Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Last 40-Miles

We started traveling a little every day trying to make our way east to the Virgin Islands, where we have packages that have been waiting for us for weeks. We left Coffin Island and had a great sail to Salinas.  At Salinas we decided to introduce ourselves to a boat named Maria that we have been seeing at most the anchorages.  They are a young couple like us and it turned out the boy is from Salt Lake City!  We spent the night in Salinas and left in the morning for a smaller anchorage a few miles away.  We explored the mangrove lined islands and Preston braved an old dock that is on its’ last leg.  Our water heater has not been working for the last couple months and we purchased a solar shower from Wal-Mart the other day and we LOVE it!  Taking a hot shower again is amazing.  The weather was a little too windy for us and so we spent 2 days at this small, secluded, beautiful anchorage.  Our next stop was Puerto Patillas.  We like to travel about 20 miles a day or less.  This way we can sail all morning and be to a new place by noon and still have time to go to shore and check out the new town.  Puerto Patillas was a great beach for Lucy to run on and chase her ball.  It would have been a perfect anchorage except for the bugs.  Those tiny no-see-ums were everywhere and driving us crazy.  We couldn’t stay here another day so we left first thing in the morning for Vieques, an island East of Puerto Rico that is considered the Spanish Virgin Islands.

We started the day out sailing and made it a few miles before we got pounded with a big rain squall.  We weren’t prepared for it and had both sails completely up and had to drop the main quickly and try to roll in the jib with 24-knot winds.  This is not an easy task and I was happy to have Preston’s muscles fighting it in.  It left as quickly as it hit and we pulled the main sail back up.  We both were feeling quite tired at this point and were just wanting to get to Vieques so we started up the motors and motor-sailed the rest of the day.   This allowed us to move straight toward the island instead of tacking out of the way and then back.  We cut out 4-5 hours of the journey by motor-sailing.  Even though we took the easy route this day, by the time we got to Vieques we were salty, exhausted, and grumpy.  I made dinner and we both showered off the salt from the day and we hit the sack hard.  Our plan was to spent the next day at the beach and walk around town, but when I was making breakfast we noticed a lot of the boats were leaving and so we decided it must be a good day for sailing and so we followed suit.  We had a fantastic day of sailing and pulled into the last anchorage on Vieques around noon.  It was clear water and so we all jumped in for a swim.  Lucy LOVES to jump off the boat and swim around with us.  We swam to the beach and learned we were not allowed and so we spent the day snorkeling the bay.   We saw a ton of starfish, lionfish, and metal “junk”.  One piece in particular I pointed out to Preston and he went over to explore it a little more and found 6 lobsters hiding behind it.  We didn’t have our spear or net or anything and decided to go back to the boat to get it and catch us some dinner.  We swam by our neighbors and asked if they wanted any lobster for dinner, but they had already started barbecuing.  The sun was setting and by the time we got back to the boat it was too dark to try and find the spot where the lobsters were hiding.  We had leftovers and watched a movie. 

Water changing color