Salinas, Puerto Rico- Home to Many Cruisers

As much as we hated it, once back on the boat we began to think about moving along towards our final destination. We’d begun to see tropical waves forming out over the Atlantic ocean, and these waves were causing all the rain and wind. We know the waves will increase in intensity and eventually bring those dreaded tropical storms along. We’d been working on boat chores while tied to the dock; we sanded all the exterior brightwork and put on 5 coats of Cetol finish; we’d cleaned, polished and waxed all the stainless fittings so they gleamed like mirrors; we’d removed rust stains from the fiberglass deck and waxed both hull and deck – all those routine aspects of living and working on the boat while in Paradise. All that remained to be done was load on fuel, provisions, and do the final loads of laundry. What do you mean, the laundry is broken? Yes, all the machines have quit and we don’t know when they will be repaired. Wonderful – hand washing again. Oh well, we just had to think of it as upper body exercise!

View from the Tiki Deck
View from the Tiki Deck

The night before leaving Salinas we said our good byes to Pete, Dick and Jane. We wished each other well and didn’t dwell on the fact that we might never see each other again, because who can say whether we will; time has shown that the world is a much smaller place, and we’ve seen friends time and again when we least expected.
Leaving Salinas
Leaving Salinas

We rose before dawn the next day planning to leave as soon as it was light. The forecast for the day might allow us to cover more ground than we’d planned, so why dally? With the bay looking like glass, we pulled away from our dock turning a tight 180 degrees to round the final pier heading out to the bay. No one was stirring; we roused the birds that morning.  
Monkey Island
Monkey Island

There were several possible stopovers we could have made on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, but the wind and sea conditions were perfect, just a smooth, gentle, southeast swell coupled with a light southeast wind allowing us to motorsail easily along at 7.5 knots. By noon, we were well on our way to the eastern end of the island. Rather than take two shorter days to cover the same territory, we decided to make it a longer than normal day pushing on all the way to the eastern shore. By about 1500, we reached Cayo Santiago, or Monkey Island, a primate research facility, and a decent anchorage in the prevailing southeast conditions. There was very little breeze though, and our night there was very warm and humid. There was nothing to do but chill out, have dinner, and move on to the Fajardo area the next morning. We dug out the binoculars to try to spy out some of the monkeys, but they all seemed to be hiding up in the hills somewhere. There was no sound or sign of any monkey business. We saw the research workers leave at night and return the next morning, but no primates.   

Around the Corner to Isletta