The week just flies by
18 January 2015
Sunday, January 18, 2015 The week just flies by
And here it is again, Sunday Morning….and we are happily moored at….wait, that is a little ahead of the game.
Last Sunday, we gathered some of the troops, piled into dingys and headed off along the east shore for a walk to the Sea Breeze resort...we had intended lunch there…but we got there too early, and so walked back about a 5 mile round trip and then headed over to the dingy Dock for lunch. The wind and seas are picking up again and so the ride back was a little bumpy…but as we were already hot and sweaty, it didn’t really matter too much.
Monday, by unanimous decision we stayed on the boat all day while the wind howled and the boat danced.
Tuesday, and today we go get some pig! We were up before dawn and awaiting the ferry to take us to Fajardo, where with Mark driving the rental van we were headed off to the hills near Caguas, and the town of Guavate. This hillside burg’s claim to fame is restaurant after restaurant, perched between the roadside and slopes beyond, featuring roast pig…yup…pig on a spit. Once you choose your particular shop the unfortunate (but very tasty) creature is on display for all to see as you walk up to the order station, along with bbq ribs, roast chicken and all the available sides - white rice and yellow rice, beans and yucca, sweet potato, pastills, blood sausage, plantains and more. $24 later we had a veritable feast spread before us, and with our fellow travellers were stretched out on picnic tables enjoying our lunch. The shop they chose probably could seat 200 people, and had a bandstand as well. On he weekends the place gets packed with locals and visitors alike who make the wonderful drive up the hills to relax in the cool mountain breezes, enjoy lunch, listen to music and mingle the PR way. Today there were just a few of us there enjoying the food and view and each others company. We managed to make it back in time to catch the 3:00 pm passenger ferry and WOW what a difference. A one hour trip instead of nearly 3, and we were back in Culebra, and on the boat before the sun set…a long day and we were tired…but a fun trip I would certainly do again.
Wednesday, and it’s time to hike again, and with Cristin and Terry’s addition, we were adding a snorkel to the trip. So we hiked over to Flaminco Beach, then took the secret pathway, thru the locked gate and past the BIG sign telling us this is a prohibited area. We had all done this before, Jim & I from Tamarind beach a few years ago, and Bill & Colleen from this side just last February. The difference was the chain on the gate was much more forbidding this time. however, after checking with the office the attitude was…we don’t unlock it, but if you can get thru the gate, have a nice day! so some of us whet over the chain, some of us thru, and some of us under…and off we went for the 20 or so minute hike over the rough to Tamarind where Cristin and I went snorkeling, while the others graciously waited. The seas were a little rough, but the soft corals here are just as amazing as they were the last time we were here. We also saw a turtle and a lion fish… a beautiful spot…but I did wish for a little less swell! After hiking back, probably another 5 mile round trip day, we ended up back at the Dingy Dock for lunch. A long, fun day.
Thursday…since we are planning to leave in the next few days, we had some chores to see to so today, after borrowing four 5 gallon jerry jugs from Bill we lugged 41 gallons of water back to the boat to ensure we have 95 gallons in our main tank, and then did a little shopping and ice top off. Ok, we are ready for whenever the winds decide. Nirvana is having another happy hour tonight to say farewell so we collected Bill & Colleen and after a quick stop to say goodbye to Cristin & Terry, who leave tomorrow, we were off to for the long dingy ride out to Dakity for a fun and loud evening….
Friday, and it’s time to hike! This afternoon, we piled in with Bill & Colleen and dingied out to a far dock for the Bahia Marina. Then it was up and down a few times over a hill to a place called Playa Solidad, a remote, stony coral beach, on the south west point of the island with a view of Luis Pena, and further Puerto Rico. It rained while we were there, and we took shelter in someone’s summer kitchen, right on the edge of the beach. This is an open air shelter, under roof, with a water tank off to the side, a sink, cupboards, benches, a grill area, and even a cooler with some ice and cold beer…wait… beer and ice? …. Turns out ‘someone’ was a young man named Pedro, and he pulled up not 3 minutes after we discovered his beer in a pickup truck with a load of water for the water tank. We laughingly assured him we didn’t touch his beer and then talked for a while while the rain fell. He lives on Culebra, and the property belongs to some friends of his, he and his family were camping out there this weekend, so he was getting everything ready. A really nice, friendly guy, and in a mixture of Spanish, on Bill’s part, and English for the rest of us we had a nice conversation and he even showed us some pictures and a video on his phone of his family vacationing last week in North Carolina where they drove into the mountains to show the kids snow! A fun visit. Eventually the rain stopped and we said our farewells and were on our way. As we made our way home, Colleen noted that it was almost 5pm, and Heather’s pizza was open……She had wanted to try it for a while now, but it never worked out so after a brief discussion, we were off to enjoy a yummy pizza in a very robustly AC’ed restaurant. Poor Bill was freezing…but the pizza was good, and our cute server Anita was a charming girl, from a town near them in AZ…fun! After a last grocery stop, we were back to the boats and saying good night.
Saturday….and after checking the weather and discussing several options we decided to move today, so said our farewells and raised the very smelly, hairy anchor and we were off. The winds were a little stronger than forecasted but still light, and at 30 degrees from the south east, the swells were tiny 1-2 feet, and at the same quarter, so we had a lovely motor sail the 35 nautical miles to St. John…well, mostly lovely, until we looked behind us while leaving Culebra, and noticed a water spout! For those who don’t know, a waterspout is a tornado on the water…so we were somewhat tense while determining the direction of said spout…it was right where we came from, but going away from us, then we enjoyed watching it…old hand for Jim, but the first one I had ever seen. Early in the afternoon we arrived at Francis Bay, and YEAH….Charles & Leslie are here. So after getting moored, we stopped by for a visit to catch up. They are here for a few days, so we will be able to spend more time with them. After getting back aboard, we have a smelly job to do. We figure out the best way to hang the anchor, and then Jim drops the chain into the water while I attack it with a scrub brush…all under the watchful eye of our friend Barry who is hanging under the boat watching everything we do. Eventually we finish and the now de-haired anchor chain is back in the well, the deck is scrubbed clean and we are freshly showered relaxing on the foredeck, me with a beer, while enjoying this peaceful spot. The only downside is because the breeze is light….the no-see-um’s are able to get at us, so sunset and sunrise are a little annoying! Otherwise…perfection, and sleeping is peaceful.