2-24 Boqueron

Pos: N18deg01.31min / W067deg10.57min. We had a lovely sail in S-SE winds 10-15 knots and anchored in 12' just off the beach. It's been a while since we've had a nice sail without the motor on, and we'll stage here for our run across the Mona passage to the Bahamas. From east to west, we've really enjoyed this south coast of PR, and highly recommend it to anyone considering coming this way. There are dozens of places to explore; busy towns or isolated anchorages, and lots of hidey holes should the weather change. It'd be easy to spend a lot of time here.
Movie: entering Boqueron anchorage

2-23 Isla Maygueyes, La Parguera

Pos: N17deg58.23min/ W067deg03.00min. Well, winds aren't forecast to return for a few more days, so we burnt more diesel and motored to La Parguera, a small community named after a type of snapper. Colorful houses line the mangroves, and there are many small cays and reefs just offshore. We anchored in 14' after going down the 2.5 nm channel between cays to approach the town. Of note, the #4 red channel markers on our Navionics chart had been mis-charted; it was correctly shown on the CM-93 charts. Read the water; it's amazingly crystal clear coming in. There is no public dinghy dock in town so we tied up to a pole found in the mangroves near a small public boat launch area we were told the locals used and threw a stern anchor out. The first few blocks off the water had many bars, restaurants and shops, including the M & M supermarket which did have a nice, but very limited, selection of goods. We eventually found our way to the Puerto Parguera Cafe Restaurant for a late afternoon snack.
Pic: The mangrove shoreline is built up with houses and business over the water.

2-20 Cayos de Cana Gorda (Guilligan's Island), Guanica

Pos: N17deg56.78min/ W066deg52.49min. Last night was rolly. Nothing we couldn't endure, but the weather forecast for later today and tonight is for W-NW winds and possible squalls, which would put us on a lee shore. Not a good thing. In looking things over yesterday, we couldn't quite figure out where to land the dinghy to walk to the lighthouse; with the ferry at the dock and lots of people at the beach, landing at same sandy beach was out. So...with the weather forecast as an excuse to get away from the rolling, we upped anchor and motored (again, no wind) here to Gilligan's Island. It's calm, beautiful, has no roll, and is, we think, well protected from the expected weather change. I donned my wet suit and scraped a few dozen tiny barnacles from the hull; I'm sure our hull speed will increase substantially....

2-19 Update

We've enjoyed our stay here in Salinas. We've walked to the Selectos market and downtown, stopping at the Banco Popular ATM. Bam, instant cash, unlike many of the places we've been this last year (Trinidad). We've met some lovely folks; Bruce and Connie of sv Ventanas, and ate a BBQ dinner at the Snack Bar at the marina with them Fri night. After, we had a drink at Sal Pa'Dentro, and Anna hung the flag we had given her in a great spot in front of the bar. If you see a pink flamingo flag with drinks about to be served, look a wee bit harder and you'll see "Infini," and our names on the flag. We were told our anchor chain would be quite fouled and that we would be chipping growth off it after 4 days. Not so; we pulled our chain to stage a bit further away from the main anchorage and it was all good. The manatees around here are awesome, and very inquisitive. My guess is that they're used to being fed. This morning, we motored (no wind) to Isla Caja de Muertos (Coffin Island), and plan to walk to the lighthouse tomorrow.

2-14 Valentine's Day in Salinas

Well, no rest for the weary. We did a bit (actually, a good bit...) of varnishing this morning and took a dip after. For dinner, we walked a few minutes from the marina to La Barkita where we enjoyed a lovely dinner. It's a local place that serves traditional PR food. Sue ordered conch mojo style and I ordered mofongo stuffed with seafood. Mofongo is a highly regarded national food dish here. It's made by mashing green plantains and mixing a bunch of ingredients; in my dish, it was stuffed with conch, octopus, mussel, shrimp, fish and a lobster tail. Yumm. To top things off, Sue was presented a long stem red rose. I tried to convince her that I had arranged it, but let's just say she stopped laughing long enough to not choke on her beer.

2-11 Salinas

Pos: N17deg57.34min/ W066deg17.50min. As it was only about 5 miles distant, we motored to Salinas, staying behind the mangrove cays and not even putting out the headsail. We entered the channel and found the water depth about 9 feet to the inner lagoon. There is a Yacht Club here, as well as many sail and power boats, but lots of space to anchor in depths of 9'-10'. In the afternoon, we dinghied over to the Sal Pa Dentro bar and met Ana, the owner and SSCA host here. (For those readers who met him, unfortunately, her husband, Jean, passed away in Dec 2016). The bartender, Jesse, as well as Ana were quite congenial and helped get us orientated as to what's around. We'll go exploring tomorrow.

