Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Boat Bloopers

The last few days we have had a couple of big laughs here on the boat.  We thought we would share our latest bloopers with you.  It seems lately we go swimming more with all our clothes on rather than just in our swim suits!
I suppose it started about a week ago when we were pulling up to a beach in the dinghy to throw the ball for Lucy. I jumped off to catch the boat and pull it up the shore, only what I thought was 2 feet of water was actually 6 and so I went completely under fully dressed.  

The next day you all know I lost the camera out of my pocket.  Not sure how that happened exactly?  The day after the camera incident we were putting the jib sail back up and as Preston was threading the sail through the track I was using the winch to pull it up. We of course wound the line the wrong direction which lead to the sail being rolled up inside out. So we dropped it and started all over.  This time the sail was up and we were just about to roll it in, bang, roll, bounce, hop, plunk, SPLASH! The winch handle went from the captains chair to bouncing overboard (the plunk). I then proceeded to flail my body over the lifelines (the splash) hand first trying to find the handle in 30 feet of zero visibility water.  We were of course in the packed anchorage of Ponce and already had an audience because the sail was now flapping like crazy waiting for me to roll it in. The only problem was I was climbing up the back stairs soaking wet and Preston is asking what was that noise?  Ohh the splash? That was me!

Two days after the lost winch handle we were playing backgammon after lunch at Caja Muertos when Preston noticed the boat next to us was floating away, no longer attached to its mooring ball. Well there goes Preston overboard swimming for the runaway boat. Luckily this boat was our friends we had met in Ponce and Preston started yelling there names and they got the boat back to its mooring ball without any problems. Preston of course was soaking wet! 

 Yesterday tops the cake. We had just come back from town on the dinghy. We had cleaned the boat a few days before and noticed Lucy was leaving muddy footprints and so we started scrubbing them away.  We were just about to go inside for dinner when Preston looked up and noticed the dinghy, floating away at least 50 yards behind the boat.  We just flat out didn't even tie the dinghy to the boat when we got back.  There goes Preston overboard again, stripped down to his undies and swimming to get our runaway dinghy.  I threw him the keys just as he was jumping in and he and the dinghy made it back in one piece, well kind of. Soaking wet underwear does not stay on a body as well as a swim suit and so Preston was unknowingly showing the whole anchorage his half moon. As he pulled up I was laughing so hard I couldn't catch dinghy to tie it up.

Now on my way back in the boat I walked into the screen door for the 2nd time in 2 days,  just like the puppies on Americas Funniest Videos.  Our karma must be off or something. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

We are Trying to Leave

The last few days we have gone to bed with the intention of leaving Coffin Island. Somehow each morning we aren't ready to leave yet.  We finished caulking our windows yesterday and used the leftover caulk for some miscellaneous jobs like fixing Preston's Tevas!  We took the day yesterday to explore more of our island and found some caves to explore.  We knew there were caves somewhere on the island and it took some ninja hiking to get to them. Slipping between poison ivy and cacti we stumbled upon one entrance to the cave system. After climbing down a tree root to get to the first level in the caves we proceeded rock climbing down to the bottom of the caves. What we thought was going to be a small cave turned out to be a system of caves with at least 3 entrances. It was 40 feet tall in the main cavern and 100 feet wide!!  I was glad Preston came prepared with his headlamp and we tried our hardest to get some pictures. The problem is the our camera couldn't focus in the pitch black and most the pictures turned out blurry.  The weekend here has brought some tourists in on a ferry. We even ran into a group from St. George, Utah. Times like this it seems like the world is small, but when we were in the middle of the Atlantic the world never seemed so big!  We will be leaving soon to find a new place to explore. At least that is what we keep telling ourselves!

