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LA FLEXIBLE – Carolina Caycedo

 

LA FLEXIBLE, 2003
DVD. Sound and Color.
14 min.
Boat trip from Rincón-Puerto Rico, to Punta Cana-República Dominicana.
with: Raimond Chaves, Chemi Rosado, Olga and Charlie Casellas, Bubu Negrón y Carolina Caycedo.

La Flexible (the flexible) is a small yola, or boat used by fisherman in the caribbean sea. This yola was found abandoned in a beach near Rincon in Puerto Rico, probably discarded by illegal immigrants coming from the Dominican Republic. A bunch of friends decided to restore the yola to do the trip backwards,  travelling from Rincon, in Puerto Rico, to Punta Cana in Dominican Republic.  We were 6 persons traveling by day with food, water, gas reserves, and even a CD player blasting reggae and reggaeton; in a yola that usually holds up to 30 or more illegal immigrants, travelling by night with little or no baggage at all.  We had a companion boat for security reasons and documentation purposes.  We departed  from Rincon at 8 am, and encountered a smooth, pool-like shiny sea.  Dolphins, flying fish, and birds greeted us during our trip. We even swam in the deep Mona Passage, the strait that separates the islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. The Mona Passage connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, and is an important shipping route between the Atlantic and the Panama Canal. The 80 mi (130 km) stretch of sea between the two islands is one of the most difficult passages in the Caribbean, it is infamous for its treacherous currents and hungry shark population.   Our voyage had a strange feeling to it, whether we would make it or not, as many people drown attempting to cross the Mona Passage.  We arrived at Punta Cana right after midday, where local authorities stamped our passports.