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Old 11-05-2013, 02:49 PM   #126
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Went free diving off the boat for lunch today. Used a spear. Not a speargun, just a spear. Caught 3 small lobsters, 1 medium lobster, and a skate. The skate tasted like a freshwater panfish, like a bluegill or similar.

If imgur didn't hate me I'd post a photo.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:39 PM   #127
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Here's a good map of the area we are in:

http://bayahibesup.com/wp-content/up...BE-MAP-NEW.jpg

Every time I try to link to that using an image URL, the iPhone 2p2 app freezes then crashes before I can paste it, so hopefully some kind mod will fix that link into an image link.

The boat is moored in the bay on the right, we are about 100 feet offshore from the letter "a" in the word "Punta" where it says La Punta. We hop in the dinghy and motor over to the shore when we need something, tying up to a little post near the "s".

The supermarket is mostly preserved goods and some odds and ends. There is a little old lady that sits outside with a wheelbarrow of bananas, plantains, avocados, and a few others.

There is a little cafe "g", where you can get different fruit juices that they make right on the spot from the fruits. They cost 100rd, which is about $2.50 USD. I've had mango, cherry, and melon (what we would call cantaloupe). The mango was crazy good.

We will probably head to Puerto Rico in 3-5 days. The plan was to have left around now, but the owner needs to pay some kind of fine for exceeding 90 days here without a cruising permit and we also need to bribe one of the customs officials to upgrade our paperwork processing speed from glacial up to just very slow.

The water in the bay was wonderful this morning. Visibility was crystal clear 15 feet to the sand/coral bottom, and you could see schools of yellow sergeant majors swimming back and forth around the boat. Bought an actual speargun today but it's really difficult to load. May just stick to hand spearing for now.

This sucks that I can't add photos. Is this a problem with the app or something on my end? Worked just fine for the real time Kauai Spamboree trip report I did about a month ago from Hawaii in the LC thread.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:42 PM   #128
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OK so I can't see the link there either. Get stripped out or does anyone see it?

I'll try removing the http portion..

bayahibesup.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/BAYAHIBE-MAP-NEW.jpg
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:03 PM   #129
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Bought a speargun in La Romana yesterday. Took it out for a test run today near a reef.

First kill was a lion fish. This is awesome both because lion fish taste good and because they are invasive jerks that eat everything and are eaten by nothing. Some places in the Caribbean actually reward you for killing them because they just lay utter waste to areas, consuming everything in their path. They are like underwater locusts.

Also got five other small reef fish. A few grunts and two somethingelses. Vetted them with locals for ciguatera risk and paid some kids 50 pesos ($1.25) to gut and scale them.

We will be making a fire on the beach soon and roasting them up for dinner.

Now we have a backup plan for when we sail over a tuna boil and the skipjacks refuse to bite.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:04 PM   #130
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I like to call that backup plan "boom, headshot!"
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:55 AM   #131
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Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Lionfish have those poisonous spines, right? But they're okay to eat?

We caught one in Mexico when I was a kid, and it scared the hell out of me.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:36 AM   #132
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Them's the ones. They are beautiful fish. Too bad they also consume everything they see and destroy ecosystems. I have no qualms at all with killing them.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:58 AM   #133
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Re: chopstick goes for a sail

If you're still having problems loading the gun, it's a probably a technique issue. You need to have the butt of the gun against your chest (not stomach - even though that seems easier). Grab the band(s) with one hand, with your other on the handle of the gun. Push the handle away from you and get the butt of the gun on your chest. That's the only spot that can give you enough leverage to load the thing. Will also be painful on your chest after a while, wetsuit can help. You can also cut and glue something padded (old mouse pad works well) onto the butt of the gun. Hope that helps.

I don't have any experience in the Caribbean, but generally ciguatera is only going to be a problem in very large fish. If you see a huge grouper just chilling not afraid of you - there's probably a reason no one has taken it.
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:43 PM   #134
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Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Quote:
Originally Posted by chopstick View Post
Them's the ones. They are beautiful fish. Too bad they also consume everything they see and destroy ecosystems. I have no qualms at all with killing them.
I thought they were actually kind of rare, but they invade in hordes?

What scared me in Mexicao was we caught it from shore, and I thought from watching Jacque Cousteau or some such that they were a deep water fish.
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:28 PM   #135
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DosXX - Yep, it was a technique issue. Watched a few YouTube vids and started loading against chest. Much easier that way.

Pig4bill - They don't come in hordes but they consume anything and everything. Meanwhile, nothing eats them. They can wreak a lot of havoc.

We are trying to get a handle on the cruising permit issue today. Hopefully we get that squared away in a few days with some pesos greasing the wheels and head out mid next week. We are looking at crossing the Mona passage south of Mona Island, then over to Boqueron to clear customs in Puerto Rico.

Will probably haul out the boat in Salinas for a few days work. If so, we will head up to San Juan during that time to visit friends and raise my currently dangerously low Blood Sangria Content level to something more healthy.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:02 AM   #136
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Someone in ATF pointed out that I can just manually do the tags. Yes, I'm an idiot.

