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Sunrise: Chasing the dream
Life filled with adventure, both actual and spiritual.
05/28/2012, Culebra

Bill, with the dinghy tied to him, dives on the reef, searching for more turtles.

After a little stroll around town and a pastry, we wandered toward the ferry dock. Sitting on a step in front of the Pizza place was a guy checking email on an IPhone. We asked him what was worth seeing around the island... After talking for a while we invited him to join us on a sail. We were headed to Culebrita for the day... He had never been on a sailboat... And joined us enthusiastically. From Washington DC, he was here for a weekend of R&R: camping out and snorkeling.

When we arrived at Tortuga bay, it was packed with at least 30 powerboats. So we headed off the wind for a circumnavigation of the island. I dug out the spinnaker, which hasn't seen any action in months and set it for a 1 hour downwind sail. Nate had been at the wheel almost the whole time. Lara asked how he was doing... And he sheepishly said he was being lulled to sleep! We encouraged him to stretch out on the cockpit bench... Which he did... 20 minutes later he awoke with a grin, saying how wonderful his nap was. We rounded the west end of the island, doused the Spi, and tied up to DNR mooring. Within minutes we were in the water to check it out. After lunch we did an extended snorkel with Isobel riding in the dinghy. The reef here is in remarkable shape... Probably thanks to the Navy restrictions, then the quick implementation of lots of moorings.

After tea, we delivered Nate back to the beach so he could be back a camp before dark. His plane home was at 7 am tomorrow... We really enjoyed having him aboard...

18 19.664'n 065 19.995'w

05/28/2012 | Mary Ellen
Hope to see you-5/31- landing at 301pm- Jet blue--707 JFK-to PR--love to all
05/28/2012 | Uncle Readie
XPlot position map has you at Timbuktu again. Is it because you add an extra zero? Stupid longitude! ;)
Sailing again
05/27/2012, Culebra

We arrived Ensenada Honda after a wonderful sail from Vieques. It is so nice to sail! Although Culebra is only 14 miles, we had to tack back and forth to get there as it was straight into the wind.

As we entered we were reminded that it was Memorial Day weekend, as we saw hundreds of power boat from the mainland sometimes 4 or 5 connected to one mooring!

We spent the night close to Dewey so we could go ashore early while the sun was low and the air cool.

Arecibo Telescope

OK,, this is an old photo... when we toured PR, we went to the Arecibo Telescope. This was very impressive, a radio telescope built here because they found a depression in the Karst topography that would almost perfectly fit a 1000 foot diameter telescope dish! It is the biggest Radio telescope in the world and most sensitive. It also has an antenna that studies the Ionosphere... something that we are also interested in, since our HF radio uses the Ionosphere to reflect radio waves for us... allowing us to talk to other boaters around the world and receive weather data... we also use the HF Radio to send and receive emails when we are at sea.

05/25/2012 | Uncle Readie
Areceibo is the biggest single radio dish, but that's mainly because tech has changed since it was built, moving toward arrays of smaller dishes and aerials. It was just announced that part of the new Square Kilometer Array will be built north of Perth, and will be many times more sensitive than Arecibo. I may even get to work on it in the future. Here's hoping!
Diagnosed Internet issues
05/25/2012, Isabel Segundo, Vieques, PR

In town we found this Ceiba tree. Although this is a spectacular tree... a few miles away there is one that is 375 or 400 years old! It have the buttressed roots and very impressive thorns on the trunk and branches.

We have been frustrated by our inability to connect to the Internet from the boat... AT&T considers this US so we can use our cell phone as in the US... So I spoke last night with my IT guy... More widely known for creating and running with his wife, he is a wizard when it comes to remote Internet problem solving. He found our Nano Station M2 is failing. The marine life is hard on electronics!

We are still here in Vieques... Finally dragging ourselves away from Green Beach to the town of Isabel Segundo, named after the queen of Spain. We went ashore and had a great local ("tipico") meal and met Garry of Vieques Adventures He runs mountain bike-interpretive tours as well as clear canoe tours of the Bioluminescent bay on the south shore. Obviously totally committed to the island, it's environment and way of life.

And we met Charlie, the local Shaman, who helped us put our dinghy back in the water.

18 09.019'n 065 26.823'w

05/25/2012 | Dick Nelson
Don't leave Vieques without visiting the biolumenescent bay. Was there a year ago and it was fantastic.

-Dick (in Oriental)
05/25/2012 | Uncle Readie
I'll bet it was the shaman who fixed your internet, not the Oriental wizard. ;-P
riding the bucking Bronco
05/24/2012, Vieques, PR

We had a very nice sail... yes sail, no motor!! (yeah) around the shoal off the NW end of Vieques... we rode the current to the end of the shoal, then tacked back toward shore to get out of the current. Isobel likes to stand on the coaming and hold on to the dodger. As we bounce through the waves she calls it riding the bucking bronco!

