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Anthem Adrift
A Clear Reach to Paradise
04/13/2009, Isleta, PR

April 13

Despite wonderfulness of Greater Antilles, have missed two phenomena. Tasted both today. Observed, through sparkling clear water, anchor break free of sandy bottom at weighing (about 45 lbs.), then quietly proceeded from Pineros to Isleta (discovering, in so doing, use for big stick sprouting from deck besides, of course, humiliating stink-potters). Beautiful, occasionally spectacular, the big islands are generally shored with mangroves, mud and murk. Easting confronts wall of prevailing wind and current. Anticipate minimum such impediments to utopian existence, henceforth.

Ferried across from anchorage at Cayo Obispo, then publicoed (have bad habit of verbiating nouns... also inventing words) into greater Fajardo (port at Fa-HAR-doe is Puerto Real) to search for hatch (no) and solar panel (si) braces at West Marine. Panel support was swept away on passage to Provo, wimpy hatch strut broke. Big city. That aggravation will also mostly join muck and motoring.

Late afternoon dinghy ride to explore adjacent shore and resident marinas for possible restaurant/bar negligibly productive unless eating a slice of pizza with diet Snapple from ferry terminal snack bar tinkles your ding-dong. Guessing Easter Monday not party night in Puerto Real.

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it."
- Groucho Marx

Will remain here, rather than stage from Culebra, for Liz's arrival, Wednesday, to avoid potential ferry misconnect. Confidence shaken by rumor and observation. Will subject wife to 18 NM sailboat ride instead. Spousal inducement to extend visit to St. Thomas is tentative arrival of good friends Pat & Sue. Good friends Morrie & Suzanne delayed due to misfortune of gainful employment.

Jack


Slow, More Sensual
04/12/2009, Isla Pineros, PR

April 12

Easy day got extended. First potential stop too soon, second, Palmas del Mar, recently prohibited anchoring. At this point, figured to just go tomorrow's leg too as friends were here, so had an 11 1/2 hr. day starting at 0330. Took longer than necessary trying to sail in fluky conditions, but had first engineless segments since Mona. Made nap nap then choked down white wine with nachos and nuts on their boat. After minimum sleep last night (plus cheap swill) feeling too blurry for extended monologue.

Probably anchor off Cayo Obispo (Isleta Marina) near Fajardo, 6 NM north, tomorrow, then sail 20 or so to Culebra, Tuesday. Isla Pineros, current locale, is shortcut for many-horsed power boats enjoying warp speed within rock throwing distance, creating impressive wakes. Suspect these guys, who are said to extend their masculinity with ever larger engines, are secretly jealous of sail boaters, whose masts are monuments to potency.

As it is now time to vegetate for as long as possible, will leave you with this comment:

"Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana."
- Groucho Marx

Someone will miss the profundity. Email for explanation.

Jack


Wicked AND Disagreeable
04/11/2009, Salinas, PR

April 11

Actually engaged in productive activity, today. Ummmmm... Oh yeah, refilled gas can and inserted resistors (purchased before leaving CONUS) in compass circuit to dim frightfully bright light that blinded night sight.

Good easting tomorrow and Monday with trades lighter than usual. Anticipate 0400 departure from Salinas to make 35 NM sail around Punta Tuna to Palmas del Mar. Isla Pineros or Isla Palominos Monday to stage for 18 NM beat to Culebra Tuesday. 0630 ferry Wednesday from there to Fajardo, shuttle at 0815 to Marina del Rey for rental car by 0900 and drive to SJU to pick up Liz around 1030. Car, hotel and ferry are arranged. This level of planning is wicked, disagreeable (nearly unique situation as
wicked is usually quite agreeable) and should never be allowed in the islands.

Cleanup after three months without feminine restraint will also be evil and unpleasant. Feral dust bunnies have become vicious, making recapture difficult and dangerous.

