Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: DFW Area
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Re: Puerto Rico Bareboat
Overall, we enjoyed it a lot. We were there the week after Thanksgiving. I don't know if that's normally a slow week, but there were several nights where we had the anchorage all to ourselves. We've done the BVIs, Abacos, and SVG previously, and this was the first time that every happened.
If you do that itinerary, there are some things to keep in mind:
The suggestion to go to Cayo Palamino on the first night is more important than they make it sound. Assuming trade winds prevail, you will have a beat all the way to Culebra. You want to get as far north as you can before starting it. We went around the north side of Palamino and managed it in a single tack--but the wind was a bit north of east.
We arrived at Culebra on Sunday. That week, at least, Dewey pretty much rolled up the streets Sun-Wed. Most of the restaurants were only open Th-S. Both the Dinghy Dock and Mammacita's were closed and undergoing renovations. Word on the street was they were both going to open under new management. This was not a problem--but we had provisioned for a mix of dinners aboard and ashore based on our experiences with other cruising grounds. Next time there we will plan for more dinners aboard.
The passage from Culebra around the east end of Vieques can be a bit rough. OTOH, once we turned the corner, we had the nicest broad reach you can imagine (not to mention catching a 10 lb tuna, which helped with that whole provisioning thing). If you plan to stop at Esperanza, Vieques, be sure to ask Jim about the "Solitude" mooring ball. The restaurant El Quenepo in Esperanza was _amazing_.
The only real downside the fact that there are no docks in the SVIs that can handle a cruising sailboat. That means no chance to top off the freshwater tanks. SailCaribe will provide a couple of jerry jugs you can use to fill up from several locations--but that's a lot of work if you want to get more than the proverbial "drop in the bucket". We got by just fine, but only because I threatened the crew (8 people in a Lagoon 450) with strict water rationing.
s/v Dancing Days
Lewisville Lake, TX
Last edited by bacampbe; 01-10-2013 at 12:55 AM.