Regenero's Great Escape

06 February 2016 | Francis Bay, St John, USVI
31 January 2016 | Privateer Bay, Norman Island
16 January 2016 | Christmas Cove
07 January 2016
30 November 2015 | Puerto Del Rey, Puerto Rico
25 February 2015
04 February 2015
18 January 2015
11 January 2015
01 January 2015
31 December 2014
28 December 2014
18 December 2014
09 December 2014
06 December 2014

The whirlwind of Puerto Rico

08 December 2013
Sunday, December 8, 2013 The whirlwind of Puerto Rico

Did I ever mention how much I LOVE Puerto Rico? Well I do…and here’s why!

We arrived here on Wednesday to Puerto Del Rey Marina, early, early in the morning. By the way, docking this behemoth is slightly different than our, slightly smaller (by 17 feet!) cat. But Frank and Denise are a pretty incredible team, and they tuck this big baby on the dock like she is a hobe cat!
And so, as this is work, Frank and Denise immediately began contacting their various contractors for the chores to be completed. One by one…and in true ‘island time’ (by that I mean, ‘oh, you are coming right now?’, and they show up roughly 3 and a half hours later, after a second…and occasional third call) the various contractors appear, and the work is discussed and scheduled. Quite a lot of this is weather dependent, and it has poured here for several days. As the chores are being arranged, we go rent the car, and then we are off to Almacenes, the wonderful fabric store here in down town Fajardo!

Thursday, after waiting on contractors to arrive, we are off to do our Big shop…and hit West Marine, Home Depot, Chili’s for lunch then CostCo, and finally Walmart. This takes hours and hours, first…because we have lots to do and second because Shopping IS the Puerto Rican pasttime and the stores (and parking lots) are packed. Packed like it is the last shopping day before Christmas…and you didn’t get anything. I have never seen stores so packed…and the parking lots…we’ll that’s a whole different story…as we discovered on Friday where we headed to Plaza Los Americas, the biggest shopping mall in the Caribbean. We came here strictly for lunch, and spent 50 minutes (NOT KIDDING) trying to get a parking space. Like where you watch for people coming out of the stairwell and follow them to their car…CRAZY!

On Saturday we decided to take the southern coastal drive to Ponce, and so were off in the morning, in a bit of a shower…Have I mentioned the rain? The weather here has been fairly awful, with squalls coming thru with regularity and sometimes downpours… But it eventually stops and we enjoyed the drive thru the hills down past Point Tuna, and its lighthouse to a beautiful southern beach where I found a tiny chambered nautilus shell. We also noticed another very Puerto Rican custom…several of the roadside stands we passed had pigs on a spit, roasting. Mmmmm – now that’s the place to stop for lunch. We took the rural route thru to Salinas and as soon as we got past the hills the weather changed dramatically to the dry southern section…with low meadows that stretch to the now distant hills. It is amazing how you can seem to drive right out of a weather pattern, into a whole different climate zone…very cool.

After a quick stop at Salinas we continued on to Ponce, our destination for today to check out the marina. This posed a bit of a problem as the marina here is private, so we were not allowed to drive in. instead, we checked it out from across the bay, which is a boardwalk that spans at least 2 kilometers, doted with multitudes of Kiosko’s, little food stands, and bars, with music, and open areas for people to stroll, or sit and listen. There is a vendor here selling sardines so you can feed the giant tarpon swimming below the pier or the pelicans sitting on the pier. One young boy was feeding the pelicans and we enjoyed the show and got some great pictures of pelicans not 3 feet away. The parking lot here is ENORMOUS…which truly makes you wonder how busy it can get. As we were here, there were only a few people out, perhaps 20 cars in a parking lot built for 500 easy…must get pretty darn crowded…but Puerto Ricans love to get together, eat, listen to music, dance, talk and laugh, and after dark is when things really start to get moving. An interesting thing about Ponce is that it has a large container port that looks very well kept and vital, except for one thing…No containers – Not One. We couldn’t decide if it was just decommissioned, or in stasis, as all the equipment looked good, not decrepit and rusted out. Odd….a question we need to get answered.!

On the way back from Ponce we stopped in Caguas for more shopping, and experienced a true traffic nightmare…not the parking so much, this time that was easy, but I kid you not, it took us over 25 minutes to get out of the parking lot…like from the store front and to the main traffic light…and this was a strip mall! Serious crazy traffic.! I admit I don’t love that about Puerto Rico….but that is only 1 strike.

There is a Christmas party going on at the marina tonight (6-10pm) and OJ (and crew) have been invited. So after a nap, and shortly after 6pm we put on our glad rags and head over to the big tent to see what was what. What an event. A tent that could hold hundreds was erected, and two food lines each with a pig on a spit, in addition to multitudes of other food, a full bar with several bartenders seating for 200 or so and a band and dance floor…wow! We visited with a few people, since we don’t know too many people here, and don’t speak Spanish – then enjoyed several drinks and a good dinner, which thanks to Frank we were nearly first in line for. Then by 8:30 we were back to the boat and plugged Captain Ron into the DVD Player. What I didn’t know, was Captain Ron was filmed in Puerto Rico. So, we discovered we have been to several islands in that film (which are all locations in Puerto Rico!), specifically the St. Haag Yacht Club, aka right here in Puerto Del Rey Marina! Very cool to watch places we currently are in the movie we are watching.
The party went on until the wee hours of the morning….it was extended until 11, and then those that were left all headed over to the restaurant here and according to one friend of Denise’s she didn’t get home until 3am! I am not cut out to party Puerto Rican style! Tomorrow – we are off to the West coast!
Vessel Name: Regenero
Vessel Make/Model: Lagoon 41 S2
Hailing Port: Chicago, IL
Crew: Jim & Karen Doyle
Jim retired from the legal field but continues to lecture and teach as an adjunct professor at several Universities both in Illinois and as well as a US MBA program in Eastern Europe. Karen is currently on hiatus from her job. [...]

Who: Jim & Karen Doyle
Port: Chicago, IL