Puerto Real, Puerto Rico
The Mona Passage is done! We just sailed across the deepest trench in the Atlantic Ocean! Took us 36 hours to do it but we are now safely anchored in Puerto Real, Puerto Rico. You already know that we arrived in the middle of the night and dropped anchor in the middle of the channel, but how has the rest of our time here been?
We moved the boat out of the channel and a bit closer to shore so that the trips in and out with the dog would be a bit easier, and we are snugly anchored in about 8 feet of water. Our makeshift windlass has been working great and the thick mud bottom of this harbor made for easy anchoring. This time it really was a one and done. I dropped the anchor, let out about 80 feet of chain (we always try to go 10:1 for peace of mind), then Matt backed down on it and we could immediately feel it grab.
Not too much to worry about the first few days as it was dead calm in the bay. We enjoyed a few relaxing days, trying to catch up on our sleep from the nights before. We also were able to meet up with some new friends, Amy and Patrick from s/v Ruka, who also made the sail across the Mona around the same time we did. They are guests of Marina Pescaderia here in Puerto Real, so they invited us to a FREE pig roast a few nights ago. We headed over to their boat for some drinks before hand, and then headed up to the marina patio where live music had began and food was being served. Matt loves fresh roasted pig, and when living on a tight sailing budget we never pass up a free meal. It was way more than we could have imagined; a line up of pork, rice, tamales, salad, pasta salad, and desert, we ate until we were stuffed. Get this, drinks were included too, so Matt go to try Medalla, the local Puerto Rican beer. A fun night and a great way to catch up with new friends and exchange sailing stories.
Since then we haven’t ventured from the boat much. Its pretty quiet here in Puerto Real, not much boat traffic, other than some fishing skiffs or the occasional Coast Guard boat that come and go. We found a couple of small beaches for the dog and we dinghy in a couple of times a day so she can use the bathroom. Otherwise it is catching up on sleep, relaxing, reading and watching movies. I will usually head in to shore once or twice a day to use the internet to stay up to date here on the blog and to stay in touch with our families.
We have only been here for a few days, and we aren’t even staying at the marina, but I have nothing but good things to say about them. They have the friendliest staff and they are willing to allow those anchored in the bay to use their amenities. I have been able to sign on and use their wifi for free, and they even allow me to do my work in their air conditioned lounge! I was also able to use their coin-op laundry machines! It was $2.00 to wash and $2.00 to dry, which is a bit expensive but it seems like when we are on the move and sailing laundry seems to pile up a lot faster than usual and we really needed to get some done!
At night the excitement is the pelicans! We had seen an abundance of pelicans a few years ago when we chartered in the BVIs, and we have found them once more! Each night around sunset they come out to do their hunting. When I say they come out, they ALL come out. At any given time there could be between 25-30 pelicans circling the air and dive bombing into the water to catch fish. They don’t really seem to be too scared of us either; just yesterday two different pelicans dove for a fish like 5 feet off the starboard side of the boat. It was wicked cool; you could literally see them swallowing the fish that they had managed to grab on their dive! We find amusement each night in watching these amazing creatures. Roxy isn’t quite sure how she feels about them yet. She is happy to watch them circle in the sky, but a few times when they were close she had that urgent look to her that indicated she may want to jump in after a few of them. She doesn’t realize she would NEVER catch them🤣.
I guess some thing has to keep you entertained on a boat; for us its our dog and the pelicans