We have finally arrived in the Southeastern corner of Puerto Rico. I say finally because we took longer than expected to get here. The trade winds have been in true form making our eastward travel head into the wind. On most days the wind has blown 25-30 knots. The long range forecast showed no sign of it letting up. I have come to realize that on the southern coast of Puerto Rico no matter which way you point the boat it is always into the wind.
The winds die a little at night. This means if we get up early we can motor for about 3 hours before the sea starts to kick up with the wind. A boat going into the wind is not fun. The best way I can think to describe it is to compare it to riding a mechanical bull on expert mode while someone throws buckets of saltwater over you. Things like breakfast or just trying to pee can be a monstrous challenge. So, each day we arose just before dawn, pulled up the anchor and travel our 15 miles for the day as we slowly clicked off the 75 miles along the coast. Fortunately, there are many little bays and coves in which to anchor along the way providing shelter from the trade winds. Most of the time we had the anchor up and underway by 6 am. By 9 or 10 am we were setting the anchored for the day and next night.
We have made it to Palmas Del Mar near the town of Humacao. Palmas Del Mar is a massive gated equestrian, tennis, golfing, and yachting community. It has homes raging from mansions to small one bedroom condos, a market and shopping center. We have to go through two security check points to get to the marina from outside the community. This will be home for the next couple of weeks. We have found a really first class marina. And because it is not in San Juan, the cost is pretty reasonable. Because we are not paying outrageous slip fees, we plan to rent a car for a week and travel to the touristy spots on this side of the island. We are looking forward to Old San Juan, the Bacardi Rum Distillery and a trip into the rain forest. Our dear friend Mona is coming to visit us for about a week. We are both secretly hoping she brings us cookies. We need to get her stateroom ready. She is excited about exploring Puerto Rico with us for a few days. We also plan to visit the local Costco. Probably more than once.
If you are a member of Costco you know too well about the rebate checks. Well, remember all the stuff we purchased last year during hurricane season while we were in St. Petersburg Florida? We received our rebate check from Costco. It is a tad over $700. I’m thinking this should nicely replenish our sangria stock. One of the pluses about Puerto Rico travel is the US Mail service delivers here so we can order stuff from the USA and have it shipped at the regular US mail rates. We asked the marina if they minded us having a few packages sent to them to hold prior to our arrival. As we worked our way along the east coast, we shopped. It wasn’t too long before we had a pretty good Amazon shopping cart going. After the anchor was set we fired up the T-Mobile hotspot and shopped. We also had our mailed forward to us from our box in the USA (this included our Costco rebate). We had everything sent ahead of us to the marina.
Upon arrival in the marina, we were greeted enthusiastically by three dock hands who guided us by radio through the marina and then helped us tie into our temporary slip. A blessing for us was they spoke perfect English so we had no trouble telling them what ropes we wanted tied to what cleats. Once we settled in, they started to tease us about knowing we were coming. I wasn’t very sure what the dockhands meant and sort blew it off with a smile thinking there was a bit of a language barrier. I gave them a really nice tip as they worked hard to get our dock lines just perfect. Then, we walked up to the office to check in and fill out the registration paperwork. Now I could see what they meant. In a corner was a huge pile of boxes marked, “Hold for Cream Puff”. Our stuff had arrived. Yep. They knew we were coming alright!
We may never leave here.