We are in the port of Fajardo at the marina Puerto del Rey. It is huge. Little gas powered golf carts whisk you from parking lots without end, down narrow piers flanked by phalanxes of motor boats in rows, to slips numbered as part of the matrix of the whole huge complex. When you are in a boat in a slip below the concret runways, they sound like distant jets rocketing by. We were not dumped in the bay and the little trailer full of batteries never tipped over. We are here because Puerto Rico is easy to get to by plane and we had both Emma & Stephen and Karl & Elle visiting over the holidays. Puerto del Rey lies on the east coast of the main island. Together with the smaller islands of Culebra and Vieques (of practice bombing fame) and a whole host of smaller cays it makes up a cruising ground known, by analogy to the US Virgins and the British Virgins, as the Spanish Virgins. The cruising here is much less known to the charterers because the sailing is primarily up wind/ down wind which are both less congienial directions to sail than across the wind and the anchorages are a little farther apart. On the other hand, there are a number of anchorages in which you will normally find no other boats even during this, the most busy season. The fishing is good. The beaches are fabulous. The sailing is a little rough.
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All the guests bore up well. We got a lot of kayaking in. Dinghy diving was practiced. Snorkeling happened. We caught fish. We were entertained by dolphins (click here for dolphin movie). New Years was spent in Dewey, Culebra. There it appeared that the entire town dressed to the nines and gathered in the town square at the ferry dock. Although no one (even the youth) made it to midnight, we were highly entertained by the parade of people of all ages that showed all signs of planning on partying all night.
Here they have US style washing machines. Running fresh water and a West Marine. Susie basically doubled her summer "wages" by making use of her West Marine Discount to buy 3 new batteries. BOAT = "Break Out Another Thousand". That's with the discount. Even more important than the discount was the presence of a strong young back (thank you Karl!) to help load them into the boat. Each battery weighs 130lbs and they have to be loaded in a cramped space under one of the aft cabins. We are finishing the cleanup and then heading down the island chain. This is the first time we have been this far north since we first came to the Caribbean and we want to revisit some old haunts. Since the ride up here was a fun quick march to make it in time for the holidays, we will savor the trip back down.
Our silence has been a side effect of all the fun we've been having. Now that the holidays are over, we will return to a more Caribbean pace. We'll be passin' by again jus' now.
Susie and Lance