2-10 Cayos Caribea, Bahia de Jobos, Puerto Rico

Pos: N17deg55.45min/ W066deg13.16min. In view of last night's lack of sleep, we departed at 0530. Yes, it was dark, but one of the reasons we picked Chiva Bay in the first place was that entry and egress, even in the dark, is easy as it's a wide open bay with no obstructing reef to avoid. We motorsailed in light winds to this mangrove surrounded area, and entered one of the wide passes that afford easy entry. Dolphins surfaced to greet us and we anchored in 10' of water behind the cay. There's a huge power plant nearby, and an equally as large concrete plant that we passed just around the corner; reminders that paradise has it's price. We slept as if the boat was hauled. The moon was full (see our FB picture taken 2-11), the colors of the sky were beautiful and, not withstanding the power plant, the surrounding scenery and distant hills and mountains appeared amazing.

2-9 Chiva Bay, Vieques

Pos: N18deg06.63min/ W065deg23.18min. We had a single reef in the main and about 1/2-3/4 jib flying almost dead downwind in 15-20, gusts to 28 knots of wind and reached this anchorage in good time. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, what looks inviting on the chart is not so on arrival. I'd guess it's because of this time of year, but the SE-ESE swells wrapped around the small island that we thought would offer some protection (but didn't), and we rolled horribly to the cross swell, all night. It was a bit late to go further west towards Sun Bay, and we also considered that that area had two reports of dinghy and motor thefts these last few months as reported in the Caribbean Safety and Security Net, so we sucked it up and made the best of it. Ugly stuff.
Pic: Ah...Sue baked some banana and blueberry (yes fresh!) muffins for the freezer. Love them with our morning coffee.

2-6 Culebra

Pos: N18deg18.32min/ W065deg17.90min. We departed Brewers Bay, St Thomas for the 22 nm run to Culebra at 0730 hours. Weather forecast was for E-ESE wind 13-16 knots, and that's exactly what we got. Our speed was 5.5-6.5 knots, and we found ourselves at our GPS waypoint south of Grampus Banks in good time. As we entered the channel, I commented that there were a lot more boats at anchor than I had envisioned. Upon entry at Culebra, Customs must be notified, as St Thomas is a duty free port, and Culebra isn't. My call to Puerto Rico Customs was timely and efficient, and I received another call from Culebra Customs shortly thereafter. To ease entry requirements, as well as forego an in-person interview (still an option of the Customs Officials, though), a US Customs Decal is necessary, as is participation in the SVRS (Small Vessel Reporting System) Program. Have your Passport number handy, answer a few questions, and voila, you're entered into the system. The afternoon winds have increased to the high teens, making launching the dinghy a bit more of an adventure, so we may wait until the very early morning hours for a bit of calm before doing so and going exploring. Btw, for those following our position reports, without reliable internet we've been unable to post our positions, so have caught up a bit from here, but dates and locations have been "massaged" as Telnet only allows a three day window for reporting current positions; uh, we may have missed that by about a month...
Pic: Culebra and Vieques were used by the military for war maneuvers in the past. Flamenco Beach has a few rusty tanks the locals have painted.

2-1 Francis Bay

We've been on the move. But, while anchored in Charlotte Amalie, we did a laundry at the Washboard Laundromat. It's a few blocks from the dinghy dock at Yacht Haven Grand, and is reputedly the least expensive laundromat in the Eastern Caribbean. Wash and dry (self-serve) for a small load cost less than $5.00. One morning, we dinghied over to the dock area near the USCG jetty and walked to a lovely bakery (name forgotten), for delicious sweets. It's a bit of a run, but we also dinghied to St Thomas Propane, located in Krum Bay, where a fill for one of our 20 pound tanks cost $23.00. On the way back, we stopped at Crown Bay Marina to go to the chandlery there, as well as topped off several jerry jugs with diesel ($3.17/gallon) and gasoline. For those needing it, friends of ours filled their FW tanks there at $.16/gallon. We had a nice get together at the Tap and Still with Bill and Tracy of sv Zephyr. Charlotte Amalie got pretty crowded with cruise ships; 3 at the dock and 1 in the bay; it was time to leave. We motored to Christmas Cove, coincidentally seeing our friend Richard (Sea Level) leaving as we approached. After two nights there, we motor sailed to here, and are awaiting better weather before heading back to St Thomas. Hokan and Anna of sv Unicorn stopped by to chat and we've visited with Reality Check (Ken and Lori), Allegro (Lee and Sharon), Gosi (Tom and Barbara) and today will be seeing Phil and Norma (Minnie B) for happy hour aboard. A lovely spot, this.