Puerto Rico  March to April 2021 

We departed the Dominican Republic on March 13 for our 24 hour sail to Puerto Rico.  We arrived at Marina Pescaderia in Cabo Rojo to check in.  Surprisingly, we were boarded by the local police who brought their drug sniffing dog.  Apparently there had been another boat with the same boat name which was wanted for drug activity!

 We decided to base ourselves at The Yacht Club in Palmas del Mar, and we're glad we did!  The staff are very friendly and helpful and it's quiet with great amenties within walking distance....several restaurants, bank, rental car and a small grocery store.  Our son and his wife, Armand and Natsuki, will be visiting us for 12 days.  We're looking forward to a fun time!

We picked them up at the San Juan Airport, and we had a delicious lunch at La Pescaderia restaurants near the marina. After a good night's rest, we motor sailed toVieques,  an island a few hours from the marina; it was a bumpy ride due to wind and ocean swell.

 We took a mooring in Puerto Real bay near the town of Esperanza.  After a quick swim, we dinghied over to the small town of Esperanza to look for a grocery store (which we found) and a restaurant.  We had a delicious lunch at El Quenepo.

  To explore the island, we rented a jeep.  We snorkeled at Pata Prieta, Green beach and Mosquito Pier.  Snorkeling was fair, but due to the windy weather, visibility was low.  We visited Crab Island Rum Distillery where the owner gave us a tour and tasting, and we bought a couples of bottles to take home. 

Culebra was our next island to explore.  Most of the restaurants were closed due to the Covid 19 pandemic, but we did find a corner store which had chicken and rice and beans to take out so we ate outside on a bench.  We anchored and snorkeled at Tamarindo Beach; the snorkeling wasn't great so we moved on to Playa Tamarindo Grande.  Here, the water was turquoise clear, and the snorkeling was very good with colorful fish.  Armand and Natsuki found a short trail to Playa Carlos Rosario beach.  They liked it and snorkeled around the point back to the boat, though the waves were strong and it was difficult to get back....Armand had to pull Natsuki along some of the way.

The next day, we took a moooring at Playa Carlos Rosario, where we discovered beautiful fish, coral, rays, a couple of turtles and  two nurse sharks; to our surprise, one shark was  under our boat which Armand pointed out to us all. 


There was a trail from the beach over to Flamenco beach, touted to be one of the best in the world.  The sand was white, and the beach was long and wide.

 We had a nice sail most of the way back to the mainland, but the wind picked up the last leg.  We had a problem furling in the mainsail , but all was well afer arriving at the marina.  A great time was had by all during our 7 days on the boat!

Old San Juan is a must see on the island; it's great to be back after our first visit many years ago.  The town is a national historic site, with buildings dating back to the 16th century, including the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, a fortress built by the Spanish in 1539 to defend the city from invasions from the British, Dutch and pirates.  There's the old city walls, colorful buildings and The Bautista Cathedral, where the tomb of Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon lies.

We stayed at the Decanter Hotel from which it's an easy walk to see the sights.  Pat and I stayed one night, and we had fun exploring the town with Armand and Natsuki.

 On our last evening together, we had a nice dinner and said our goodbyes to Armand and Natsuki who would be staying an extra day before flying home to California.  We will miss them, but we're happy they visited us.  The following day, they took a tour of the rainforest, which they enjoyed.  Upon their return, they took some beautiful photos together using their GoPro camera.  What great memories!

We took our boat out of the water for hurricane season at the Puerto del Rey marina.  During the summer, we will have the canvas and rain covers replaced, small repairs made and the bottom painted.  Sushi had her first airplane ride (she's 5 1/2 years old) to Miami.  The vet had given us sedation pills for her; she was scared under the seat in her crate.  We gave her two pills, which turned out to be too much, and she wasn't able to walk when we arrived.  Luckily she recovered quickly.  After a few days in Coral Gables during which we purchased a car, we drove to California, where we will spend the summer.  The big news is that Isabelle is having her second child, which she will deliver near us.  We are looking forward to seeing them during their 3 month stay. 


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