Desiring internet this afternoon, patronized closest establishment with that service for a traditional Puerto Rican dinner: Brat, sauerkraut and a Heineken. By the way, (*stereotype alert*) did you hear about the new fusion cuisine, Chinese/German. Tastes great, but an hour later you're hungry for power. Ach du liber! (don't know the meaning of that, but it sure sounds appropriate).

Must now obtain snoozeage. Ta!

Jack


Idle Hands
04/10/2009, Salinas, PR

April 10

Another ghastly day in paradise, but still unable to sustain any vestige of dissatisfaction as mouth corners creep upward despite best effort to frown.

After breakfasting, while stinky sheets rinsed, took Inspiration Ladys on drive into mountains with tail end of rental car time. Had to divert for Good Friday procession of disciples flagellating themselves with knotted rope. They hurt themselves to thus prove their piety. This should not to be confused with flatulating that is enjoyable and comforting, and tends more to abuse those nearby.

Planning for nothing to do is dangerous as with nothing to, did nothing. Idle hands are the devil's playground. Found myself at the marina bar at 1430 drinking beer with friends then migrating to Anthem for sundowners with additional wastrels until 2130 (equivalent to the wee hours in dirt-dweller time). Blew off any useful endeavor at this time and went to bed.

Jack


Salinas Sojourn
04/09/2009, Salinas, PR

April 9

Liz, returned this afternoon from visit to Melissa in Twin Cities, to wait until Wednesday for flight here, allowing sit in Salinas until wind eases Saturday or Sunday. New favorite place on earth, yet again.

Ken, of dismasted Annie II fame and triple citizenship (British, Canadian and St. Lucian), is building a house in St. Lucia requiring his immediate attention, so I drove him to SJU airport around noon for possible month away (wife, already there, says two). Cheapest alternative was renting for less than 1/3 cost of taxi, generating free car until 1100 tomorrow for me. Left Tanzer 26 on anchor to languish until his return when two potential rigs (spars, stays and shrouds) may be available.

Despite innate sloth (do you think the three-toed mammals are offended by pejorative use of their name? Rumor is that two-toed variety are completely indifferent) and reprieve with new underwear, washed clothes at convenient and inexpensive marina laundry before drive north. Tomorrow, intend to rewash sheets from Luperon due to gagging detergent smell. Mistaken that odor would ameliorate with time. Otherwise expect to have a good Good Friday filled with naught but leisure.

Late dinner, with amigos, of whole snapper fixed with Salinas' specialty, mojo sauce. Oh, baby! (not what you think Pam). $12.50 with mofongo (mashed plantain with garlic and... stuff) and vegetables.

Now it's late, I'm wiped after grueling day in air conditioned car and clean sheets adorn soft, inviting cradle, so buenos noches.

Jack


Let Me Count the Ways
04/08/2009, Salinas, PR

April 8

Have come perilously close to running out of clean underwear, so did what any reasonable single-hander would, bought more. Should probably wash eventually, dirty clothes bag being one limiting factor, but no sense asking for trouble.

Unusual NNE wind after departure from Ponce (you're not thinking PONE-say, are you?) at 0430 allowed some sailing in gentle swell to Salinas, new favorite place on earth so far. Breakfasted with four friends at marina snack bar on banyon canopied, outside deck overlooking about 40 anchored sailboats in this well protected small harbor. May risk getting hammered on Friday if the wind picks up as forecast, but thinking to stay an extra day. A place like this justifies north coast DR slog. Best and worst.

Mike & Barb on Astarte asea from Grand Turk, ETA Mayaguez this evening, avoiding Hispaniola. Should catch up by Culebra.

Casual readers of this journal might have inferred that cruise thus far was a delightful journey of discovery and adventure, but... OK, it actually has been way, way fun, but now expect to add a 'way' or two.

Liz arriving San Juan airport, Monday, for several day visit. Looking forward to her company into USVI after exploring PR and Culebra. Friends, Morrie & Suzanne, to meet us in Charlotte Amalie; will make open water dives to finish PADI SCUBA certification. Unrestrained hijinks to ensue.

Jack


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