Life in Puerto Rico

If you’ve followed any of our earlier cruises, you know that Joy is always searching for the perfect Pina Colada. Well, the search continues, but thus far, San Pedro, Belize still is at the top of the charts! I keep tabs and have to sample the goods also. 

Tiki at Marina Salinas
Tiki at Marina Salinas

While it is hard to beat the atmosphere and scenery here at Marina Salinas’ outdoor Tiki, I quickly learned to ask prices, because the cost of a drink varied with the bartender. Being politely firm resolved those issues. We spent several afternoons sitting here sipping a cool drink while gazing out over the bay waters, enjoying the sea breeze, and reading a book while our laundry took care of itself, more or less, just a few steps away. This idea was much nicer than sweating in the laundry room.

Joy reminded me that I haven’t said a word about the different terrain in the Caribbean islands. Perhaps the single most noticeable feature about the Greater and Lesser Antilles is the volcanic, mountainous nature of all of the islands. The climate is tropical, that is, warm and humid, but unlike Florida and the Bahamas, the trade winds almost always blow providing a refreshing, cooling breeze nearly every day. Most nights, the cool air from the mountain tops slides down to the sea, and it was not unusual to need a light blanket right up until almost the end of June. Only when tied to a dock in a enclosed marina or bay did the breeze go away at night and then the air became close, hot, and humid requiring that we run our air conditioner – hate that noise, but you gotta love the cool dry air.

Salinas Harbor
Salinas Harbor

This view above is one of several from the outdoor deck. Snack and lunch foods were good, but a little pricey compared to other restaurants just outside the marina’s gates. As you exit the marina property, immediately to the right is Drake’s, the local cruisers’ favorite with good reason. Food and drink was just about half the cost of what we paid at the marina, and Wi-Fi was free. Believe it or not, the marina did not offer Wi-Fi. I saw a modem and router sitting on the office desk, but my guess is that the owner refused to pay for internet service, this at a marina with more than 100 slips. Her logic must be that there are only a few live-aboard boats in the marina; but here is the opposing logic – if they paid for service and installed an inexpensive outdoor router aimed at the harbor, you can bet your bottom booty that cruisers anchored out would readily pay ten to fifteen dollars to have a week’s worth of internet access right from their boat. When at anchor we actively seek out long range Wi-Fi signals and are willing to pay if it allows us to access the internet, email, and most importantly, on-line banking right from the boat. What else do you do when it is raining or at night other than read. Oh yeah, I read about 40 books on this trip.
Very Mountainous Terrain on the PR South Coast
Very Mountainous Terrain on the PR South Coast

One day while relaxing on the boat we printed maps of San Juan, Ponce, and other parts of Puerto Rico off the internet and started planning some day trips around the country. We found a rental car for $30.00 a day through the marina, and decided to head off to San Juan for our first trip.

Off to San Juan