02 June 2010 | Sun Bay
VIEQUES (Isla Nena )
Located 7 miles off the east coast of Puerto Rico
The day basically spent trying to find out what caused the problem with the gearbox and making a temporary fix. After much looking it was discovered that the metal pipe had parted under the nut and with the help of parts from Bob a new connection was made and hopefully it will hold until we are able to buy the correct parts in Puerto Rico.
Beached the dingy, locked it onto a coconut palm and made our way on foot to the town of Esperanza. A promenade on the waterfront lined with many bars, restaurants and shops and a lot of tourists. Very neat and interesting. Horses being ridden bareback down the middle of the street amongst the cars. We heard there are a lot of wild horses on the island. Popped into the local yacht club complex , looked through the book swap and sat with a beer watching the sights.
After a swim we headed back to the boats for supper and decided thereafter that because the seas were relatively calm, we would motor with the dingy ( 18hp motor ) to the bioluminescent bay , Mosquito Bay, which was the next bay along.
Armed with coffee and mosquito spray we set off. Truly amazing and unfortunately one would need a really good camera to do it justice. It is advertised as swimming with the stars and every movement in the water glows like tiny fireflies. Fun was had by all splashing in the water to see the sparkles. The tour operators charge up to $ 100.00 per person for this experience. So one of the advantages to the cruising life. Arrived back at the boat about 1.00 in the morning after this little adventure and slept later the next morning.
24th and 25th May.
We moved on to Green Beach, Punta Arenas on the northwest point of Vieques in preparation for our trip across to Puerto Rico. No residents in this area but a long deserted beach with good swimming. A restful day and night spent waiting for some wind.
We left Vieques for Puerto Rico in the morning with sails up in dead calm sea. Fortunately there was a little wind, followed by a lot of wind generated by 2 small squalls. Talacam was going 6- 7 knots for a while and it was a fairly good trip up until we were about to make landfall. Ahead of us was another squall which hit us with unexpected 33 knot winds. Needless to say, a scramble to get sails down and turn out to sea until this went over. More to this than I let on! Because the weather had now changed and there was more wind and rain to come Bob led us to an anchorage behind a reef for the night, off the town of Patillas. We had to negotiate our way through endless fish pods put out by the local fishermen to reach this spot. One does not want one of these wound around a prop!
9.30am anchors up on the way to Salinas. We had to motor all the way as there was no wind. The sea was calm but a bit rolly and weather overcast...... We arrived in Salinas at 2.30pm after an uneventful trip. One bit of excitement though. Bob caught a really big fish ( maybe a King fish ) on the approach to Salinas and we were all gearing up for fish dinner. But after getting it on deck the fish slithered its way back into the sea...... no fish dinner! Next time Bob.
The channel into Salinas anchorage was really a new experience for us, VERY shallow with 1 ft and less under the keel in places. Much stressing and pressing of buttons on the GPS changing 1 degree this way and that way so as to not touch ground. We managed to do this without mishap by not following Passat when we saw that they had touched bottom briefly. We were greeted with the sight of a many boats tucked in the calm anchorage surrounded by mangroves. Not inviting water for swimming but for the quiet water I trade this gladly.