This is what we should be doing.....
But how can we leave?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Caja Muerto (Coffin Island)

We have been enjoying each stop on our way through Puerto Rico.  We have been taking it slow sailing one day at a time or not moving at all!  Our new spot has turned into our very own private island. We have been the only ones here for the last 2 days.  If I could buy an island this is the one I would buy!  This island is about 6 miles off mainland Puerto Rico. We got here on Wednesday after cleaning the boat at the dock and putting the jib back up. It took almost 2 hours sailing and we pulled in just before lunch. We didn't want to go through the hassle of dropping the dinghy in the water so we just swam to shore in the clear blue water.  We hiked to the old lighthouse and took a beach day on the soft, white, sandy beach.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


We took the dinghy out to explore the bay and look for a new beach to take Lucy to.  We checked out the shipping yard and a buoy tower in the middle of the shipping channel then found a blackish sand beach.  We didn’t think we would spend much time here just let Lucy run for a bit while we walked the beach, but we became engrossed finding sea glass hiding in the rocks.  This beach was very rocky and the water murky.  We spent at least an hour maybe two finding smooth, pretty rocks, exploring, and adding more sea glass to our ever-growing collection.  This is something we have been doing since our first beach visit.  We comb the shoreline looking for glass that has been fogged and smoothed over by the ocean.  After a very successful beach combing outing we jumped in the dinghy and as we were pulling away I asked Preston if he had the camera.  He quickly reminded me that I had it last, trying to take a picture when the battery died, and then I put it in my pocket.  Well guess what?  It was no longer in my pocket……..dun dun dun…..  Over the last hour I had dropped the camera somewhere on an extremely rocky shoreline where the waves had been crashing consistently.  The mood immediately went from fun and happy to mad and stressed.  We walked the shore searching for the camera and found nothing.  Of course it is a black camera and we are on a black sand beach with mostly black rocks.  We rushed back to the boat to get our masks and snorkels then back to the beach where we searched in the murky water for at least another hour.  We decided to come back at midnight during low tide hoping that the waves would be smaller and we could search with our underwater light without being crashed into the beach.  The next few hours were agonizing.  We were both upset that we had lost the camera looking for rocks, I mean what's more important our camera or some rocks?   We were searching so hard for this camera because it is the smaller camera we take almost everywhere and we knew it could withstand the crashing waves because it is waterproof, shockproof, dustproof……  so we knew if we could find it, it would be worth it because it would still work.  Anyway we went back at midnight to find the tide lower, but the waves were still crashing.  We searched another hour with the lights and were walking out of the water and back to the dinghy.  We stopped to talk about if we should come back in another hour to see if the waves had calmed at all.  We decided it was just impossible, like finding a needle in a haystack and that is when Preston’s eagle eyes honed in on a red strap barely peering out of a pile of rocks.  He just sat there, with his light shinning on OUR CAMERA!!!!  He didn’t say anything just sat there with his light on the pile of rocks until I looked over and started screaming, “NO WAY, NO WAY, NO WAY, IMPOSSIBLE! AHHHHHHH! IMPOSSIBLE!”  I am still in shock that we found it.  It has definitely been tested to the max.  Scratched up and gritty we all, Preston, myself, and the camera, went back to the boat with big grins on our faces.   It still works great and from now will be accompanied with a bright orange floating strap.

We spent our weekend at the boardwalk listening to live music and talking with the locals.  Something about us screams tourist and we always attract curious locals.  The boardwalk is filled with all ages, kids to senior citizens and everyone is dancing, chatting or just enjoying the scenery.  We also explored a little more of downtown Ponce.  The old firehouse, a local mansion, an abandoned hotel, and an observatory in a cross on the hill are a few things we checked out. 

We made some new friends last night on the dock.  We were headed to dinner and were tying up the dinghy when Jose stopped by to see where we were from.  As all Puerto Ricans have been he just wanted to help us find a good place to go and we got a talking and didn’t stop till midnight.  Jose and his wife Marga just bought a killer boat and are starting their adventure much like we did.  They both knew motorboats and power, but bought their sailboat with the unknown of sailing.  As we did they jumped into boat projects and are learning as they go.  The reaction we get from most people when they find out we sold our house and everything we own to buy a boat and sail around is always the same.  “We wish we would have done something like that when we were young, before we had kids.”  They were no different and it is fun to share stories and dreams with people that understand what living on a boat is like.  We have yet again made some friends that we hope to stay in contact with.  They were very generous and inspiring.  We enjoyed our night with them and hope to run into them in some anchorage, at some island, somewhere. 

We had to go back so Preston could stand in the "P"(and it was on the way to the Marine Store)

Preston trying to do a doughnut with our 3-cylinder rental. (Holly it was a Mitsubishi)

 Old Ponce Firehouse