Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Saturday 27th January

Puerto Rico.

18 01.406 N
67 10.638 W

I took the first and third watch, nothing exciting happened until about 04.00hrs when suddenly I could see a huge land mass dead ahead of us, it rose out of the water like Ularu ( Ayres rock) does out of the desert. Checking out our chart showed that our way point was close to Desecheo Island and this was what was looming ahead of us – in the dark it was very difficult to tell how far away it was, I checked the chart, and radar both said it was still 12 miles away (about 3 hours away) but it looked so much nearer that I kept checking. To say the least I was relieved when 06.00hrs came around and I woke Gerry up to face the larger than life island, it apparently is 218meters / 700 feet high and has no lights anywhere on it, is uninhabited and was used for target practice by the US military for years, leaving it full of unexploded bombs – not a place to bump into by accident! By the time I came out on deck again we were on the outskirts of Puerto Rico, Gerry had watched the sunrise over Mayaguez – even taking photos, unfortunately the wind was getting stronger, slowing us down to 5 knots and sometimes less, we had to make a decision as to where we were going to stop. Our original plan was to try to get as far as Ponce but that was a good 40 miles further on and would take us far too long at the speed we were managing so we elected to duck into Boqueron instead which was just an hour and a half ahead of us. We managed to talk with Jim, our weather guru from Luperon, he was in Mayaguez and heading into Boqueron, by the time we had our anchor set he was just coming around the point into the harbour. We took down our Dominican Republic flag and hoisted our Q flag, then we had a couple of dinks come over to say hello, one of them offered us the use of their cell phone to call the immigration office to see about clearing in. There is no office in Boqueron, it would require us to take a taxi into Mayaguez but when we called them they said the office was shut until Monday so we would have to wait to clear in until then. Happy to not have to go anywhere else we tidied up the cockpit, had showers and a siesta. At about 18.00hrs we set off with Jim, John and Ann (the other Luperon boat owners) into town to have a drink and try the Mexican restaurant that everyone seemed to be raving about. The town was quite busy with lots of families out wandering around, eating and drinking from street stalls which sold fresh oysters, scallops, tacos etc. We enjoyed a drink watching the sun set over the harbour and then went for some good fajitas in what seemed to be a popular local restaurant. By the time we had finished diner Gerry and I were ready for bed so we said goodnight to the others and headed back to our boat – one of only 2 with an anchor light on again!



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