Monday, January 14, 2008

Puerto Rico 2007

November 15, 2007 and the weather forecast is good for our passage to Puerto Rico. After 5 months in one place it feels good to be moving again. The trip along the north coast of the Dominican Republic is typically done at night to take advantage of the night lee. We leave at 3:00 p.m. in the company of 4 other boats. We alternate being on watch for 2 hours at a time but I don't think either of us slept. It was too beautiful a night to miss and too exciting to be underway again.
The next morning we evaluated our position and re-checked the weather reports. We had the option of pulling in at Samana, DR or heading straight through to Puerto Rico. The weather report looked good for going straight through and all the boats that we were traveling with agreed that they would prefer to continue rather than risk getting weathered-in in Samana. Bailey was the only one not enjoying the trip. After 5 months at anchor, she got seasick that first night. The day was beautiful and we motor-sailed making good time. By late afternoon, rainclouds rolled off of Puerto Rico which is fairly typical. It rained hard but the wind stayed down. The lightening was far off in the distance which was our main concern. By daybreak the rain had passed and the weather continued to improve. We arrived in Mayaguez under a sunny sky 47 hours after leaving Luperon.

The U.S. influence is evident in Puerto Rico. New cars, fast food, cell phones and U.S. prices greeted us. Beer in Puerto Rico $3.50. Quillmes and Brahma Beer in the DR is about $1. Welcome to the U.S.A!

After Mayaguez we moved down the coast to Boqueron. Boqueron is a little tourist town and a favorite stop for cruisers. Sleepy and quiet during the week it comes alive on the weekends. The music doesn't stop until the wee hours of the morning. It was already decked out for the holidays. We spent Thanksgiving here and enjoyed a turkey dinner at one of the hotels with friends from 4 other boats.

Food stands in Boqueron feature fresh clams and mussels. You can see them here piled on the counter.

Jim, Lynn and Randy (High States) busy using the internet at Galloway's Restaurant. The restaurant was closed on this day but the WiFi was still available so they're sitting on benches using overturned garbage cans for tables. When you're cruising, you make do.

We rented a car and drove to the north coast for a visit to the Arecibo Observatory, home of the world's largest radio telescope. One of it's functions is to monitor sounds from outer space. You might recognize it from the movie Contact.
Is that a spaceship I see flying by?

The lighthouse at Cabo Rojo. We hiked up with friends Randy & Lynn (High States) and Kathy & Kerry (Bellagio).

The anchorage at Gilligan's Island. This is a beautiful spot to swim, dinghy to the beach or just hang out in the cockpit with a good book.

Taking a swim under the bough! (Ho Ho Ho!)

The lighthouse on Isle de Muertes. The hike to the top of the island turned into a sprint when swarms of mosquitos started chasing us. We were with our friends Hans and Kristen (Whisper) who happened to arrive on the same day.

The island is also called Coffin Island. Legend has it that a pirate buried his love in a glass coffin on the island. Other pirates thought he buried treasure with her so they began searching for it. Each suffered an untimely death!

The view from the lighthouse with Whisper (left) and Merengue at anchor together. We spent 2 days here snorkeling, hiking and giving Merengue's bottom a good scrub. The entire island is a park and very quiet during the week. We had the whole place to ourselves!

Hans and Kristen

The beautiful mountains rising above the anchorage in Salinas.
They looked like velvet!

Bailey relaxing at the helm........

...........and relaxing on deck.

Another car trip, this time to Old San Juan.

The wall surrounding Old San Juan is magnificent!

There are statues throughout the city, one more beautiful than the last.

Touring "El Morro" or Fort San Felipe del Morro which was built from 1540-1783 and guards the entrance to San Juan harbor.

The streets of Old San Juan.

Rum tasting at Casa Don Q.

Dinner at the Old Harbor Brewery than across the street to Carli's to listen to Jazz Piano.

Another tour of Bacardi and no photography inside, please....?

Mérengue's route to Puerto Rico through the Virgin Islands.

No comments:

Post a Comment