Wednesday 8 May, Dom Rep day 15: More kiting in Cabarete, while Oana tests the patience of a kiting instructor.
Our second night in the Kite Beach hotel is as good as the first. A peaceful good sleep – especially after all that exertion kiting yesterday.
We head back to the same place as yesterday for our morning coffee. And we are somewhat amused to sit near a middle aged French guy who is with a very young Haitian girl… probably from Sosua! We do giggle to ourselves. It’s so obvious.
Over coffee Oana decides she will have a go at some kiting lessons. She will get a 3 hour lesson starting at 11:30 when the wind comes in.
By 11am I’m on the water again. Perfect conditions, just like yesterday. Meanwhile I can see Oana on the beach, with an instructor and a 7m yellow kite in the air. I’m really pleased she is giving it a go. It will either put her off forever or she’ll be super enthused to go the next step.
By 2pm the wind is certainly above 20kts and even with my 12m kite fully de-powered I am often feeling out of control, totally over powered – not a good thing to be in the sport of kiting.
So I pack up my gear then grab a few photos of Oana, who really seems to be in control of the kite, landing it and re-launching by herself and walking up and down the beach, keeping it stable in the air – tricky because one false move and the kite is in the palm trees! At the end of her 3 hours, which she did non-stop, she has a proud smile ear to ear which tells me everything about how she feels. We will now have to plan where we go for more training before that beaming smile fades!
Mid afternoon we check out of the hotel and head back to the marina. We want to leave early in the morning to Turks & Caicos so we need to do the checkout formalities today. We make sure we are there well before 5pm so that none of the officials have any excuses to charge us over time.
First, Customs, who is very polite and efficient. Then to Immigration who stamps our passports but then asks $20 for the overtime he would have had to do if he checked us out at 6am tomorrow. We are not happy but pay anyway. And of course, we get no receipt which means the $20 will be straight in his pocket. Hm, shouldn’t have handed the money before asking for receipt. Lesson learned.
We think we are done, but we are sent to the next office. With the army this time. They tell us they will come in at 6am to clear us out. We tell them to do it now but they are not having it. We are pretty sure they will try an “over time” charge too. Let’s see. We decide no way are we paying unless they give an official receipt, like we were given for entry formalities by the honest officials in Puerto Bahia marina.
Then it’s off for shopping. We need to stock up ready for our passage to the USA. Very likely Turks & Caicos will be very expensive, especially fruit and veg. We check out with a huge trolly full, yet the bill is only $150. This is seriously cheap shopping. And the fruits are all local and delicious. Pity they don’t send some to the other Caribbean islands! Or maybe they do, but not at this price or condition.
After handing back the car, I give Cloudy Bay a good wash on the upper deck while Oana updates the provisions inventory and stows everything away, ready for tomorrow’s departure. Then early(ish) to bed. It’s been quite an active day.