Friday, February 24, 2012

The Virgin Inmans

We told Mike and Charlotte that since they were arriving close to midnight, they would need to stay overnight in a hotel  and then rent a car to come to us. After all, getting around when you are boat-based is challenging. But from our anchorage in Salinas it turned out that renting a car was a piece of cake. Sidney, the Hertz dealer would deliver the car to the marina.

So we rented the car for 2 days. We adventured with Colleen and Bruce from Serenity on day 1, winding all through Ponce until we found our buddy boat, Vagabond still in the Ponce Yacht Club. We shopped ‘til we dropped – actual American stores were fascinating after all our time in the Bahamas and the DR. Then we headed back for a terrific meal of fresh mahi on Southern Cross IV.

The next day, we took off in the morning to gather Mike and Char from the San Juan airport. Got on to the freeway headed for Ponce – damn, that’s the wrong direction. Did a U-turn, went through an automated toll booth without the right sticker. Not a good start. Waiting for a nice fine on our VISA when we get the bill.

What a cool hotel! It is right in the airport, quite reasonable and a terrific place for guests to arrive. Make sure to remember that one! Great to see M & C. We’ve been anticipating this visit for a long time so we were overjoyed to see them.

We got them back to the boat – went back out to do some provisioning. We had lunch at the recommended chicken stand – Viktor Pollo. Back to the boat for drinks and yapping. Next morning we set out for a 20 mile run to a little fishing village named Patillas. Ran the boat up on a coral head named &%$**$$##. Set a stern anchor and kedged ourselves off and then anchored for the night. A manatee floated up and said, “Good job.” Explored the town. Not much there. Beers, garage sale, and then back to the boat for mahi, drinks and sweet dreams.

Next day we actually reached our destination in all this…. the Virgin Islands. Vieques (vee AYE case) Island is one of a number of islands in the Spanish Virgins. It was primarily used for military purposes until only recently and so it is not as developed as other nearby islands. We enjoyed a great swim. We walked up the beach and rescued a young couple who had become stuck in the sand in their jeep. Karma rewarded us for our efforts right away. We met George, Iris and a number of their friends who were enjoying the weekend at Green Beach. They spent most of the day in the water like Water Buffalo – eating snacks and drinking PR moonshine rum. They enjoyed Charlotte’s antics as she tried to knock a coconut from a tree – and then invited us to join them for refreshments. They recommended some places for us to visit and told us of a great marina where we may end up leaving Blue Pearl at the end of this season.

In the morning, most folks had scattered so we decided to head out. We started for Isabel Segunda and then shifted course for Culebra. We headed into Ensenada Honda – a big bay near the town of Dewey. Had beers at the Dinghy Dock Restaurant with Colleen and Bruce – then set off to explore a bit. Found the mercado (store) and the panederia (bakery) and finally Momacita’s – a nice little bar on the canal near the ferry dock. Back to the boat for sundowners, crib and another great dinner – and lots of rum.  Rum led to guitars, singing, crooning - man we were good!  Tylenol en la manana (the morning.)

Spent a day snoozing and reading at our Dakity anchorage and then went snorkeling with Bruce and Colleen. Saw great reefs and lots of rays. When the sun is out, the colours in the water are just spectacular. Said our goodbyes to Serenity as they head farther east. We sailed a couple of miles to nearby Culebrita to walk to the lighthouse, swim and relax. Back a couple of miles to Bahia Almadovar for another great dinner, drinks, crib, reading and an early bedtime. Tough life!!!
Pollo carbon
OK - rock it - just like in the snow

How do you get the dam things down?

PR moonshine



Not open today
Dominos and huge hamburgers
Culebrita lighthouse
views!

Top of the lighthouse

View from the lighthouse - nice boat!

Happy Hour with Colleen and Bruce

Local bars

Whoooo hooooo

Stingray



Hardy sailors

and snorkelers

2 comments:

  1. Well....The Virgin Inmans had a wonderful time on the Blue Pearl. We got to sail in a "Small Craft Warning Seas".....which is perfect! Pam and Glen have so much confidence in the sea worthiness of the Blue Pearl....so we just settled in and enjoyed the ride. That is all I am going to say for now.....we have to see if this gets posted.

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  2. How does one describe such an experience? Delivered to the boat, given a private room and head, relaxed on some of the most beautiful water ever seen, offered and accepted all that you can drink (keeping up with Glen), ate the most scrumptious of fare, sailed the ocean blue (some quite challenging), snorkeled with the rays and explored some of the most beautiful beaches. To top all this off, we were with our friends Pam & Glen.

    Mike & Char

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