Salinas, Puerto Rico


After we picked up Mom from the airport in San Juan on May 12th, she quickly got acquainted with our little home aboard Mary Christine back at the harbor in Salinas. She wasn’t just excited to see us… she really wanted to learn how to SAIL!!! She brought more enthusiasm for learning about the boat than we could have ever dreamed :) We’ve heard from other cruisers that most guests that visit your boat have no idea what they are getting into and don’t realize how hard it really is living on a boat until they see it first hand. Mom was planning on staying for about 3 weeks so it’s a good thing she immediately fell in love with the lifestyle. It’s not for everyone, but when you love it, you REALLY love it :)

We spent a few days showing her how all the systems work and what our daily routine looks like. She had to learn how to flush the toilets, how to conserve water, what all the strange sounds are, and how to help with the dogs. Most importantly, she learned our process for quickly closing up the boat when it starts raining in the middle of the night. It rained a LOT when we were in Puerto Rico. IMG_8186

There were still a few essential boat projects that had to be done before we could leave. We went up the mast and Mom took some great photos for us! We changed the oil and filters while fitting in some hot yoga in the engine room.

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We watched the local police make their rounds.


And we enjoyed some great meals together.

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After a trip to Costco, Wal-Mart and West Marine in the rental car, we were completely reprovisioned and ready to go. While waiting for the next weather window, Peter found some time to play around with one of our Tower Paddle Boards and go after some of the MONSTER tarpon we saw. Although it was smaller than all the rest, he actually landed one from the SUP!! He had hooked one almost as big as the board but luckily it broke off before taking Peter out to sea.


Salinas is a great Hurricane Hole with all around protection. The holding was like cement and the people there are the friendliest we saw in all of Puerto Rico. We met some wonderful new friends that showed us overwhelming kindness. It’s also a great safe place for cruisers to stay in bad weather. If we ever travel past Puerto Rico again, we would definitely stop by Salinas.

Although there were great U.S. stores and other U.S. luxuries nearby, our overall impression of Puerto Rico was rather disappointing. We visited La Parguera, Salinas, Ponce, San Juan, and Fajardo. The locals made little effort to speak English and almost all the drivers were terribly rude. Outside the gates of Marina de Salinas, we just never felt very welcome. We were also told to not go out at night in the cities – the homicide rate is three per day!

The Puerto-Rican coastlines bring harsh winds and currents, making for commonly uncomfortable travel. We found the lightest weather window possible and we were all happy to continue on our journey East towards the Spanish Virgins where Mom finally learns how to SAIL!

Have you had a positive experience in Puerto Rico? Please leave a comment and tell us about it!

Stay tuned for more adventures. We are currently in Carriacou, Grenada watching the weather, and catching up on boat projects and blog posts :)


  1. Mark and Cindy - s/v Cream Puff says:

    “We were also told to not go out at night in the cities – the homicide rate is three per day!”

    Stay inside the gates until the 3rd person is murdered, then it is statistically safe to venture out and party ;)

    My best experience in PR was when I accidentally hit my boss with a golf club. He moved to tee up a ball as I was teeing off. He almost became the third victim of the day. Somehow I managed to keep my job.

    Mark and Cindy
    s/v Cream Puff

  2. Annika says:

    Back in 2005/2006 we had the best time in Salinas. Yes, the murder rate is high in San Juan, and I’d never go out there at night. But Salinas was the most friendly place I’ve ever visited. The locals at the Fried Chicken place were very welcoming, and the other boaters were awesome. We bought a cheap broken down sailboat in that marina and made lifelong friends restoring her in the heat of the hurricane season.
    The ‘grocery store’ and sandwich place across the street form the marine shop was the place to go for cheap filling delicious sandwiches.

    I’m sad you have a different experience, as I’ve always wanted to return in our new (functioning) boat.

    Is Joey on a ketch still living at the dock next to the marina? He has parrots onboard, and hard to miss that way. Do let me know if you meet him!

    • Hi Annika – no we didn’t meet Joey. Not sure if he’s still there or not. We enjoyed Salinas as well and only wish the rest of the people of Puerto Rico were as friendly as those in Salinas! :) If we ever travel back that way, Salinas will be our stop for sure.

  3. snoozer says:

    I liked PR. I bought my Whitby, #306 in Fajardo. Spent a lot of time in the Spanish Virgins and like Culebra the best.
    New Hope is now in Marathon.

    Cities are the same everywhere you go and are not “safe”, but the smaller towns are usually fine.
    First order, is to befriend a ‘local’. They will show you the sights they are proud of, and where the best food is.

    I do not speak much Spanish, but if you try, most folks will take it on like a game to make you understand. I had an 8 year old teach me a song in Spanish. It was about a Burro’s ass, and I wound up looking like one. But it was all in fun and after that, everyone in Fajardo knew me because they had all heard the story. I drank a lot of free beers and ate a lot of free pinchos for the rest of my time there, and the laughs were endless.

  4. Capt. Jim says:

    Go, mom, go. There is nothing like sailing and who better to teach you than your daughter. Jody and Peter thanks again for sharing the dream with those aboard and those of us on land.

    Taking my family out August 3rd, can’t wait.

  5. Mikey says:

    We also loved Puerto Rico. I found all the residents to be polite and helpful. Perhaps learning Spanish and not expecting a spanish speaking population to speak English for you would have changed your experience. I have found whatever country I visit, if I even attempt a little of their language, they will meet me at least 1/2 way in trying to communicate. Continued safe travels for you both, you are doing something most people can only dream of.

    • Hi Mikey! The language barrier really wasn’t that much of an issue when we were in Puerto Rico. Peter can speak enough Spanish to get us anywhere, and I understand a good amount. We do make every effort to communicate in local languages, but in this case everywhere we went the effort was neither appreciated or reciprocated. This is the only place we’ve visited that we felt so unwelcome. We’re having a great time though as we continue our travels!! :) A life changing experience for sure.

  6. Corey says:

    Hey guys, just came across this post as I am doing a bit of research about the salinas area. Our new to us boat is located in salinas and we will be spending much of hurricane season there at the dock. We move aboard in July from Nebraska. Any recommendations on things to do, places to eat, or any insight at all would be awesome. We plan on making the jump over to the VIs later in the year. Will have an almost 3yr old girl and 1yr old boy as well as our yellow lab in tow. Follow you guys on Instagram and congrats on the up coming addition. We are @sillyknotto

    Thanks in advance.

    Corey and Nikki

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