02 June 2010 | Salinas
28th to 30th May Friday to Sunday
Salinas is renowned as being a home for the manatee. Debbie and Bob went off to hunt them down with some success. They caught sight of a good few although they were just under the water so no clear photos could be taken. Debbie is very happy! We have seen some surfacing briefly not too far from the boat. Manatee have an attraction for dingeys in the water ( thinking perhaps they are new manatees to the area ) and so one watches for them around the dingy when it is in the water...alas I don't think the orange dingy attracts them as much.
We have discovered a serious problem with our diesel fuel hoses which are disintegrating. On googling the problem we found out that there is an incompatibility when using bio-diesel with normal diesel hose. One has to have proper hose when using bio diesel of which we were not made aware. Obviously the chemicals added when making the bio diesel damage the normal diesel fuel pipes which have become like gelatine.
Not being able to work on the problem until we have the new hose, we spent Friday afternoon and the weekend exploring the village, finding cheap beers, sampling local snacks and also arranged to hire a car for Monday and Tuesday to find all that is needed to replace all the diesel fuel lines and at the same time to see a little of the surrounding area. Friday night had a thunder storm with plenty of rain and got back to boats in the nick of time after having a cheeseburger & chips at the Marina ( $ 4.95 ) and happy hour beers ( 5-11pm on Friday nights ). Wind came up during the early hours of the morning after which Passat found themselves aground after dragging, just short of the mangroves. After the night at the Marina we couldn't raise them on the radio but as Vossie was getting the dingy ready to go across, Bob popped his head out and went about re-anchoring.
Sunday was spent catching up on domestic chores and catching up on the blog. Vossie went to shore to fill our jerry jugs with normal diesel to fill up with when fuel lines have been replaced. Unfortunately we still have about 80 liters of bio diesel which we won't be using as we don't want to chance even mixing it with diesel. Hard lesson learnt!
31st May Monday
Picked up the rental car at 9.00 and started the search for the malls and shopping centers. Stopped in at Walmart and anyone would think we had never seen a shopping mall before. Like letting kids loose in a candy store. No success with spares or filters but Bob found a fishing net so he has no excuse with the next fish. Vossie bought a new reel and Debbie and I found new costumes. I also bought a new Acer laptop for $ 366.00 incl tax as I think we might need one dedicated to navigation in the future. This was cheaper than St Maarten.
The Autozone store was the place where the new fuel hose was found and a few other needed spares.
We travelled via Santa Isabel onto Ponce taking the scenic route. Many, many mango trees heavy with fruit wherever you look and breadfruit trees which were also laden but not ready for picking yet. More mall shopping ......mostly with the eyes, but great fun anyway.
1st June , 2010
We spent the day exploring a small part of central PR inland up in the mountains through many of the smaller villages up to Barranquitas and through Comerio to Caguas more to the east and made our way back down through the Guavate forest to Guayama towards the south and Salinas. Virtually the whole drive was through canopied forested roads with lush plant growth and huge bamboo. Memories of Kloof Gorge only much more.... There are still many old buildings dating back and some really welcoming town squares, which every town has.
There were , of course, many refreshment stops along the way. One was at a Lechonera, of which there are many all over Puerto Rico. These are bars that always have a roast pig on a spit with BBQ chicken. Slices of roasted pork are served with traditional rice and beans and plantain. We were very tempted...... but the beer special got the upper hand.
We arrived back in Salinas Marina at 6.00pm after a long day which was enjoyed by all. Our land fix over and time to ready ourselves for the sea again.
The day is being spent replacing the melting fuel hoses....a very dirty job with much huffing and cursing from the engine room and much black oily, gooey matter all over the cockpit and mostly everywhere else........ no other way to explain the condition of the hoses.
A hot bath for Vossie and plenty of degreaser for the boat ( and Vossie ) will be in order after this to get some measure of normality back.
Weather permitting we intend to leave for Curacao tomorrow, Thursday, which will take about 4 days and hopefully an uneventful and safe journey.