We had an easy sail from Vieques to mainland Puerto Rico, anchoring for the night just off Isletta, the small island just to the east of Fajardo. Joy suggested I might want to dinghy in to the marina to scope the place out before we committed to our stay there as there are several marinas in the area. One quick look around convinced me that Sun Bay Marina was the place to stay. Just about everything there is brand new, and the location could not be beat. So the next morning, we motored slowly in past the breakwater watching the depth closely as we glided into the entrance, barely 7 feet deep in the center of the channel. Once inside the basin area, depth increased rapidly to 12 feet, and we had little difficulty maneuvering into the narrow slip, barely a foot wider than our boat, with the wind blowing at 20 right across the beam. All in a days work.
We fell in love with this marina instantly. Cooling Caribbean breezes blowing across the bow, quiet, with everything located nearby, and friendly staff to help with any problem.
Knowing we’d have guests arriving in just a few days, we began a planned attack of routine maintenance on the boat – washing the hull, waxing, changing oil and fluids, checking the engine thoroughly, and re-provisioning the boat for the next five months. We had to rent a car for all our shopping, and our first stop was Sams Wholesale, a 45 minute drive to the south. Just when we reached the Humacao exit off the freeway, I realized I’d forgotten my Sam’s membership card. Talk about feeling foolish. Well, I walked in to the service desk, explained my problem (in Spanish), and asked if they could find my membership. Not only did they locate my information, they took a new photo and issued me a Puerto Rican Sams membership card in about five minutes. Talk about service. We were able to stock up on all the essentials for our entire season. Paper goods, canned goods, long life milk, all the durable goods we needed at less than mainland USA Sams prices. Back in Fajardo, we found a Ralph’s Supermarket, a larger store than any Super Walmart we have ever seen, and there we found all our fresh and frozen goods, plus great prices on beer, wine, baked goods, and just about anything else we could want or need.
I hauled two dock carts to the boat, and carted bag after bag of provisions aboard. With all these bags of goodies stacked in the saloon, we wondered where we would ever find room to stow everything, but we managed. Once it was all put away, you’d never know just how much stuff we had tucked into every nook and cranny.
My last task before our guests arrived was to fill our two propane tanks. Following directions from Olga in the marina office, I located the propane service company and filled both tanks for $13.50. The last time I had filled the tanks in the US it was $18 per tank. Hard to complain about all the available services in Puerto Rico. You truly can find anything you need in Fajardo.