We stayed in Puerto Del Rey Marina for 2 nights. It was luxurious and a welcome rest from the pounding of the last 7 days. We used the stop to catch up on service before the cruising season of the Caribbean. All the passages from here to Grenada would be daytime easy runs of 30-40 miles in most cases. And now the actual sailing starts! The vendors in Fajardo did a great job. We detailed the boat, cleaned the bottom, adjusted the rig, changed the transmission oil, serviced the AC units, and a lot of other small things. I became more aware of the fact that we motored our yacht east for 1300 nautical miles in all conditions yet the boat had almost zero broken items. I am now convinced that the boat can handle more than we can which is great because its pushing us instead of the other way around.
One more little bump
So we left the marina and within 15 minutes we were nose into 6-8 foot waves and 25 knots of wind (Its called the Caribbean 2 step. 2 steps forward and 1 step back) No biggie, our destination was Culebra which is 15 miles away so we were looking right at it the whole time. Culebra is a gorgeous island with a 2-mile deep bay where we entered and anchored right next to the only town. I have read about Culebra for years and studied the charts. Also, I have seen it out the window of our BVI bound plane flights so I knew it looked good but it blew away our expectations on every level.
Stop and smell the coral
Since we have been destination bound for all 5 weeks of motoring east we did ZERO “cruising”. Defining cruising could fill volumes but for sure it’s a relaxing, slower pace of enjoying the scenery, culture, water, geography, the boat and life in general. It’s hard to beat, and why most agree a waterborne life is well lived. Since we planned on making it to BVI we thought we would go in and have dinner and continue east to St. Thomas the next day. What were we thinking! After walking around town and seeing the great restaurants and hearing about the world class New Years Eve street party three days away we decided to stay put. We spent three nights on this awesome island, which has great anchorages, and one of the best coral wall dives I have ever seen. It was bizarre to stay put but we suddenly fell into cruising mode and realized the journey was over and cruising the Caribbean was here.
New Year’s Eve
We decided we love Puerto Ricans. The street party was a blast. The entire population of the island (2000) plus 3000 who come from the mainland (Puerto Rico) were in the streets dancing and singing to the live bands and waiting for the count down. We stayed there until 11:30 and decided to watch the fireworks from the dinghy. We were a little close and when one of the mortars misfired it landed almost on us with burning embers all around the dinghy. No injuries….What a great party.
I love Virgins
January 1 2016 – we left Culebra at 8 am headed for St. Thomas for important supplies (see video). It was a day of virgin hopping, St Thomas, St. John, Tortola etc. The beautiful islands fell behind us all day. We arrived at Sopers Hole Tortola at 4 PM to clear customs. It took longer than expected since we had the shotgun to deal with. I actually had to take the gun in the dinghy and meet a policeman. He then put me in his car and we drove to Road Town to police headquarters. After some paperwork we put the gun in his safe and he took me back to Sopers Hole and I made a new friend. Not a bad one to have. The gun would stay there until we leave the BVI area and head to St. Martin in March. We spent the next few days organizing the boat and enjoying some of our favorite islands and eventually left the boat in Nanny Cay, which is where we sold our last boat 13 months earlier. In that time we ordered and took delivery of the Leopard and sailed her back. We have many trips with friends and family over the next few months to share this awesome paradise, boat, lifestyle…..and Rose.’ Life is great.
Oh and I forgot to mention. The 2 weeks of rough weather and strong winds ended on Monday the 4th right about as we boarded our plane for home. Yes that’s right, gentle 10-15 knot trade winds have been caressing the Caribbean every since. Oh well.
Click the link below to check out this video.