We have seen several turtles which is quite fun...

05/25/2012 | Uncle Readie
I'm suprised the little girl doesn't fall asleep with all that motion. :)
laundry in Paradise
05/21/2012, Green Beach

Well, even though we are in this "movie set" beach with perfect temperatures and breeze... house work continues. Here Isobel and I hang the laundry... Lara's washes, I ring it out and Isobel hangs it. It dries pretty fast here... unless we forget about it and a squall goes through that gives it another rain-water rinse!

On the list is also some work on the Transmission where there is corrosion on a fitting and fluid needs changing. More rig tuning, some sail repair, deck work, sea water impeller.... and the list goes on...

In the Virgins!
05/20/2012, Vieques, PR

Well, it was worth the bash to weather... This is Green Beach... with OUR Palm tree... Later a few other people showed up from shore. Otherwise this has been like some kind of perfect movie set.

Well, today we had a taste of why they call this the "thorny path"... Even though we followed the instructions of Bruce Van Zant... Well not really... He would have suggested waiting for the Tradwinds to be reduced before leaving Puerto Patillas. We were so tired of the surge that was rolling us... We were willing to put up with some windward bashing to get out of there.

at first we motor-sailed in two big tacks to make the nine miles to the SE corner of Puerto Rico... Then we were able to sail in two more big tacks to "green beach" on the nw corner of Vieques. We share the anchorage with one other boat... We haven't met them yet... As food and nap were the first order of business!

We haven't had Internet, except through our iPad, and we can't figure out how to post photos from the iPad. Any ideas?

18 06.630'n. 065 34.646'w

05/20/2012 | Uncle Readie
I think Vieques and Culebra only started being called Spanish Virgin Islands for tourist purposes after the US Navy stopped using them for target practice a few years ago. They're usually called the Passage Islands between PR and the real Virgins to the east. Not really sure why your iPad gets wifi internet but Macs don't, sorry. Need more info. Email me.
05/22/2012 | Sue Kreiling/m/v Independence
Every now and then, I remember to check in on your blog, then I go all the way backwards to check on your progress. So happy to see your adventures. Quick note, I avoided surgery and have healed to 90% functionality-- back home to a new kitchen (almost) and all is well!
Hope to see you back on the high seas this fall/winter??
05/24/2012 | Joey B Tortuga
Sorry gang.
Great to hear of your progress.
I just saw this noticing its 5 days old.
HOPE you turned North again to visit to Culebra, esp Culebrita.
If you passed it by - Sorry.
Love and best wishes to y'all.
Cats of Old San Juan
05/15/2012, San Juan, PR

At the Discovery Center

We have toured El Morro, the fort that over looks the entrance to the most important harbor in the Caribbean... Held by the Spanish from the 1600's through 1898 when the US took the fort by Naval bombardment.

Cats were brought by Christopher Columbus to help keep the rats a bay. The cats kept the city rat-free until 1940, when someone removed them to "clean up the city." The soon found that the cats were critical... The rat population exploded... Until the cats were retrieved from their exile.

We were wandering around looking for some ice cream, when we saw a little door into the huge wall of the St Cristobal Fort, "Discovery Center." we entered to find a wonderful litte kids place with books and art supplies. This is where we read about the cats... And made a cat mask. Nice job US Park Service

05/15/2012 | Uncle Readie
Way to build up the audience for an Isobel cat mask photo, Bill.
05/17/2012 | Uncle Readie
Now *that's* a cat mask! :)
05/19/2012 | dagny St.John
Hi there! Am in Bath, Maine now, on the Kennebec, babysitting 2x a week for new granddaughter born Jan cool..are you bringing the boat up this summer? Sverre works at Strouts boatyard in SoFreeport, Jordi and Katrinain Portland. All in book club are now grandmas except MaryCastner! Amazing! We miss you! Dagny
Torches & Prayer in Old San Juan

Women and children walked with torches through the streets...praying for the troops in El Morro, but the British mistook them for approaching Spanish troops - and RAN!

Villa Herencia
05/14/2012, Caleta des Monjas

This is the atrium, open to the sky... with fountain at the end. cool, quiet and right in the middle of old town.

Well, using Google maps and Trip Avisor... We found a room in Old San Juan in this great little hotel. It really feels like an old world place on a street that fits only one car... Barely! With a little fountain the the atrium and small but very comfortable rooms, I would recommend it to anyone who wants to walk around Old San Juan... The only thing they fell apart on was the breakfast. Skip it and go to one of the little coffe houses. We went to Cafe Cuatre Sombras for some excellent PR coffee and food.

05/15/2012 | Uncle Readie
Villa Herencia is on Caleta de las Monjas, "Little Nun Street". Another hotel there is a former convent. Watch out for flying nuns!

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