I had planned on sewing us our Puerto Rico courtesy flag on the sail from DR. I include a photo….. Not so straight.
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But ever so appreciated!!! Coming back to the boat from calling Customs we found ourselves swarmed with jet skies. It was like kicking a hornets nest of them. There was some sort of club or something and they zoomed into the anchorage all afternoon. Normally we hate jet skies, but at this point we just had to be entertained by the whole circus. There was a police boat and three police jet skies near us.
They constantly had people pulled over. It looked like they had a profitable weekend. We did escape the craziness for a bit by going ashore and doing some touristy people-watching for the afternoon. The town was cute and colorful, but we anchored off in a secluded little spot behind some reefs and snuggled up next to some mangrove islands. For the first time in a LONG time we got to go for a dive and catch dinner. We caught lobster, Keith saw a baby hogfish. It was too small to go for, but was still exciting to see!
The water felt great. Our anchorage was right next to this blimp station.
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It was pretty neat watching it be brought down and float back up. It tested his little watch-dogging skills. The main attraction, though, was searching for monkeys! We heard that the little island we were anchored in front of was home to monkeys. Monkeys are on my bucket list so we went in search. There is a mangrove lined creek that runs through the islands. We turned off the motor and quietly paddled through the entire creek. It was a neat trip though and saw lots of other wildlife- just no monkeys. The weather has been perfect for sailing along the coast.
Next stop was Ponce. We also expected to do some sight-seeing of Puerto Rico from there too. We were at Ponce exactly 55 minutes. In an unusually decisive moment we turned around and kept sailing down the coast after filling up on cheap diesel. Ponce would just have to be visited by rental car from somewhere else. That evening we slid into the Salinas anchorage just as the sun was getting low. It was a much better spot than Ponce!
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Pretty, cruiser friendly, calm anchorage, and manatees swimming by the boat. We went to bed thinking it would be home for the next week. That plan was thrown out the window before breakfast the next morning. The weather report was that the glorious good weather we have been enjoying was going to be coming to a screeching halt soon. And when it did, it was going to be ugly for a really long time.
Like weeks. So basically the take away was get to where you wanted to be stuck. While we had planned on staying in Salinas for a while, it sounded like we were going to be there for a LONG while. The decision became Wal-marts and projects or beaches and swimming.
Beaches won. I heard they have beautiful ones in the Spanish Virgin Islands!
We did a mad scramble of completing as much stuff as we could in one day. Luckily everything just seemed to line up for us all day long. We even ran across a cruiser with a car headed to the grocery store with extra room in their back seat for us. We had planned on doing some major reprovisioning while in Puerto Rico. Instead we just ran a cart as fast as we could down each isle and dumped stuff in so we could catch the same ride back. Beans, tuna, toilet paper and off we go! We actually did pretty good I think. Auto-pilot and freezer parts, we decided, would have to wait for a while longer.
It is in the self-help genre and is especially about empowering women. I am still trying to decide what I think. So far…. I am still reading it as there are some good nuggets…. But I am paying attention to the scrapes and cuts that come along. I am going to continue this idea more next week , but for now, take care of yourself. A quick personal update regarding the book I was continuing to read, stepping over the thorns….. I stopped reading it. I made it to chapter 19 out of But I hit a thorn that I simply would not allow to bump up against me, and I said no more.
Running with my metaphor from last week, this might be a way we trim thorns from our path. I stopped reading the book.
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Easy enough, right? I want to talk about ways we can trim the thorns in our path, but I again want to remind you that if you have thorns lodged in your skin or wounds from thorns that are still quite hurt or even infected, it may not be a good time to trim the thorns too much.
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Get some help tending to the removal of thorns and healing the wounds…. We brave the swells, storms, currents and Trade Winds planning our every move around weather windows. Most helpful was his suggested itinerary for departure and arrival times at various points along the coast. The DR is very strict about being cleared in and out of each port of call, inspecting yachts in transit for any illegal stowaways.
We made sure to ask the officials to document that our next stop would be the next major port of call, Samana. The Navy officials were willing to process our paperwork at pm since we told them we were leaving within the hour. He processed our despacho, shook our hands and sent us on our merry way. Peter and I had no intention of leaving at in the evening, knowing the Trade Winds were surely still piping outside the harbor with less than friendly seas pummeling across the entrance. Apparently not. Around am I untied the lines and made my way out to the bow with a spot light.
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The flat calm waters quickly disappeared as we followed our tracks back out through the channel. The waves grew bigger and bigger. Just then, in the darkness behind us, I saw a light. It was a small boat with several men in it and they were headed right for us. Not a single one of them spoke English. They were screaming at us and telling us to turn around.
With a cliff to our starboard and a dangerous shoal to our port, they insisted that we turn around that instant, not even a little bit further.