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The Infamous Mona Passage !

March 10, 2016

 We put the harbour of Luperon, Dominican Republic behind us. Thanks D.R you are awesome!


So we think the time has come to leave the security of the anchorage and mooring ball in Luperon Harbour that we have been enjoying for the past 7 weeks. It has been an awesome adventure here in the Dominican Republic and now we are looking to Puerto Rico to see what it has to offer. Sounds simple right? Well, the largest & longest passage we’ve done yet with a total of 260 nautical miles awaits us that includes the infamous Mona Passage. “ Dunh, Dunh Duuuuh ” Can you hear the ominous music?


 Pulling out of Luperon Harbour, here we go!


I’ll be honest this passage has been looming in our minds before we even left Florida. I must say that sometimes it’s better not to do so much research ahead. In a way I wish I had never heard of the Mona Passage and I wouldn’t have time to think about it. We were nervous and probably a bit reluctant to set out for this passage. Since the passage getting to Luperon was such a rough one we were in no hurry for a repeat experience.  Being well into what is known as the Thorny Path and continuing to be until we get to the  British Virgin Islands ( BVI’s ) we knew this leg had potential to be nasty if we didn’t time the weather window properly. The Thorny Path is known for being a tough route to travel south, since winds along here are always on the nose. What we were looking for were wind conditions from 10-15 knots. If we are going to be beating into the wind we would rather have it light wind. 


After watching the weather reports like a hawk for weeks we finally made the decision to go. Yikes! Once we made the choice it was all systems go to get ready, food to prepare for the passage so if it was rough I wouldn’t have to spend time cooking. A one pot meal was made that we only had to reheat. Of course there has to be some treats so some homemade banana bread and upside-down mango cake was in order. Its amazing that sitting around for 48 hours on passage can make you hungry. 


The day before our planned departure was spent picking up our last few provisions, hitting the bank machine and checking the engines and sails. With being on the mooring ball for so long we discovered that the lines were quite tangled so it was all hands on deck to get us clear of that so it would be an easy to pick up and go. Good thing because it took us about an hour to get free of the tangle. The less chores you have upon departure the better, tensions can be high when setting out so keeping the captain and crew calm  sets you up for a better start to a long passage.


We said goodbye to our beloved Luperon Harbour and gave a quick bye to all the friends we’d made over the VHF radio as we cleared to harbour channel. Out to the open ocean we went, so far so good. The seas were fairly calm with smooth rollers of about 5-6 feet flowing past.


 Passing the coast of Puerto Plata


Of course we had to motor sail along the coast but that was expected. We took the first few hours to settle into the groove of being back on the water again. The boys do great but as for me I get a bit queazy. No hurling over the side or loosing my lunch just a head ache and a bit of an unsettled stomach. I got a little nap along with drinking plenty of water and was soon feeling better. On we go hour upon hour, slowly approaching sunset for the first night along the coast of the Dominican Republic. Brad and I are taking shifts at watch trying to get some sleep in between. 

 Cabo Samana, The last point of the D.R Sunrise.


Night watches can be one of two things, beautifully uneventful or the complete opposite. Luckily it was the first this time around. As dawn approached so did the end of the Dominican coastline and we slowly put Samana Point in our rear view. One more night and the Mona to go. Of course we were to cross the Mona at night so our fingers stayed tightly crossed that the weather forecast would be true. Miss Mona seemed a bit cranky and dished out a few squalls in the night so there wasn’t as much sleep happening as we would have liked. We worked hard to get ourselves in the lee side of Puerto Rico to get protection from the wind and waves and by the wee hours of the morning on the second day we had done it! We had crossed the Mona Passage ! What a relief. 




 The last view of The Dominican Republic.


We now feel empowered by Miss Mona and what we can do. That was a long way for us so far all 264 nautical miles and the passages from here on out will be so much smaller. At least they will be for the next few months and we will celebrate that while we can. Sometimes the hype about an upcoming passage can be more intimidating than the crossing itself . I think the scariest part about that passage was all the thinking about it before hand. I’m happy to have that one tucked under our belts now and the confidence that it has brought for us and our boat. 


Hello Puerto Rico! Nice to meet you.



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Want to see more about the Mona Passage? 
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