Our past week has been spent in Puerto Rico, starting with the most eastern Spanish Virgin Islands and then moving along, east to west, to finally arrive in Puerto Real on the west coast. This anchorage will be our jumping off point to head to the Dominican Republic. In fact, when the early morning rises and you are perhaps reading this post with your morning coffee, we will be arriving at the Cap Cana Marina in the Dominican Republic, having successfully traversed the Mona Passage.
We arrived in Puerto Rico eleven days ago and our minds have been pre-occupied with two very important things: Provisioning for the Bahamas and meeting up with old friends. Our first stop in Puerto Rico was Culebra which is part of the Spanish Virgin Islands. The anchorage there is wide open (lots of room) and is very close to the main town area with restaurants, grocery stores, cafes and great beaches. It is a great spot to rest for several days, only we had alternative plans. We had a few friends to meet up with over the next few days.
In Vieques (part of the Spanish Virgin Islands), we met up with our old friend Matt on Kesh, who is heading south while we are headed north. We had first met Matt in Georgetown, Bahamas almost a full year ago, and travelled with him (along with Kemana and That’s It) from Georgetown to Luperon, Dominican Republic. At the time, Matt was newly engaged but doing his travelling as a solo sailor. It was wonderful to see him in Vieques alongside his new bride Charlie. They are headed south to Grenada this year.
The very next day, we weighed anchor early in the morning and headed to Salinas on the mainland of Puerto Rico. This was going to be a major stop for us. Not only were we finally going to reunite with our good friends on Caretta but we would also be able to do all of our provisioning for the Bahamas here by renting a car and driving the one hour north to the city of San Juan. There we could shop at Costco, Walmart, Petsmart, Home Depot, and AutoZone. Wow! We haven’t had this kind shopping for the last ten months. Let the games begin!
We did our “shopping” extravaganza to San Juan last Thursday. Wild Horses (including Ocean) rented a van while Caretta and Rode Trip shared a passenger car. In one wild day that started at 9:00am and ended at about 9:00pm, we drove to San Juan (an hour away), devoured Costco, stocked up at Petsmart, and got a few necessities at Home Depot and West Marine. We then returned to the marina and unloaded our very full rental cars. But we weren’t done yet! The biggest provisioning was done at Walmart in Isabel, just 20 minutes west of the marina. We even popped into AutoZone for some oil for the boat. Very tired from shopping, we still needed to load everything back at the boat via our dinghies and store it all away. It was an exhausting but very successful day!
With all of our boats provisioned and fueled up, we left Salinas last Saturday for Boqueron on the west coast of Puerto Rico. We stayed there one night, which was just enough time to meet up with the crews from Kemana and That’s It, who were a day ahead of us. They planned to leave for the Dominican Republic the very next day, one full day ahead of us. The next morning, Wild Horses, Rode Trip and Caretta travelled just a few nautical miles north to Puerto Real. We will be leaving for the Dominican Republic at 6pm tonight. Overnight passages are becoming very familiar territory for us!
We are looking forward to spending a few weeks in the Dominican Republic before moving onto the Bahamas. While we continue our journey west, it amazes us as to how chilly the nights are getting. It was just 21 degrees Celsius last night. While it is amazingly warm compared to January in Canada, it is very cold for us these days. It is a welcomed change though as we are still reeling from our hot, hot, hot days in Grenada.
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Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.