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Thursday, 17 January 2013

Boat hunting in Luperon

We needed to get away for a couple of weeks, as winter rolled on and on, and so come January 2nd we’re on our way back to the Dominican Republic, back to our little apartamento at Orilla Del Mar. This is going to be a holiday of do nothing, chill, as the modern lingo has it. The only adventure we’re going to go on will be a gua gua ride to visit an old friend of ours in Luperon.  We will also have a look at a couple of boats that Gill has for sale.

We manage to hitch a ride from the main highway when a flash station wagon stops. We climb in and meet a young but astute lawyer whose on his way to sort out a land deal and drops us right where we want to be at Shaggies bar.  Although now it’s JR’s but it’s the same old place now owned by Gill, that’s another Gill, not the yacht broker.

We phone the other Gill, and our old friend Ray to arrange to view some boats in the afternoon. That turns out to be a problem as Ray, who now is the guy who will be taking us around has gone off to Santiago on some mission about an engine. He wont be back until the evening. So we find a hotel and potter away the day in Luperon. Me to do a little watercolour whilst Jackie opts for a siesta. We arrange to meet Ray at the trivia quiz evening back at JRs.

JRs is the yachties hang out in town, and although this is sailing season there’s still a few here, enough for a social gathering. We arrive after the quiz has started but soon fall into the swing of things. We generally hang out, but once word gets out that you want to buy a boat everybody’s your friend. At the end of the night just as we’re leaving I’m approached by an old female salt who said she’s got a boat for sale that’s tied up in the mangroves, She’s got arthritis and can’t handle the sheets anymore. It’s a C&C she tells me but I honestly am only half aware of what she said as people are offering their goodbyes at the same time.

Next day we start with breakfast at the ‘Upper Deck’, nowhere near as posh as it sounds, no menu, just breakfast. As we eat the rain pours down, a heavy shower, looks like this will be the pattern for the day. Ray meets us there and we head off to Puerto Blanco to pick up the RIB.
First stop is the Alberg that we’ve been looking at on the web. Somebodies put in an offer of £21,000, that’s a third off the asking price, and they’ve accepted so that gives us an indication of how the market is here. The Alberg is ok but doesn’t light my fire. Next up is Bobs boat, a Gulfstar 41, and Bob is aboard. It’s a bit messy, to say the least but a lot of boat, very liveaboard, he’s asking $44000, Then Wolf’s  Cape Dory, I don’t remember much about his boat, nice guy but not our boat.

The clouds are gathering over Luperon Bay and Ray is heading for a boat called Seagull that’s tied up to the Mangroves. Just before we get there the heavens open and we scramble aboard this boat, and quickly get the hatch open and get out of the rain.  To be quite honest, this boat does not look too good, if fact at first sight it’s not far from being sunk. But it is still afloat and the cabin is a dry retreat from the rain.

 I’m first down the companionway, and according to Jackie she hears me exclaiming a few ooos and ooooohs of approval.

Below deck is almost as much of a state of neglect as topsides, but wait a minute, the layout is very interesting. The Galley is quite large for a boat this size, 38ft, and right opposite are the heads. Not only are these spacious but there’s a separate shower cubicle. The sink is hidden under old pipes and ropes, the galley in need of a couple of days cleaning.

So once the rain has stopped we climb back up, and close the hatch, another look around the deck where the rain lies in puddles behind the gunnels. Everywhere is neglect and rusting, shame this could have been a nice boat in it’s day.

We clamber back down into the RIB and head back to the pontoon of puerto blanco. Ray gives us a lift to Imbert and we catch the bus back home.

On the way back, we puzzle about what make that last boat could have been, something about her had stirred our curiosity, somehow we needed to know what make of boat that was.

The name of the boat was Seagull, that’s all we had so we put that into a few of the brokerage search bars and drew a blank. Lots of stuff about seagulls on google images but as for an advert for this boat ,nothing.

 We phoned Ray who didn’t know who the maker was but would ask the owner later that night at JRs. Next day we managed to speak to the owner who told us that the boat was a C & C landfall 38. 

She had been lying there abandoned for about three years and had been robbed of most of her electrical components, including her batteries.