Days come Days go . . .

Nothing new…nothing interesting…cruisers come and go, winds come and go, and I stay…

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You’ve heard of Robin Williams death – very sad.  You’ve probably seen some of his best movies; Good Will Hunting, Dead Poets’ Society, but get Bicentennial Man.  It was a box-office failure, but an excellent example of his work.  But, don’t watch any of his stand up routines other than from public TV.  I just watched part of one – full of gross vulgarity and foul language.  Too bad.   Maybe because he was so anxious to make people laugh he would stoop so low.

Tropical Storm Bertha

The National Weather Service shows it tracking just south of Culebra with winds from 25 to 45 knots.  But, it is still unknown.  Currently it has winds about 35, but they can’t tell whether it will gain power or lose it as it progresses through the Windward and Leeward islands.  Also, if it tracks as they say it will put it just south of Culebra so conditions here could be light.  We’ll see.

As a precaution I am going to get out the scuba gear this morning and dive down to try to locate some old mooring screws that I think are there.  If so, that will give me plenty of security against winds up to hurricane force.  Here’s hoping…

TS Bertha 2014

Just to show I am still alive…

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That is me – deep in thought – what shall I do now….

I did work on the boat some.  Got the sander out, rigged a safety harness so I didn’t drop it in the ocean… like some other things that I won’t mention, and got out on the dingy

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and sanded the rub rails (hard to describe but they are on the side of the hull, an extrusion of fiberglass with wood on top, that protects the hull from pilings, dolphins (groups of pilings) and/or other boats.

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Here’s picture of new visitor.  But, he’s been here several times before.  About my age, I guess, alone, and wandering the virgin isles.  Presumably, like me, he doesn’t go south along the leewards and windwards.  And, like me, he’s a bit of a recluse.  I’ve dingyed by his boat before, but couldn’t even get him to pop his head up.

 

P.S.  If you don’t leave a comment I don’t know you read the post.  So far, apparently only one has read this post.  Although I appreciate that faithful reader, I feel I should wait then for more readers before further posts . . .

New Post coming . . . soon?

Well, really there isn’t much new down here. I’ve yet to do a few things I want to; explore a good coral reef – that is one with lots of fish (needs to be near ocean shelf which means the ‘weather’ side of an island). Hopefully in a few weeks. I bought a new underwater video camera and am planning a short trip to the island of Vieques to pick up a plastic kayak that I can load on this diver friend’s car in order to get out to the Atlantic side of the island and out to reefs.

I haven’t discovered any new living ‘experiences’, or let’s call them my ‘awkward’ moments – haven’t tumbled into the ocean or through out an untethered anchor or dropped a laptop.  Nothing you would enjoy reading about.  Had a big male manatee with a cow grazing the kelp bottom nearby.  He was huge.  But, he didn’t come close enough for pictures.  He was so big I’m now hesitant to get in the water and scrape the hull, that so desperately needs it.  I should pull anchor and move over to Dakity anchorage where the water is so clear, over a sandy bottom. So there’s unlikely to be any manatees or big fish – barracuda, tarpon, etc

I doubt I will go further than these ‘virgin islands’.  They consist of the Spanish VI; Culebra and Vieques, the USVI; St Thomas and St John (St Croix is too far south), and the British VI; Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, along with over fifty other smaller islands and cays.  The BVI’s have a reputation for excessive cruising fees and immigration costs.  Plus, like most of the West Indies; it’s very crowded. But, I might cruise up there. It’s just a ways beyond StT and StJ. I could see them when I cruised there a couple months ago. 

The next group, starting with St Marin, are south of a passage about as big as Mona – you remember the infamous Mona and how she tried to turn me into a landlubber for life.  Besides the passage there are many reports of thefts and problems with locals and local governments. This has discouraged me cruising further south.

My next adventure, if you’d want to call it that, is the 2014 hurricane season.  It is upon me.  Boats are thinning out as cruisers either put their boats up in dry dock (the wealthy ones), lay over at a hurricane hole (big mangrove area like near Salinas) or sail south below the hurricane zone.

But, I’m going to stay here. I really don’t want to go back to Salinas – so many bugs and boats.  And, I do like Culebra. So here I’ll stay until there is warning of an actual hurricane and I have time to sail over to the hurricane hole near Salinas.

So should a hurricane, over 70 mph winds, or a Tropical Storm, with winds 50-70 mph, come my way, and I survive, I should have quite a story to tell.

Logs, pictures, whatever….

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Handsome John Alden Schooner

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Isletta Marina – Isletta means tiny island
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Isletta Ferry – same size
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Fishing boats east coast of PR

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Self portrait

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Nothing really new. Rented a car and went to Costco, near San Juan. Rick and Sue went along. Spent more than I should. You’d think living on a boat in the Caribbean where 90%of the time I’m only wearing shorts and I eat whatever I can find it would be cheap living. The boat demands a lot. Nothing major but stuff to make it less spartan. I’m past spartan living. I’m old. Give me comfort. Well, a little bit anyway. Recent purchases include cushions for the cockpit and a wind scoop for the forward hatch. Foam for cushions is ridiculously expensive since it only takes a little oil to make and the process is relatively simple.

Met another cruiser with a boat nearby name Paul Knapp. Very interesting fellow. See his website http://listeningtowhales.com/www.Listeningtowhales.com/Welcome.html.

April 16th – 20th Wednesday to Sunday

Oops! Here we go again. Forgot to keep up. Not much going on though, so easy to forget. Winds been blowing last several days, 15 – 25, gusts to 35. I’m pretty protected here, but still I get concerned for the anchor dragging or problems with the ground tackle (anchor, chain rode, shackles and deck lines).

Puerto Ricans tend to take long holidays, so boaters have been coming and going a lot all week. Some unusual ones along with the locals (see Other Photos).

One oddity had been going on since I’ve been in this anchorage. At the end of this bay are mangroves. Mangroves are trees growing in shallow sea water. They come out about 300 feet from shore. There are channels through the mangroves. That makes them popular for pulling into and tying down your boat to the mangrove roots during a bad storm. So I wasn’t overly surprised at sailors in their dingies inspecting the channels for possible use during a storm. But, the number and variety of boats going in those channels is excessive – 2 or 3 a day, sometimes more. There aren’t that many boats coming into Culebra. So what are they doing in there. I’ve been in. There’s nothing to see. The channels are about 20 to 30 ft wide and 3 to 5 feet deep. There is one thing strange. It’s a road side viewing platform that looks out onto one of the channels. Why? Like I said, there’s nothing to see. I keep imagining these boaters are going into this viewing platform and meeting people in cars. It’s very hidden. But there’s a public dock and launch at the other end of the bay. Something nefarious going on I’m thinking. To many boats to be just inspecting the ‘hurricane hole’.

April 15th Tuesday

Interesting. At the same time as yesterday a big rainstorm came in. The Canon PS 510 HS is great. In really liking it. Best camera in years and under $300.

April 14th Monday

The Memorial was at 7pm. About that time a huge rainstorm came in, not just a squall. It poured about an inch an hour with wind gusts and heavy mist while I was taking the dingy across the bay to a dock near the Kingdom Hall, about 3/4 mile. I had a rain jacket and an umbrella, but I got soaked. Before I got across the bay there was a couple inches of water in the dingy (it tips back). Going over the waves and swells in the dark, rain and mist was a bit awkward

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