Monday, February 2, 2015

Puerto Rico Wrap-up and on to St John!

We wrapped up our stay in Puerto Rico with style. We met up with Jeffrey and Alyssa, as planned, to visit Old San Juan. We grabbed breakfast at the Cafeteria Mallorca. A mallorca is, basically, a cross between a roll and a donut. I got the ham and swiss on a mallorca because, well, how bad can a sandwich on a donut be? Everybody else got a more normal breakfast.

We walked all around the fort, El Morro. Inside, outside, up and down the spiral stairs and through all of the levels. This place is just phenomenal. The scale and scope of this fort, built so long ago, is amazing.

Alyssa, Jeffrey and Junie.
Dwarfed by the fort.
From the fort looking east along the shore of PR

Then, a late lunch at El Charro. It is a classic, hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant that Alyssa knew of from when she lived in San Juan for a while. Definitely not on the cruise ship itineraries. They had the most awesome Tortilla Soup.
That evening, we returned to Fajardo to prep SeaClearly for our next move - Culebra! And, Jeffrey and Alyssa had decided to join us for the sail. They made reservations at a resort on Culebra and would return back to Puerto Rico to fly home after we all spent a couple of days exploring the island.

We motored out of our slip in Sunbay Marina and pointed east again. Which meant that we mostly motored again. But it was a pleasant boat ride and, less than 5 hours later, we were turning into Ensenada Honda. The resort they had booked was actually near the mouth of the bay so we picked up one of the free mooring balls in Ensenada Dakity. It was an easy dinghy ride over to the resort and Jeffrey and Alyssa got to arrive by boat!
The view from our mooring ball in Dakity anchorage.
Yes, that is a reef right in front of us. We saw turtles all
day long and listened to the waves rolling over the reef
all night. A little un-nerving but a wonderful spot.

Over the next two days, we went downtown to the Dinghy Dock restaurant, took a golf cart to beautiful Flamenco Beach, had dinner on SeaClearly and had lunch back at the Dinghy Dock. We dropped our visitors off behind Mamacita's for their short walk to the ferry. We had a great time. It was very cool that they could arrange to be in Puerto Rico while we were there.
Flemenco Beach, Culebra. One of the world's top beaches.

The water is clear and the sand is white -
even underwater. Jeffrey shows off snorkeling skills.

Alyssa and Jeff

A bunch of cruisers showing up at the Dinghy Dock.

On the ride back to the ferry.

Junie and I went back to SeaClearly and, despite having no schedule and despite the fact that this is a wonderful place with much more to explore, we started preping to move. We can feel the pull of St John. As were were arriving here, we could already see St Thomas rising in the distance. We are close enough to almost touch our destination. The weather will be settled for one more day. Gotta go!

We arrived at St John, US Virgin Islands on January 30. We both felt that the real capstone of this trip would be the moment when we sailed up to the coast of St John and grabbed a mooring ball just off of Caneel Bay. We have some history with this area. We stayed at the resort several years ago and became enthralled with the Virgin Islands. We came back here only three years ago and chartered a boat for the first time.

Sailing into St John!

This time, we arrived on our boat- SeaClearly. It was an emotional moment for us. This really represented the accomplishment of the goal. We dreamed, we planned, we persevered. Now, we have arrived. It is a good feeling to have put yourself to the test and succeeded. Sure, we have to get back home again. But, for now, we are basking in the glow.

As I am writing this, we continue to bask in the glow several days later. I guess we are adapting to island time. We managed to steal some wifi from Caneel so we could catch up with family via Skype and Facetime. We researched our watermaker issue and resolved that problem. We dinghied into Cruz Bay for laundry, lunch and, of course, ice cream. If we can ever pry ourselves off of this mooring ball, we will go explore the rest of St John.

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