Los Haitises National Park
March 7th, 2020
The navy comandante here will only give you a despacho to visit the park for 2 nights. About 12 miles across the bay we arrive at the park. It consists of limestone hills covered in vines and mangrove lined rivers and caves with pictographs from the Taino Indians. It was spectacular and nothing like Kevin and I have seen before. People say it is like Thailand or Vietnam. Also, some scenes from Jurassic Park were filmed there. We anchored behind one of these “little hills” and explored a cave and took the dinghy up one of the mangrove rivers. We were the only boat there for the first night and shared the bay with one other boat the second night. Overall, there were three caves we explored. We took the dinghy a long way up one of the mangrove rivers and the number of different birds spotted was cool. It was so quiet. At one point we encountered three men rowing in a panga. They waived and we zoomed by but I said to Kevin- I bet they would really want our dinghy engine. You feel safe most of the time but you are continually aware of your surroundings and lock up a lot more. We tied up at one place along the river and walked along a path with rice patties on either side towards an ecoresort. The ecoresort looked pretty rustic so we walked back along the rice patty fields passing wild turkeys and listening to the cows moo as they were gathered up by the rancher.
After our two nights, we headed back to the marina. The only place to stay was along the side dock again. Bad weather was moving in. We only stayed one night! We had a sleepless night adjusting fenders and lurching back and forth from the surge that we were afraid one of our cleats would be pulled out. The next morning we actually witnessed a cleat breaking free from a concrete dock and slamming into another boat. We asked the navy comandante again to go back to the park given the rough night and potential damage to our boat. They granted us two more nights. What a relief to get back to the park. Three other boats were there all waiting out the weather. We then headed back to the marina but were able to anchor just outside to go in and get our final despacho to go to our next port! Finally, the weather window had appeared to tackle the 24 hours needed to get to Luperon on the north coast of Dominican Republic.