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Regenero's Great Escape
To Salinas

Thursday, Mar 29th

We left Esperanza on Wednesday and headed to the western edge of Vieques to a spot called Sunset Beach...Unfortunately the weather was grey most of today, so a sunset is out, but found this to be a long stretch of south pacific looking beach ringed with palm trees and mountains behind. We can see the lights from Puerto Rico, just 13 miles to the West of us. We tucked in pretty far, but found that it was pretty rocky and rolly, so glad that we are leaving.

Big Day of travel today...on to Salinas. We left Sunset about 6:30am, and found that the grey weather followed us. We had a downwind motor sail and it rained off and on for most of the day, so we were kept busy between the occasional jibes due to shifting winds and swabbing the water out of the cockpit. Only too bad I cant keep my water catch up while we are under way...if I could....our tanks would be overflowing!

We were outside of Salinas by 1:30 and joining us in the very wide entry way was the Swedish boat Flying Penguin, who just left our friends SeaQuest in Jamaica, and are on their way to St. Maarten. We chatted on the radio for a while then they anchored closer to the outside, and we kept motoring in to the inner harbor. By 2:30 we were anchored in the Mud (on the third try, cause we forgot you cant back down right away when the bottom is so soft) and settled into the lovely, very calm, mangrove ringed, busy anchorage of Salinas. The one interesting thing is since we are anchored in the mangroves there is a very particular smell to the water and air here....I presume we will get used to it? I certainly hope so.

Now it's Pina Colada Time! And Ginny & John come over to relax before heading to shore to visit with their friends and explore tomorrow.

Esperanza, Vieques

Tuesday, March 27, 12

Moving again today, about a mile north to the anchorage outside of the town of Esperanza. After making sure we are well-hooked, we drop the dingy and go exploring. We met some people aboard another boat who gave a waypoint to John and Ginny for a good western anchorage. This we intend to anchor at tomorrow and use as a jumping off spot on Thursday to head for Salinas.

We head for the dingy dock to town and cruise right over a spotted eagle ray in clear water. Ashore we find a charming main street filled with shops, restaurants, and one block back guest houses and private homes. The main street has a bricked walkway that looks out over the sea and as we gaze out we see the eagle ray jumping out of the water...yippee. I still don't know why they do it...but we enjoy watching just the same. We discover the nearest comida, or grocery store, the stadium for baseball which was lit up so brightly last night, and an elementary school with kids tearing around on the playground....some things are universal.

After a nice lunch with Wind Shepherd we picked up few things at the grocery then headed back to the boat for a swim. We swam out to the small island we are sheltered behind, where we have seen a dive buoy, and along the way check to make sure our anchor is well dug in. Amongst a sea of grass we spot a lone starfish, a southern stingray and our friend the eagle ray winging along.

On our way!

Monday, March 26th

We make our way over to Sun Bay, a HUGE bay with a beautiful beach ringed with palm trees. As we pull in and prepare to anchor I see 3 horses meandering on the beach. These are wild horses that are apparently all over this island, not a sight you see everyday....even on remote islands. We relax today and enjoy this peaceful, beautiful bay.

Happy Birthday Evan!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Off the mooring and headed for Vieques.

After clearing the mooring and then racing to get ahead of the ferry, we had a great sail down to Vieques today. 7.5 knots steady and up to 9 at times, in 15 knots of breeze off 60 degrees...ahhhhh, yes I remember this! Although the sea was a little bumpy, it eased up after we rounded the east coast of Vieques, and we headed to Ensenada Honda. The day is overcast and cloudy as we pulled into this immense Bay, not entirely sure if the Range control officers were going to kick us out again, but feeling confident since it is a Sunday. After getting anchored, we make plans for Pizza aboard Wind Shepherd for dinner, then Skype with our now 4-year-old grandson to sing Happy Birthday. We picked up a dolphin Puppet in Dewey who sang along with us, and surly was the highlight for Evan!.

We elect not to put up our rain catchment - which turns out to be a big mistake. It rains on and off lightly before and as we are heading over to dinner, then a huge rain storm hits us while we are eating and pours for nearly an hour. We could have filled every spare container aboard...if only! As it turns out, we had a leak in the hatch over our berth, that we have been meaning to replace, and had to dry out sheet and cushion overnight.

Wind Shepherds Pizza was a huge treat and we really enjoyed the homemade crust as well as the special camaraderie of good friends. The night was noisy and loud aboard Regenero and rolly on Wind Shepherd, and we planned to head out in the morning.

another Day

Saturday, Mar 24th

We decide to stay another day and so leave up our water catchment and canvas as the winds are still up and the rainsqualls coming by intermittently this morning. We were disappointed by the no show of the lobster fishermen today, so who knows what we are having for dinner...but it wont be fresh seafood - too bad. This is a lovely place to sit and we are very much enjoying the peace of Culebra.


Friday, Mar 23

The catchment system works! By morning we could see water back up to the bar in the primary water tank, and while not perfect, the system works and we can catch water! Ginny stopped by and the girls headed off to shore for a little girl time and shopping expedition. After John dropped us a few feet from shore we walked the mile or so to town. The distance not a problem at all, however the hills....that was a slightly different issue. We enjoyed sniffing around the shops again, and looking for a few things, then lunch at the Dingy Dock, where we were hoping for Key lime no avail! We happened upon some local fisherman there who were off loading their catch and Ginny tried to make a deal for some lobsters, but they were all spoken for from the restaurant today...however, maybe tomorrow. We told them where we were located and hope that they'll stop by with fresh catch! On our way to our last stop we ran into Charles and Leslie....our friends from Phaedrus (who has a new name) and caught up with them for a short while, then it was off to the grocery store before it closed and then the walk back to the beach. Same up and down hills except now we are carrying 20 lbs. of ice, plus a few sundries, so the walk was a little more taxing! After calling John, who picked us up from shore, and then getting everything back to the boats, Jim and I took a snorkel on the reef that is just off the boat. It was terrific, and we saw great coral heads and more soft coral, fans, etc. that were lovely. We also saw a small lobster hiding under the coral just daring us to pick him up...too bad we are in the national park and NO Fishing signs abound. We also saw a ray just three times behind the boat. This was on of three sightings we have had in this spot. So I guess the rays are happy here! A single Barracuda wanders around beneath the boats as well, but no one comes by when we drop snacks into the water...hmmm.

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Who: Jim & Karen Doyle
Port: Chicago, IL
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