The Mona Passage and West Coast of Puerto Rico

Iguana on the rocks at Cabo Rojo lighthouse

Much lore surrounds the Mona Passage, and it can sound downright intimidating if you just listen to the stories, but our crossing was pretty anti-climactic. We could have used a better wind angle, but the sea conditions were fine. Swells were moderate, but the period (how far apart they were) was long. It was a good motion: enough to remind us that we were on a sailboat, but not enough to throw us around or do any damage. We needed to go ahead and get out of the Dominican Republic, so we couldn’t wait for a perfect weather window, but what we got was good enough. We made an early morning departure from Los Haitises Park in Samana Bay.
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Crooked Island

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Bird Island Light from a distance.

A quick note first – hurricane Matthew just blew past Crooked Island. Our thoughts are with the people there, and in the rest of the Bahamas. With all our hearts, we hope no harm came to them.

We left Rum Cay determined to sail – not motor – to our next destination. We couldn’t be sure, until we got away from the island, exactly what the wind would be doing. To accommodate the uncertainty, we set a number of potential destinations in our chart plotter, and decided we’d make the eastern-most one that the wind would allow. Clarencetown, Long Island if the wind was south of east, Crooked Island, Plana Cays, or Mayaguana if we had a little more luck and the wind was pure east or north of east.

It turned out that we could not have been luckier if we had tried, because we ended up at Crooked Island, which we would have otherwise passed by, and it was just amazing. Not just the island itself, which would have been enough, but the beautiful people we met there, both on land and on another boat.

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Cambridge Cay and Staniel Cay

Consort moored at Cambridge Cay
Consort moored at Cambridge Cay

 

Blue fish - I love these little guys!
Blue fish – I love these little guys!

We arrived Cambridge Cay without much fuss and right on schedule with the tides, so there was zero drama getting through the cut there. We picked up a mooring, and within minutes a park ranger came by to check on us. I guess he decided we were on the up and up, because he smiled and said he’d see us later. Nice security, and surprising, considering the remoteness of the place. Read more