After 87 hours (but who is counting???) we have arrived in Puerto Rico. We have been here a solid 2 days and love it already. Before we left there was a lot of hemming and hawing and we weren’t even sure Puerto Rico is somewhere we wanted to go. We didn’t know anyone who had cruised here, hadn’t found much info and in general were completely clueless. It was a logical step on our hybrid plan to get to the Virgin Islands and we had buddies headed here so we left. Wish I could say we put more thought or planning into life, but that is truly how it happened.
After 87 hours you probably could have put me on Mars and I would be thrilled – but we are enjoying this lovely island. Sans research, we weren’t sure the protocol for checking in with customs and immigrations, so as we dropped the anchor in Mayaguez at 8am on Tuesday morning my first call was Customs and Border Patrol.
A police boat had already buzzed the boat early in the morning, so Puerto Rico definitely knew we had arrived. Being Americans in an American territory, a simple call and DTOPS decal renewal over the internet were all it took to clear in and we were free to roam about.
And roam we have. To every sangria stand we can find and we have not been disappointed yet. We are so used to paying $10 for a rum drink that we about fell over when our total bar tab the first night was $5. For both of us – incredible.
Typically after a 4 day passage resulting in no sleep and less than stellar eating/sleeping/anything patterns it is common to just crash and crash hard. We rallied. We upped anchor and moved the boat to the town of Boqueron just down the coast.
Rumor had it that it was a party town on the weekends and dead during the week. Being a Tuesday night, we found virtually one restaurant open and willing to serve us some food. For the most part – town was completely dead, but we brought the party as two other boats we knew also pulled in and we set up shop at the local bar.
Boqueron was not quite hip happening, so we were back on our way by 7am the next morning headed for La Paraguera. Bo had heard a rumor that it was nicknamed the “Venice of the Caribbean” and had ants in his pants to dinghy through the “canals.”
La Paraguera did not disappoint. Canals may be a loose term, but there were mangroves lined with cute boat houses and a bioluminescence bay. Lackluster daytime snorkeling was quickly trumped by a ill-conceived midnight dinghy ride to the bioluminescence bay and a swim.
All in all, we couldn’t be happier with our decision to make a Puerto Rican pitstop. We have some maintenance items to take care of as we continue across the south coast of Puerto Rico and are tackling those as we speak, in between sangria stops. 🙂
Thank you for all of your good thoughts as we conquered our longest passage yet. I am working on a blog about passage making in which I hope to explain life aboard when we are underway in the big water.