Bayahibe sunset:



Took this off the stern of the boat in the Bay of Bayahibe. It's the one I failed at posting a few days back.

Last edited by chopstick; 11-09-2013 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:28 AM   #137
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The lobsters we hand speared while free diving off the boat:




The skate (actually a stingray) from the same trip:



Went to get the cruising permit on Friday, they said to come back on Monday. Might be another week or so in Bayahibe.
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Old 11-09-2013, 03:52 PM   #138
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Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Cool thread
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Old 11-09-2013, 04:50 PM   #139
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We're not on the way to Puerto Rico but we are sailing. Currently about half a nautical mile off the coast of Dominican Republic, headed south at about 5 knots toward Saona Island from Bayahibe. We'll anchor at Saona for the night, do some diving tomorrow, maybe spear some fish for lunch.

The jib is out, the main is full, we're on a steady close haul at 5kts, and it is looking to be a fantastic sunset in a couple hours, right around when we'll arrive at Saona Island.

Life is good.
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:06 PM   #140
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If you get to San Juan, look for a bar called El Batey. Awesome dive in the old city.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:00 PM   #141
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Thanks, will keep that in mind.



Spent today diving and sailing.

Speared some fish for lunch and fried them up with some pasta an hour later.

This was my first time scuba diving, it was awesome. We were in about 40ft of water right over and along a coral reef. Saw a zillion fish, and a lamprey hanging out in his hidey hole. Also an enormous pufferfish and a bunch of other cool ones like lionfish.

Anchored a little north of Saona Island last night. The sunset was pretty ridiculous:



If I ever get a non 3G internet connection again I'll start posting more photos.
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Old 11-11-2013, 04:39 PM   #142
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Re: chopstick goes for a sail

sick sunsets!
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:46 PM   #143
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Just cleared out of customs in La Romana. The mainsail is up, the moon is full, and we are about 18 nautical miles from rounding Saona Island. Then it's due east to Mona Island and on to Boqueron after that.

On to Puerto Rico via the Mona Passage! Adios, Dominican Republic!
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:47 PM   #144
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We left La Romana at sunset. Motorsailed down to Saona, then set due east for Mona Island with just main & jib. Weather was pretty much according to forecast and gribs. There was a small craft advisory, but not one I was worried about. Kept a course of 105-110 degrees from Saona.

Was a little choppy near Mona, and the boat owner decided we couldn't stop there, so we put a reef in the main and kept going. A little choppy but not bad.

Crossed under Mona around 0900-1100, had a pod of dolphins show up to say hello. Speed dropped to around 3.5kts once we were in Mona's lee, then as soon as we got east of it, the wind was north northeast and we had some great sailing. Adjusted course to about 95-100 degrees. Steady 15kt winds, seas around 4-6 feet. Trimmed the sails a bit and cruised over at 5.5kts to Boqueron.

I think it helped a lot that the wind east of Mona became more northerly, helped keep us from getting shunted south.

We pulled into Boqueron right after sunset, with the sun setting behind us and the moon rising over Boqueron ahead of us - great sight to see.

Anchored, put the Q flag up, called in to customs, and will finish clearing in tomorrow morning. Made it here from La Romana in about 24 hours, great timing. And dophins!
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:19 AM   #145
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Left Boqueron two nights ago. Headed east along the south coast. Arrived yesterday late morning at Isla Caja de Muertos, an island somewhat south of Salinas.

Spent a few hours walking around the island, getting bitten by mosquitos and not stepping on hermit crabs. There is a lighthouse from the late 1800s there. We climbed up to the top and had a sick 360 view of the island as well as the south coast of Puerto Rico.

Speared some red snappers at dusk for dinner. Super hard to scale, so just fried them up scales and all, then peeled the skin off when they were cooked. Nothing like 30 minute old fresh fish for dinner.

Left a fish head on a hook over the side of the boat for the night, but nothing caught when dawn rolled around. We will probably snorkel the NE side of the island today where the big reef is, then sail onward along the main island.

Looks like we will haul out at Fajardo instead of Salinas. Looking forward to renting a car and driving around the island a few days. Lechon, here we come!
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:43 AM   #146
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The speargun is now up to 17 confirmed kills. It broke yesterday. The little metal triangle that goes into the notch split into two pieces. Used pliers and part of a fishing spreader rig to fashion a replacement, then kept hunting.

Three more fish and a nice sized lobster. The big fish was about 5lb/2kg.

We are running low on drinking water and more importantly, on jugo de fresa-chinola, so heading back over to the main island today to reprovision a bit.



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Old 11-22-2013, 05:03 PM   #147
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Re: chopstick goes for a sail

attract any sharks while spearfishing?
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:16 PM   #148
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Only barracuda so far but at 17 kills, we've only just begun.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:06 PM   #149
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Re: chopstick goes for a sail

Do you put a sticker of a fish skeleton on the boat for each kill? How many more until you're an Ace?
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:32 PM   #150
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That would be pretty sweet.

Probably at least 200 before Ace status.
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