4/16/2006 through 4/29/2006: Puerto Rico & Spanish Virgins
Well, having left Samana at 5PM we headed out across the Mona Passage - feared and dreaded due to
the daily buildup of thunderstorms and squalls off the coast of Puerto Rico. We had a fairly good ride
along the north coast of the DR and at sunrise we decided to cross to the Isla de Mona, a small island
mid-way between DR and PR.
It's a beautiful spot, however the anchorage is reached via a cut through the reef. We arrived right at
low tide and had 7+ feet going in, however, Rock 'n Roll didn't quite manage the swell timing and hit
pretty hard. Yipes, a horrible thing to watch (it could be you next time!) they powered off the reef and
into the anchorage with the next swell, so it was OK. Next up, a boarding by the U.S. Coast Guard -
while I was cooking dinner. They (4 of them) came aboard and did a safety inspection plus chemically
swiped for drugs. They found no violations and were soon on their way. BTW, another boarding party
was attending to Rock 'n Roll at the same time.
The next morning we got an early start by ourselves as Rock 'n Roll headed out a 1AM to catch high
tide. It was a magnificent sail over to PR and made landfall in Mayaguez as we couldnâ€™t hold a
course to Boqueron.
Conditions in the bay at Mayaguez were atrocious and we declined launching the dinghy in favor of
staying healthy and not breaking any gear. Luckily the cell phone worked as PR is a US territory, so
we called customs and cleared in via the cell phone and a visual made by the immigration officer as
we passed by under power. I guess they have done that before.
|Puerto Rico's south coast
Headed around the cape to pick up a mooring on the reefs outside of the little town of La
Parguera. Pretty spot, had a restful stop, and grilled the delectable mackerel Ed caught.
The next day we headed over to Ponce to fuel up and meet up with Scott Free and Diesel Duck
as they were headed out to shop. We picked up anchor and headed out to Coffin Island to stage
for our next run to Salinas, further east along the south coast. The trades really pick up by
9AM so we started out at 4:30AM and made the harbor around 8:30AM after motorsailing.
Rented a car and drove over to Ponce to hit the Sam's Club - unfortunately they didn't stock the
wonderful Hormel precooked bacon like the Florida Sam's Club.
Got an early start a day or so later for Vieques, the largest island in the Spanish Virgin islands. Got
into Sun Bay around 4:30PM with Scott Free only 45 minutes behind us even though they left 3
hours later - that's what another 10' will do for you! Scott had caught a sizable Mahi so they shared
the bounty with us.
The next day we planned an outing with Scott and Heather to have a early picnic supper on a deserted
beach then dinghy into the (famous) bioluminescent bay. Fantastic time, moonless night too!
Heather & I declined a swim but the guys got in after dark. It was so cool the way they were
"outlined" when barely moving and made incredibly bright trails through the water when agitating.
Fish zooming out of the way leaving their own trails too. Lots of fun, highlight of the trip so far.