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Brigadoon - Puerto Rico and Back
Islands of Palominos and Vieques
Patty and Doug
12/03/2012, 18 06.551'N:65 22.769'W, Puerto Rico

After leaving Puerto Del Rey on the mainland, we travelled a short distance NE to the Island of Palominos. A small ferry travels every half hour to this island from the mainland and there is a small resort with a beautiful beach, bar and hotel there. We watched a wedding party having pictures taken on the beach. After the last ferry left there was only us and one other boat. Next morning we sailed to Esperanzo, a small village on the south coast of the Island of Viegues. There wasn't much to see in Esparanzo but we were treated to some nice local music(until 2:00 am) aimed at our anchored boat from a bar on shore. Next morning we made a short hop to Sun Bay, another huge, beautiful, deserted beach. The weather has been very changeable with frequent downpours ibut the sun still manages to shine between showers. Today, we continued east along the south shore of Vieques and anchored in Bahia de la Chiva, another spectacular beach-lined baycomplete with picnic shelters a few of which were actually in use. This was one of the areas used by the US Navy for their war games and we couldn't understand why there weren't any other boats here until we saw a row of buoys like in the above picture. The guide book warns boaters not to pick up any manmade devices i.e. shells when you go ashore. We did collect some shells from the beach but not the explosive type. The last two nights, we have been the only boat in the entire anchorage.There is no development on this island and only two small towns/villages. We have decided to sail back to Culebra tomorrow for a little more action (i.e. more tacos from Zacko Taco) and then the next day on to the US Virgin Islands

Then There Were Two
Patty and Doug
11/29/2012, 18 17.167'N:65 38.176'W, Puerto Rico

We had a great sail from Culebra to Puerto Del Rey Marina on the east coast of Puerto Rico and have stayed here for three nights. Tomorrow we will leave for the island of Viegues, still in the Virgin Islands. We have had a rental car for two days and have been driving all over the island including the old towns in San Juan and Ponce. The drivers are very agressive and don't always follow the rules. This morning we dropped Joanne and Rae off at San Juan airport and we were sad to see them go. They have been great company and we will miss them. One reason we came to this marina was to check out the boat storage facilities, thinking we may leave the boat here through the next hurricane season. It looks like it might be a good choice since the boats are secured by straps attached to concrete blocks buried in the ground. The mariina is huge. They have a team of attendants that will take you to or from your boat in golf carts, 24 hours a day. It seems to be a very clean and we ll run marina (Rae watched a dolphin swimming amongst the docks yesterday morning). It's also an easy place to get to from San Juan.

Enjoying the Spanish Virgin Island
Patty and Joanne
11/25/2012, 18 18.863'N:65 13.974'W, Atlantic

We found out there was no need to go into customs and immigration since we have come directly from a U.S. port, i.e. North Carolina, so Doug and Rae spent the morning ferrying fuel from the gas station to the boat with the dinghy. This a difficult process, since there were no fuel docks to take the big boat into, so they used the dinghy to refill the two 5-gallon jerry cans and made 3 trips which gave us 30 gallons, plenty for the time being. We then moved the boat into Ensenada Honda, the main little town on Culebra, explored the town, and organized having our laundry done. We planned dinner out at one of the three restaurants, but had to cancel due to a tropical monsoon which passed over around 5pm. We would have been drenched, so decided to have an easy dinner on the boat. Laundry was interesting . . . we dropped off about 20 pounds of laundry to a laid-back island guy whose wife did laundry for boaters. He took our bag, threw it into an old VW van and drove away, s aying it'll be ready sometime tomorrow, didn't know when, but as they dryed it using solar power (hung it on a clothesline he said) it would be dependent on the weather. We hadn't heard anything by mid-afternoon, but eventually had a call from him saying it was done and was ready for us to pick up at the dock. We took the dinghy over to meet him and received our freshly washed, dried, and folded laundry. Definitely worth the $28. Patty was quite concerned that we'd never see our laundry again!

We called to make a reservation for dinner tonight, since we missed out last night and were told that it was a special celebration for Christmas (!?!) tonight and it would be a pig roast and buffet. Puerto Ricans "take Christmas very seriously" apparently immediately after Thanksgiving they're in full swing. We went to the dinghy dock, were met by a fellow in a golf cart, who brought us up a steep hill to the restaurant where we sat out on the patio and enjoyed a meal along with a fun couple from Chicago, sailors as well, so lots of good conversation. He was a lawyer, she was a pilot for United.

This morning, we powered over to Culebrita, a small island nearby, found a mooring buoy, and spent the afternoon exploring in the dinghy, swimming and snorkelling in the 80 degree water. It is so clear, we can see bottom and we're sitting in 30 feet of water. Joanne went up the mast to take some video and photos, one of which is attached, she was at our mercy as we had control of the halyard, but decided to bring her down eventually. We are one of only two boats in the bay tonight, so will stay here and carry on to our next stop tomorrow. Right now, we're sitting in the cockpit after a great meal, a 3/4 moon, sipping on Puerto Rico Rum! These islands are beautiful, unspoiled, and uncrowded, much like the BVI and US Virgins were many years ago.

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