The wind, she is a’blowing
04 January 2015
Sunday, January 4, 2015
Well…what everyone says about New Year’s on Culebra is true…and we had a wonderful time! It is like the 4th of July at home with people staking out their locations with tables and chairs and streamers. And while it says it starts at 7:00pm in true PR style the people don’t really start coming til 8:30 or 9:00 and come they do. After walking around for a while we found an unoccupied bench and together with Bill & Colleen, and eventually Lee and Sharon, and a few others we watched the show. People pouring in up the small street, old ones and young ones, in formal attire and beach-wear, whole families, with babe’s in strollers to grandma in her chair, toting coolers and trays and bags. Young girls in their party dresses, women in 6 inch heels and evening attire, Men in suits, or in t-shirts, carrying drinks and all greeting each other, and us warmly. Groups taking pictures, elderly couples walking hand in hand, and live music pumping out of huge speakers, dancers moving to the beat. On and on it goes with more and more people pouring in and the streets getting more and more crowded, and yet the feeling is warm and friendly and fun.
Roughly around 11pm, we headed back to the boat get ready for sleep and then listened to the party from shore while we waited for midnight…and fireworks.
Watching fireworks on the boat always makes me feel like they are being shot off just for us, and as the town is just behind our anchorage, this was no exception with some exploding seeming right overhead. When the official show was over, the music continued, and the unofficial fireworks also continued well into the night.
Happy New Year from Culebra…we would DEFINITELY do this again!
Thursday, and the new year begins - Welcome 2015! After the late and loud evening today is a lazy day, with an afternoon snorkel planned. After Sharon & Lee showed us where the laundry is, we decided to haul our 4 weeks worth of dirty clothes over and get it done while the locals were recovering from the evening…after all, who does laundry on New years day? turns out it was a good idea as there was no one in the small space and we were done inside an hour and a half. While the Laundromat was very close, the dingy dock used to get there was about as dodgy as it gets. Just tying up was an adventure, then stepping out on sheets of warped plywood resting over some of the open spaces on the dock. I say some, because others have no covering at all, and you need to step over open spaces missing 3 or 4 boards, onto other boards that you just hope are secured well. It is a test of faith, since the gaps are just far enough that you actually have to commit yourself to the step, with no safety net. Turns out it was just fine, and we felt accomplished after the return navigation with no drama. However, the evening (or maybe it was the dock) had taken its toll on us too and snorkeling was out…resting was.
Friday, and it was decided that since the winds are forecast to really start picking up today, we’ll go to the beach while the going is good. So we 6 pile into 2 dinghies and head to yet another dingy dock, this one much better, although it was questionable last year according to our friends. We hike over the 2 or so miles to the beach, get our umbrellas and chairs and chill. We read, talk, take a few hikes to explore this beautiful space, eat our lunch and enjoy the day until we hop a bus back to the dinghy and home…
Saturday, and we have chores to do and the wind is UP! We are out of generator gas, out of ice, bread, butter and a whole host of other things, so after getting the boat organized we drop the dink and head to town. It is an exciting ride! The winds are honking, and there is a bumpy chop in the anchorage. Not enough to stop us, but enough to make it a very wet ride in. Couple that with our dingy engine choking and dying twice on the ride, until we realize that with all the stuff we tossed in the dink we knocked the fuel line partially off! Good grief! But after that was corrected, she ran like a champ, and we surfed our way into the canal and the fuel dock. While Jim mixed the dingy fuel with oil, I ran over to the grocery store and topped up our stores, then fueled, iced, and groceried up we headed back to the boat. it was another wet ride coming back, so as quick as we could we unload the dink and haul it UP! Whew…what a ride.
We are in a safe protected place and well secured here. But the wind makes such a racket it feels much stronger than it is…and periodically squalls come thru to push the windspeed up a few knots. Of course, we can’t keep our rain catcher up in this blow…if we could we would probably have filled our water tanks in the last two days. So that will probably be one of the next trips to town…for a few gallons of water…but we’ll try to wait until we won’t get quite as wet on the trip.