Once officially cleared back into the U.S., we enjoyed a bit of down time. The last of our San Blas lobsters had escaped the eye of the customs officer (safely hidden in the back of the freezer), so I thawed them out for a celebratory lobster curry dinner. With no idea of when we’d find good lobster fishing or availability in the eastern Caribbean, we savored our yummy dinner.
From our slip, we had views of many birds and pelicans roosting in a huge mangrove nearby, keeping Howard amused for hours.
Paseo Tablado La Guancha, was across the bay from the marina, a boardwalk with many food stalls and local music. We wandered over one afternoon, to scope out options for a return evening visit.
In the evening, the boardwalk was full of yummy smells and lively music. We met our slip neighbors, Rick and Lori (s/v Papa Whiskey), for some food and drink.
Our decision to head for Puerto Rico from Colombia was made to get us farther east, rather than landing in Jamaica or the Dominican Republic. Our decision to land at Ponce was made for provisioning reasons. With a Super Walmart, Home Depot, PetSmart, several large grocery stores, and even an Ikea, Ponce provided great options for stocking the boat. We rented a car and headed off for a day of shopping. First stop, Playa Marine, a small store so out of the way, I’m surprised anyone finds it.
Scott didn’t find the anodes he was looking for, but we did get a can of varnish that was on clearance…hoping it was still good.
We headed back to town, amazed by the number of windmills in the area; they were everywhere.
And in case you forgot, there were constant reminders that you were in Ponce:
We made stops at the local grocery store, Walmart, PetSmart and Home Depot, filling the car. There was also the usual fast-food lunch, as well as a stop at the McDonald’s ice cream counter.
The plan was to make our way along the southern coast of Puerto Rico, and then spend time in the Spanish Virgins, before moving on to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Unfortunately, I received word from home that my mother had fallen, breaking two bones in her leg. Wanting to be there to help, I planned to fly home for a month. I could have flown right from Puerto Rico, but traveling from St. Thomas would be just as easy, and it put us that much farther east.
Weather didn’t allow for a smooth passage right to St. Thomas, so we planned to make a stop at Culebra, in the Spanish Virgins. We left Ponce, and followed the mountainous, windmill-lined coast to our overnight anchorage.
We anchored for the night off of southern coast, approximately five miles from the town of Salinas, surrounded by mountains and mangroves.
Howard relaxed and enjoyed the smells of the open boat at anchor, after a week of being stuck inside at the slip in Ponce.
It had been a cloudy, rainy day, but the late afternoon brought sunshine and blue skies. We had the area all to ourselves, and enjoyed the quiet, scenic spot. A beautiful send off, on our way east. Here are a few more photos.
“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”