba Libres and rum punch and soda or water was served. I tried the Cuba Libre and it was really rum and Coke. One was more than enough.
We docked at an area where there was a gift shop, bar, facilities, lounge chairs and a small beach. I found a spot in the shade and chatted with Burt and Renee. They are from Edmonton and we had dinner together one evening. We talked hockey and weather and travels. Soon it was time to return to the dock. The dock was too crowded with tender activity so we transferred to a small boat out in the harbor, another adventure, then pulled along side boat tied to the pier. We transferred to the boat, to the pier, to the tender, to the ship. So it was a boat, to boat, to boat, to pier, to boat, to ship trip back.

Showered, grabbed a snack and went on deck to enjoy the sail away from Samana. Those of us on the port side were very lucky to spot whales playing. I’m sure they were playing because they were the babies, small humpbacks, probably born in Samana Bay this year. They breached and wagged their tails and had a rollicking good time and all of us who were lucky enough to be on deck had the same.
Samana Bay is a perfect birthing spot for the humpbacks. About one thousand make their way here each year, January, February and March to have their young in the warm abundant waters. The Bay is a perfect depth and sharks stay in the deep water beyond.
Dinner, a show and a short time at the poker table then it’s time to read and relax. All in all it was a lovely day. Tomorrow is a sea day.


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