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Carried Away
Easting PR
Stan
05/05/2012, Salinas

Arrived early morning to this great anchorage. Must be about 25 other sailboats here. It is a horseshoe shaped bay so it gets flushed twice daily by the tides. Went ashore and walked for miles checking it out. Found a nice bakery and had a very good Cuban sandwich and pastry, Found the post office and another large grocery. Even had an ice cream.

We will wait here until the autopilot comes in Wed or Thur. We are probably going to rent a car one day to run our shopping and provisioning errands. May go into Old San Juan to explore also. They also have a Wal-Mart and Home depot close by.

Chris and I have been working on boat projects all day. Fixed both head sump pumps and drains, the outside VHF, bimini, bilge pumps cleaned out and most importantly got the water maker working again. We have really been checking off the to-do list thanks again to Chris's help.

Will post more on Salanis and new pictures soon

05/07/2012 | Heather Derek and Grant
Stan, you are really making good time! I'm sure Chris is also glad to be there, and you're right, he sounds like a godsend indeed. Will you stop at Culebra? It had a LOT of American ex-pats settled there when we were there, so a lot of people spoke English. There's some good snorkeling around there, too.
05/11/2012 | Vicky
Stan, Have enjoyed keeping up with you thru your post and the pictures. What an adventure. So glad Chris was able to join you. Will he be with you for awhile? 30 hours at the helm all by yourself, I could feel your tiredness. So sorry to hear about Ixnay, he was such a sweetie & I know he was a lot of company for you. Take care my friend.
Easting Cont.
Chris
05/04/2012, Caja Muertos, PR (Coffin Island)

Thursday morning we approached Muretos Isle with a single tack from Ponce Bay.. what a sight.. high ridge with an old lighthouse structure on the tallest point.. green with clean turquoise blue waters surround.. and wonderful anchorage near the swimming beach. We quickly secured an anchor ball and lowered the dinghy to find very pleasant hosts at this state park some 7 miles offshore... coconut palms surrounding a couryard with veranda and picnic tables with free satellite WiFi.. all we could ask for save water.. we snorkeled a well-executed underwater trail for some good views and exercise.. then back for some emails after several days without.. then back to the boat chased by some weather and then some fishing.. we were lucky to catch several snapper that will become a meal soon..
a most pleasing experience

Easting the PR Coast
Stan
05/03/2012, Ponce

This has been a great harbor. Walked to a large super market, Santiagoes Cash & Carry. It has a nice marina with free water from a neighbor while we fueled up on diesel at $4.13/ gal. A lot cheaper than $7 in Bahamas.

Easting PR
Stan
05/02/2012, Punta Jorobado

Went ashore here and Chris bought a Red Snapper. Man that was eating! They had no wifi and what a loud bunch of competing bands that night. The worst thing was the incessant rolling all night.

It sure would help to know Spanish.

Somewhere in Boqueron I lost my billfold. Thought it would show up but apparently it fell out of my pocket on a dingy ride. What a pain that has been to get new debit cards shipped to a different country.

We follow Bruce Van Sant's plan of easting early each morning leaving between 4 and 6am. This way the island land breezes lay the swell down and the wind from dead ahead is light. It starts honking about 9am. By then we are safely anchored and enjoying a new harbor.

Easting Puerto Rico
Stan
05/01/2012, Cabo Rojo

My first cousin Chris Neal joined me in Boqueron to cruise. What a godsend he has been. He is very good at repairs and picks up sailing very quickly. We pulled in here and got the third lung working and buddy dove on the boat to do a bottom job. Not too much growth after five months. Its great to have help especially since auto pilot is on fritz.

The Ray Marine unit stripped three of its planetary gears so unfortunately the new belt didn't help. Timothy Gibson at Port Supply in Pensacola was a real trooper in getting a warranty unit shipped ahead to Salinas, PR. I have great appreciation for the Port Supply team there.

Boqueron
Stan
04/21/2012, Puerto Rico

Left Luperon in company of 5 other sailboats bound for Boqueron, PR. We left about 6:30pm and sailed the Atlantic coasting the DR to take advantage of the Katabelic winds blowing of the mountains and out to sea. Depth perception is terrible at night sailing near the mountains off to your lee. You think you are near shore but looking at your chart plotter you are well off. One thing about these impoverished islands is that they all have cell service.

We got down to the Eastern tip of DR and decided to go ahead and do the dreaded Mona Passage to PR since we had a weather window. It turned out to be your typical sail (motorsail) with winds mostly 30 degrees off the bow thru large swells. We all got seperated after the first 24Hrs.

My autopilot started slipping and finally quit so had to do the last 30 hrs behind the wheel. Thats when you really wish you had some help. Try reefin g the main in 23k winds at night in rolling seas. Not fun even tethered in. The topping lift also decided to come undone and the boom finished off my bimini. Shredded canvas and isenglass completely obscured me forward vision but couldn't leave the wheel to get it out of the way. And wpuldn't you know it a nice fish was on but couldn't do anything about it. Needless to say he got off.

After about 20hrs I found myself falling asleep behind the wheeln and would jump awake to find myself way off course. For many hours it was just plain grueling. Coming into PR there is a large rock right near a waypoint. It looked ever so close, but alas the chart plotter doesnt lie. I dare not fall asleep now.

Coming into Boqueron harbor Wayne and Pat's boat's engine died so I grabbed a line from them and pulled them into the anchorage. It turned out that everyone who bought fuel in Luperon got a lot more than diesel. Luckily I didn't. Couldn't hail any of the other boats. Found out later that Celtic Rover had to jury rig a rub golberg fuel strainer. Celtic Rover and Highland came in a couple days later having to divert to Mayaquez.

Anyway got Kolebrie safely in then dropped the hook and fell asleep.

This is a college weekend hot spot with music blaring into the wee hours. Called Customs and was told I had to have a $27.50 decal to clear in. Customs was a good 30 mile trip away so I went online and paid for it only to find out I still had to go back to Mayaquez to pay another $27.50 fine for entering without the decal. Clearing into PR was suspossed to be easy...NOT!

Waiting here for a front to clear thru then will start working our way to Gilligan's Island and then Ponce. They have a Sam's club there so it will be time to provision.

Great news! My first cousin, Chris Neal, is flying down to meet me Saturday to cruise with me. I'm really looking forward to his company. He is also bringing a new belt for Mr. auto. It will be great to have his help and to also have a diving partner.

04/27/2012 | Ralph Knoerr
Your scaring Mary. Finally got her reading all these nice cruising articles where everyone lives happily ever after till they return to Boston. A big hat is cheeper then a bimini. Might get a good deal in the southern Caribbean. May you have more broad reaches and small following seas.
04/27/2012 | Heather Derek and Grant
Stan - Wow, tough passage, glad you made it in one piece.

Puerto Rico is actually a pretty good place to find some canvas to have another bimini stitched up... you have the frame and that's the most expensive part to replace, usually... now if you can only get on the VHF and find a fellow cruiser with a SailRite machine who's willing to teach you or to do it for cheap! Hats work, but it's blessed to have some full-body shade when you're out there in "another beautiful day in Paradise" all day!

Wishing you a glorious series of sails and snorkels in the Spanish Virgins and the USVI and BVI!

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