Thursday, February 08, 2007

Wednesday 6th February

Puerto del Rey
Puerto Rico

18 17.4 N
65 37.7 W

I thought I’d tell you a bit about the marina we are staying in as it is the largest marina in the Caribbean. If you Google earth the marina – at the above long and lat. we are on the 3rd pier in from the harbour entrance and we are the 9th boat along ( the only sail boat amongst a load of motor boats). The marina is enclosed within a protective rock sea wall, there are hundreds of slips, all deep water and facilities for yachts up to 300ft. The docks are all fixed cement docks, no floating ones, they all have power, water, cable TV, free WIFI and dock boxes. A lot of the slips are occupied by large motor boats but there are a fair amount of sail boats as well. All transient boats like us are put on the outer slips but because of the size of the facility there are golf carts which will pick you up and drop you off at your slip – very useful when you have a huge amount of shopping, the guys who drive them do not require payment but it is expected that you will tip them (they are worth it!). There is a toilet and shower block at the mid point of the marina and another block at the main entrance, there wouldn’t be enough toilets and showers if every boat was to use them but as the water is free a lot of people shower and use the toilet facilities on their own boat. There are huge trash bins at the end of each dock which makes it easy to dispose of rubbish. The marina office is set near the road access and the car park is large enough to provide parking for hundreds of cars. Between the office block and the dock there are a couple of restaurants, a couple of marine stores, a bar and a security check point to stop just anyone accessing the dock. Along the edge of the dock facility there are 5 cages which house 11 Macaws, they are the most wonderful looking birds and must get quite a few people taking photos as they seem to almost pose for you when you get the camera out. The cost of staying here? It’s $1 per foot per night, the power is metered and costs 15 cents per kilowatt hour, water, WIFI and cable TV are free – it’s a good deal! There are also excellent boat yard facilities here with several travel lifts and different work operations depending on what you need doing, the last thing to mention is that there is a dry storage facility here. Enough about the marina.
Our day began with the arrival of Dale And Lorie, the plan being that Gerry and Dale were going to dive and inspect our cutlass bearing – I mentioned this as a problem when we were at Caja de Muertos and Gerry needed to know if he could fix it or if it would require a haul out in the boat yard. Whilst the men did the inspection Lorie did her internet stuff using our free WIFI and I chatted to her. The men were only in the water for a few minutes, not good as this indicated that we were going to have to haul the boat to have it fixed. Their report was that the bearing need to be replaced, with that in mind Gerry contacted the appropriate people and arranged for a new bearing to be acquired, this included contacting Sally at Whitney’s Marine to find out the correct size for our model of boat – thanks for the info Geoff and Sally. He then made plans to haul the boat when the bearing arrived, hopefully by Thursday morning meaning that we could have the work done on Friday. Once we had sorted all that stuff out we were off to some of our favourite places – West Marine, Pep boys, Home depot, Wal mart and a couple of extra marine stores that Dale knew off, we bought a few things that we just couldn’t live without and then headed to Ponderosa for a salad lunch. The afternoon passed quickly with more shopping and driving around the area. We returned to the boat and off loaded our purchases then went to The Metropole for dinner, it was a very nice restaurant and had good steak and fish dishes and great mojitas. Our waiter told us that Mariah Carey ate there last week - guess we were meant to be impressed!
We discussed a few plans for the next couple of days and eventually Dale and Lorie dropped us off at the marina and headed back to their boat at the Base marina whilst we made our way down our dock and finally to bed.



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