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s/v Skylark
It's Always An Adventure
Mountains of Puerto Rico
03/31/2013, Spanish VI Puerto Rico

We arrived in Salinas, Puerto Rico yesterday afternoon. Our plan was to stop somewhere along the way for an overnight stay, but we carried on and made it from Esperanza, Vieques to Salinas in 8 hours. It was a wild ride the last 2/3 of the trip, with mixed up seas between Vieques and Puerto Rico proper as the winds built from 10-20k. As we sailed down the south coast of PR the seas became more consistent out of the ENE but the wind kept building into the mid 20k range, capping out at 28k for the last few hours. We went from being in 1000' of water to an abrupt drop down to 50', causing the seas to get short and steep with breaking waves. Thankfully we were going with the wind and waves but being pushed at 7-8k in those conditions was somewhat unnerving when the water got so shallow. As we rounded the mangrove islands of Bahia de Jobos, we encountered a tug pulling a barge occupying the very channel we wanted to scoot in to get out of the heavy seas. We opted not to share the channel which would have required us to cut in front of him because there was no slowing down to go behind him. We stayed out in the seas and once we passed the mangroves, we rounded up towards Salinas. Whew!

This photo was taken just as we approached Salinas. In this shot, look for the choppy seas, mangroves, sun on the incredibly stunning mountain range, clouds building and storm clouds on top. It pretty much sums up the moment. A lot going on at once.

We'll be here a few days, renting a car and exploring Old San Juan tomorrow or the next day. Our friend Pip on s/v Picaroon is here while his wife Heather is off consulting in Indonesia.

Belly Buttons Bar
03/31/2013, Spanish VI, Esperanza, Vieques, PR

Love the name of this bright, colorful bar.

More Scenes from Vieques
03/31/2013, Spanish VI, Esperanza, Vieques, PR

I ran out of wifi when I was posting photos on the blog yesterday so here's what I intended to include. This man and horse were trotting very rapidly down the street in Esperanza. His horse was quite short with a high-stepped, quick gait like a Lipizzan or Andalusian. I believe he was was doing something called the Spanish Walk, but I am speculating. The rider spoke no English and since we speak no Spanish, we weren't able to determine what kind of horse it was. Anyone know the answer?

A New Experience
03/30/2013, Spanish VI, Esperanza, Vieques, PR

One of the main reasons we came to Esperanza was to experience what is called the the Bio Bay, a spectacular bioluminescent bay which creates blue-green light in the water. It is created by micro-organisms thriving in an environment uniquely suited to their needs. Our timing was a little off since we had a full moon to contend with, but we went on a kayaking tour early enough that the moon was rising only on our return. The brighter the moon, the less luminescent the water. Mosquito Bay has up to 720,000 single-celled bioluminescent dinoflagellates per gallon of water. These half-plant, half-animal organisms emit a flash of bluish light when agitated at night. The high concentration of these creatures (Pyrodimium bahamense) can create enough light to read a book from. (information taken from an internet webpage for Island Adventures). It was enchanting and well worth the trip. We weren't able to take any photos of the experience, unfortunately. This photo is on the promenade in Esperanza, which is a lively, bustling community.

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