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Anthem Adrift
Old San Juan
04/15/2009, Isleta, PR

April 15

Was anyone aware that boom preventers actually do no such thing? In fact, if you have a preventer and want to use it, you have to go out and find a boom. Encourager, more like. Nautical tidbit for the day.

After spending nearly four weeks in the DR and Puerto Rico, have gained some ability to speak Spanish with a decent accent. For example: "Buenos dias. Dos huevos y jamon y grande cafe con leche, por favor?" and the complimentary "Buenos tardes. Donde este el bano, por favor". This skill is of less utility than one might expect, due to a complete inability to understand the answer unless limited to "si" or pointing.

Liz missed the early non-stop to San Juan from Tampa, so barely got on Delta with a stop in Atlanta. With time to kill, drove short distance to Marina Del Rey (largest marina in the Caribbean) to have breakfast and see friends. They were in slip 1281. Numbers start at 1. They will stay another day due to squalls and resultant gusty winds. Should have left Oh dark hundred for Culebra.

Liz here. In hotel. Bye.

Jack


Isleta Me Stay Here
04/14/2009, Isleta Marina, PR

April 14

Yesterday was the ides of April. (Yes April has one too, on the 13th, but Shakespeare didn't care, so why should you?) Spent a restful, breezy night in resurgent trades behind protective reef, however, can't seem to sleep past 0630.

Today, after dispensing with pleasantries of leisurely desayuno at Mangos Cafe, eventually engaged in unpleasantries attendant to decontamination of shower sump, head, sinks and dust bunnynators. Mostly goofed off with Kindle e-book reader reading, oddly enough, and perusing Amazon offerings. Bought all the cheap stuff e.g. three volumes of The World's Greatest Books (digest) for nada plus all the works of Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens and Mark Twain for about $6. Boat is pristine within the scope of my understanding of that term.

Have entered a period of decompression after a day and a half without visual contact with any long-time friends. 'Long-time' meaning as much as six weeks. A very, very long time ago. That was like, February of 2009 and this is like, the middle of April. Dude!

Will now be off the boat for at least three days, but quell that hopeful anticipation. Messages are possible using the internet via Airmail's telnet service. I know no mercy. No, no. Then again, might be too lazy. Mercy!

Must stop now to pack for temporary transition to dirt dwelling as Liz and I explore Puerto Rico from a hotel in Old San Juan. Fear runs rampant. Motionless beds are scary. Are they dead or just lying in wait until their victims are asleep?

Jack


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


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