13 March 2015
and the Mona Passage
We left St John and spent a few days in St Thomas trying to sink the boat. For you non-cruisers that means we took on lots of provisions. In reality most of those provisions were liquid, one example of the great prices available on St Thomas is vodka at only $2.99 a litre. We said goodbye to so many friends over the past weeks and now we add a good bye BBQ on Brewers Beach with Out Of Africa and Music. We hate to think we will never see all these people again but in reality we know that we won't see the vast majority of them, ever again. That is the thing about being a Sea Gypsy and a fitting thought as that was the very first name of this boat. So many wonderful people are 'out here'. One by one they go back, some sooner and some so very much later!
Off to Puerto Rico where we tried to sink the boat again. After clearing customs in Culebra we spent a rolly night on the south side of the island and then a blissfully calm night at Playa Patilla on Puerto Rico's south coast. We arrived in Salinas on Thursday and spent a wonderful week visiting, playing dominoes and shopping at Wal-Mart. Oh yeah, we also vanished the cabin floor and added another coat of oil on the external teak.
We are happy to be heading west so we are not beating into the big seas and strong winds that have been consistent for many days. Cayos de Cana Gorda is known as Gilligan's Island, a state park, and an excellent protected anchorage tucked in behind a natural reef. Here we saw a boat that appears to be on our same schedule, as we have seen them in the last few anchorages. Next time we drop the dingy we will need to introduce ourselves.
Our last stop in Puerto Rico, we arrived in perfect conditions. Waiting for weather can be a bit frustrating but waiting here in Boqueron makes it more pleasant. A deep bay protected by a reef across the entrance and a beautiful sandy beach. Street food, shops and restaurants with a few practical stores thrown in complete this small tourist town. Picture Key West - Puerto Rican style.
It looks like we will have a good window tomorrow. I will need to prepare several meals to prevent having to cook while underway in case it is rough. After going across the Mona Passage we will travel along the north of the Dominican Republic. And once again our plans are written in the sand, wind and seas will dictate our route. Our conservative estimate is 48 hours to Luperon if we stop there, or 72 hours to Great Inagua in the Bahamas.
We are certainly going to miss this lifestyle. Caribbean islands have long been romanticized as perfect destinations with palm trees swaying to the trade winds and jewel colored waters. Yup, just picture paradise and if you want to go there just drop me a note and I can point you in the right direction. What a great experience this had been. Officially we leave the Caribbean when cross the Mona and are on the north coast of the D.R.