travel

TALES OF WHALES

The Samana Peninsula is situated in a special corner of the Dominican Republic. Its rocky coastline is covered in rolling hills and valleys of lush greenery that cascade toward some stunning white beaches.

We’d never heard of the town of Samana until we started research on heading to the Dominican Republic, yet it’s one of the worlds top places for whale watching. 2500 Humpback whales return to Samana Bay every year to mate and birth amid its stunning tropical scenery. And true to its reputation, we sailed by lots of whales on our passage into Samana.

Some were in the distance and some were close to us, but they were all very inspiring to watch. Whale tails are a thing of mystery and great admiration to all 4 of us onboard Pierina so we were so incredibly grateful to be able to see these immense creatures up close and real…it was super exciting!

At one point, we stumbled into being at the head of a flotilla of boats filled with tourists who were on the hunt for a glimpse of a whale! How lucky we were to be able to view them from our own home!  We weren’t all squished into a small vessel, like sitting in the economy cabin on a jumbo jet, instead we sat up on the bow and watched in peaceful awe!

So lucky to see these creatures by our boat

Samana is a whole lot of things other than a whale watching industry. We found the people to be very friendly and always willing to help, in fact, usually they went over and above in their willingness to help us with anything.

Going ashore for the first time in Samana was definitely an experience. An experience of noise pollution! I’ve never heard so many thunderous motorbikes in one place. We had no idea at that time just how populated the country is with motorbikes. All kinds of motorbikes be it big, small, old, new or barely running but there are just so many of them here. Some drive like maniacs while others are super respectful of the traffic around them and give way so politely.

They have moto taxis here which would be really handy for us especially when we just want to duck out to the local market to grab something. But some of them drive like maniacs and have clearly never heard of helmets so we always chose to walk to places. I always say I’d never get on a bike without a helmet. Until I did! Don’t judge, I was desperate. We HAD to leave because the weather was closing in but I HAD to buy some provisions and medicine in a really short space of time. So I did the unthinkable. Me, on a strangers motorbike, with no helmet. Not even a Moto Taxi, just some random shop owner who wanted to help me out! Never in a million years would I do that back home. Thank goodness there’s no photo proof!

Anyhow, we had some fun in Samana exploring its interesting lifestyle and some beautiful surrounding areas.

A few miles off Samana we found Cayo Levantado where we anchored for a few days. It’s one of those spectacular looking islands with pristine white sand and mesmerising blue water so it gets pretty crowded but like always, we enjoyed it early morning and then back onboard once the crowds arrived!

Cayo Levantado …thanks to Mac for the top photograph

Before leaving Samana to head around the north coast we spent a few days in the Puerto Bahia Marina where we left Pierina to visit Santo Domingo for a few days.

One of the pools at the Puerto Bahia Marina
We had the whole pool to ourselves everyday

1 Comment

  • Wow what an experience and as you said from your own boat. Do love reading about your adventures. Just wonder where you heading next.

    We arrived back yesterday in St Mawes 13hrs crossing from L’aberach having signed the boat and us out in Brest the previous day. Very little wind but saw too 7 different pods of dolphins though none came to play but broke the tedium of motor sailing. We both slept well last night. Today got my swim round the boat and been an excellent day for washing and drying. We have one more day on board and then back to London. We’ll hopefully get down here mid September fora 7-10 days to potter locally or head to The Scillies . We’ve had an excellent 6 weeks in France got as far south as Sable d’Olonne , visited several islands and plenty of time in Brittany. Lots cycling swimming and enjoying being in France . Elder daughter and family came out last week and we had a really fun week. The kids the ones who were in the Caribbean with us now nearly 10 and 12 were so helpful on board cooking anchor people, compiling ropes etc ect a joy to have onboard again. How old were yours when we met in Palma before you set off on your adventure??

    Best wishes

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