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.
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.
We watched the local police make their rounds.
And we enjoyed some great meals together.
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 :)