I have started this segment many times and now it is so long ago that i have forgotten some of the details i like to include. So forgive me for this and i hope to catch up to present day shortly as we are now moving slowly during this most active part of hurricane season. At present i am writing from Grenada.
Finally we made it to Puerto Rico on June 1st and I was excited to be able to use my cell phone again. I know that sounds like a silly thing to be excited for but it meant we could have more spontaneous connections to family and friends. Truly as enjoyable it is to be cruising again, we miss the daily connections and conveniences of communication with those close to us. So Puerto Rico gave us just a little bit of that communication piece. Anyway, we also knew we needed to keep on moving eastward and we hoped this would be the last month of windward sailing. (As it is now July 26th when this is being written, we know that it was not to be so. We hope we have now made our last all to windward passage for a while.)
We landed on the southwest corner of Puerto Rico in a little town called Boqueron. We crossed the Mona Passage quite pleasantly in company with our Dutch friends on Carina Rose. Boqueron is mostly a beach getaway for Puerto Ricans and we found that beach going in PR was a loud, musical and family oriented affair. The BBQs on the beach were complete with large music speakers, umbrellas, chairs, big food spreads and the whole family of all ages together kicking soccer balls, basketballs, bikes,flying things, etc.
When the weather forecast called for light winds, we pulled the anchor and headed around the corner for Ponce for one night and fuel before pushing on to Salinas midway on the south coast. We did see large wind farms along the coast. Visibility was often poor due to humidity and sahara dust so some of these photos look washed out.
Salinas is a large well protected bay that is a safe shelter for many boats including mangroves for hurricanes.The Salinas Yacht Club provides a friendly spot for us to land and chill out. Many cruisers sail in and end up staying months or years. Perhaps that is what happened here?
By car we drove up in the mountain with our friends on Krow to visit a women Niels had connected with online. She and her husband were cruisers who settled in Puerto Rico and bought a coffee farm called Finca De Seto. Suzanne still lives here alone as her husband has died and does mostly online selling of her coffee and salsas she makes. Beautiful drive up into the mountains!
Anything can grow here on the rich soil and plenty of rain water. A gardeners heaven!!
After several days of land travel we were ready to push eastward. Each day we motorsailed as far as we could go and stopped for the night to anchor and relax. Our goal was Vieques and Culebra for the long Fathers day weekend upcoming. Years earlier John had hid in the mangroves of Culebra to avoid the wrath of Hurricane Hugo. We were hoping to avoid needing it again but we wanted to see what was available if needed. We also dreamed of clear water and some good snorkelling. We found it at an off-island bay where there was great turtle grass and plenty of not shy turtles.
For Fathers Day we hitch-hiked over the hill to Flamenco Bay and joined lots of Puerto Rican families celebrating with the extended families on the beautiful beach. We met a 94 year old gentleman who had walked the length of the bay by beach which must be 2.5 to 3 miles long. He looked and acted 20 years younger and was so happy and positive and wanted to chat about our life traveling the world.
This tank was beached on Flamenco Beach but if you look closely you will see an ad painted for Pure Michigan?
The town of Dewey on Culebra was quaint, friendly and picturesque. Our boys had gone to Dewey a few months before we got there and enjoyed the Painkillers, Flamenco Beach as well so we enjoyed thinking of them here together enjoying this paradise. The sign board outside a restaurant says it all -Open some days Closed others!
My final picture is of the full moon rising over Vieques! A glorious site. I promise to get right working on the next edition of our returning to the US and British Virgin Islands. So stay tuned and sorry we are so behind. Having tooo much fun i guess!