Friday, January 17, 2014

Ponce, Puerto Rico

Before we left Gilligan's Island we went back one more time because I wanted to use our float tube. If any of you were wondering what we did with all our Utah snow gear we sold most of it and packed one thing on the boat.  So while all of you back home are having fun sledding and tubing down some frozen mountainside I was enjoying my snow tube floating down the mangrove tunnel. The best part about it was I didn't need to thaw out my body afterwards!
We left Gilligan's the next morning at 4:30am and enjoyed our morning sail into the sunrise.  As we were sailing our front jib sail caught our courtesy flag cleat and broke it off. Preston said at that point, "It's not sailing unless something breaks right?"  We laughed and continued on.  It was around 12:00 and like clockwork the trade winds picked up and we reefed in both sails to finish the last hour of our leg that day. As we were pulling in the shipping channel to come into Ponce we went to roll in the jib and what do you know it is locked up and won't wind. We had no other option at this point, but to drop the sail as fast as we could and get it unhooked from the rolling furler.  Of course at this moment a storm was rolling in and the wind picked up to 20 knots and the sail was flapping trying to blow overboard. I jumped from the cockpit onto the top of the sail to keep it weighed down until Preston could get it unhooked. After that we threw the sail in the cockpit and weighed it down until we were anchored and could figure out what broke.  That wasn't the end of our day by any means. We pulled into a packed anchorage 5 minutes later and squeezed inbetween boats and dropped the anchor in 30 feet of water.  That means we dropped out 90 feet of chain. Remember that storm that was blowing in?  Well it has now moved right over us and I am dropping the anchor getting pelted with wind and rain.  We set the anchor alarm because we are too close to too many boats and ducked inside to wait out the storm. Not 5 minutes later, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, the alam was going off and we had drug 50 feet. Immediately I was back upfront pulling in 90 feet of chain and a 45lb anchor in the rain.  Preston is maneuvering the boat between mooring lines and other boats like a pro while I am heaving in the chain very slowly. I'm not sure how much that weighs but it felt like I was pulling 300lbs for 2 hours!!!  Remember our windlass is broken so not motor to help pull that in. After what seemed like a week I got the anchor back on the bow and we moved the boat to the back of the bay with nobody behind us, just incase we dragged again.  We have now been in Ponce for 4 days and our boat has stayed put.  I think Presron jinxed us when he teased about something breaking!
We rented a car for a day to stocked up our supplies at the last Sam's Club on our route.  We filled the rental with misc items, did laundry at a laundromat, and experienced first hand where the term "Puerto Rican Sneak" comes from. Forget stop signs or red lights if you leave a gap between you and the car in front of you someone from somewhere pushes their way in. It can get very frustrating.  It is like always driving in a traffic jam. Sometimes 4-5 sneaks are happening at the same time everyone going a different direction. Again Preston adapted quickly and we were soon masters of the "Puerto Rucan Sneak."  We found some fun local art welcoming visitors to Ponce. We also took advantage of having the car and went to a movie!!  We were dying to see Lone Survivor after reading the book and jumped at the opportunity even though it was in English with Spansh subtitles. Date night was a success and again in case you all forgot we LOVE Puerto Rico!


  1. You'll be fluent in Spanish by the time you leave Puerto Rico, perfectly adapted the new United States!

  2. Does the artwork say Puerto Rico or something else?

  3. Que tipo de coche llegaste a conducir? (Este es Holly no mamasita)