Over three weeks in one spot! We didn’t expect to enjoy ourselves as much as we did on the south coast of Puerto Rico. We anchored near the sleepy town of Salinas planning to spend a few days, and found ourselves thoroughly enjoying the people and the location.
The anchorage, surrounded by mangroves and a reef, is as good as they come: so calm and quiet that we felt like we were on land many nights, but with enough wind to keep the pilothouse cool for an afternoon nap or two and the master stateroom pleasant enough at night. The water, however, was another thing. With the mangroves and the nearby towns, this is not your Bahamian turquoise, see the bottom at 60 feet water. There is so much organic material in the water the barnacles grow like kudzu on a hot summer day and you have to get your face 6″ from the prop to scrape them off.
The town, while not beautiful, had its charm and was found to have many friendly restaurants and bars, two good groceries, a panaderia (bakery) and a decent marine supply store which would deliver to us for free! We did a lot of walking since the big grocery, church and the larger downtown area were about 1-1/2 miles away.
Sal Pa Dentro, a bar/restaurant/gathering place for cruisers quickly became our favorite spot to hang out. It was right next to the marina where we docked our dinghy and received mail and packages and is run by a gem of a man named John Baptiste. John caters to the cruising community and will do anything to help you. If you want to have a sail made, find a part, rent a car, get a package, make a reservation at a restaurant, or just hang out and drink, he is there for you.
There is also a small but very supportive cruising community, and we met lots of great people during our stay and we hope to cross paths with them in another anchorage or bar as we head down island.
I received a call halfway through our stay that my Mom had fallen and broken her pelvis, so I immediately flew to Ohio to help out. After six months on the boat, the last three in 84 degree weather, with no car, no TV, Ohio was quite a shock to the system. Ann had never been on the boat or at anchor by herself, but the marina was full so she could not come with me. As a result, she got to run the boat by herself for 4 days! She is now very familiar with selecting proper power sources, running the generator, charging house batteries, making water, etc. and also had a great time hanging out at the local bar while I was gone.