It’s strange how it can be difficult to remember how much we love sailing. Sometimes the winds are too light, sometimes way too strong, The seas can be uncomfortable and unnerving. Sometimes you have to move when you don’t want to. But SOMEtimes, everything comes together and we are reminded of how much we love this. Our passage from Puerto Rico to the Dominican Republic was smooth sailing and proved that Sailing. is. Awesome.
Yesterday we waited excitedly for the Eastern Caribbean weather update from Chris Parker and then double checked our GRIB files this morning and it looks like we are all systems go to cross the Mona Passage over to the Dominican Republic!! In just a few short hours we will be heading out to sea for a two day passage to a new country.
We slowly wound our way through mangroves and small cays to reach the anchorage in Salinas on the south coast of Puerto Rico. It looked like about 100 other boats had already nestled their way in, but we have learned that there is always room for one more boat to join the fleet (the same holds true for dinghy docks). I toured the anchorage watching the depth and maneuvering around our new neighbors until we found a spot to drop the hook and call home for the next week – Salinas boasted a super cruiser friendly harbor and we needed a safe spot to call home base while we explored the mainland. Ready, set, GO! (Anchor set, dinghy down, to shore!)
Isla Culebra is just about 30 miles west of our last anchorage (Red Hook) in St. Thomas, but as soon as we dropped the hook here in Ensenada Honda harbor we realized we had entered a whole new kind of place. There were no charter boats, no mega yachts, and no rolly swells. As we went through our routine of tidying up the boat, we watched a few small charter planes take off, admired a solo cruiser drop anchor, and enjoyed the swift breeze that cooled off our below decks to almost chilly (we have a new scale for chilly these days!). We looked at each other with big grins on our faces and said, “Cool. This is really really cool.”
After six weeks in the Virgin Islands and with plenty of islands left to explore, it’s time to say so long. We have spent the past week outlining a ‘plan’ for the rest of our adventure. It’s time to head west and north back to the US!