|…a lifetime goal reached…|
We crossed into the Caribbean Sea on Friday March 31, 2017. A lifetime goal reached and accomplished, that being buying a sailboat, learning how to run it and then taking it to the Caribbean Sea. It has been 1,410 nautical miles since we left Stuart Florida after out refit work. From Stuart, we moved down to Biscayne Bay where we broke in the Spectra Watermaker and enjoyed great friends, Freddie and Gail onboard. Then on Super Bowl Sunday Feb 5, we sailed out of Miami bound for the Caribbean Sea and now, we finally reached that line where the North Atlantic ocean touches the Caribbean Sea. This point is Cabo Rojo on the southwest corner of Puerto Rico.
|Small but mighty, Island Spirit pushes on to the Mona Passage|
We crossed over the Mona Passage direct from Samana, Dominican Republic, with an overnight rin of 150nm in about 20 hours. We arrived at Puerto Real, which is on the west cost of Puerto Rico, there we checked into customs via a phone call and enjoyed the quet little fishing village. From there we moved only a few miles around the bays to Boqueron, another fun small local village where we worked over the local beers and had another fun night.
Then finally we left there and powered on around the SW corner and reached the Caribbean. Radeen and I were so happy and proud that we actually made it and NOW we will base our boat in this beautiful sea for the next 4 – 5 years.
|Cabo Rojo Lighthouse where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean Sea|
For now, we need to power east into the trade winds and work our way down the south coast of Puerto Rico. The normal process is to up anchor at 0600, daybreak, and motor sail into the lighter trade winds until about 0900-1000 at which time the winds build to 15-20 knots and the seas come up. So, we turn into land, find a place to anchor, maybe a cool town, and drop the anchor around 1000. This process is detailed and explained in the book by Bruce Van Sant, “Passages South, the Gentleman’s Guide to the Thornless Path.”
|Powering into the East trade winds early in the morning using the engine and staysail|
Then, we have the day to discover this new spot, dinghy into town and explore….
|Taking a break and exploring the local towns and drinking the local beer.
Hayden’s hat is sporting the logo of the local beer, Medalla.
Then we get up and do it again. If we want, we could head out in the evening at 1700-2100 when the winds drop and then motor sail all night into the light east trade winds until the AM. We plan to do that to reach the Spanish Virgin Islands of Veiques and Culebra. After cruising these, we will then push into the US Virgin Islands of St. Thomas and St. Johns, and then finally the British Virign Islands. For now, we are enjoying our short hops to the interesting small towns and state parks along the coast.
|We really like Puerto Rico….it is very interesting|
Overall, we are very impressed with Puerto Rico. We thought we would just blast on by here, but now we are finding all these very interesting villages and harbors with mangrove islands. Very fun!
Just look at Radeen’s very happy smile as we rounded Cabo Roja and reached the Caribbean Sea. Radeen loves to travel more than anyone I have ever known. We both love to sail and live on our boat, so, it was only natural that we now travel using our sailboat. We will rediscover the islands of the Eastern Caribbean, many of which we have chartered to before, but this time we will have no schedule and no timeframe and that should make this really very special.
|Beautiful Radeen, happy Radeen, traveling Radeen|
Welcome to the Caribbean, it is going to be a very exciting time ahead for us. This map shows each day of our passage along the coast. Thank you for sailing along…..