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Discussion Starter #1
Having recently turned 70 thinking about where to retire to is on my mind. Too much. We are not ready to do that, yet I am a planner by nature and such questions niggle me. And I cant really find any good spot. It is agitated by this damn virus and all the travel restrictions.

The idea came to me that perhaps PR is a reasonable place to retire. We spent a couple of weeks in Salinias and that was OK. But thats the limit of my knowledge.

Any of you guys have any opinions about this?
 

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Definitely worth considering. It's a gem, in so many ways. It also has severe challenges and, yes, corruption. I was involved in rebuilding housing there, post hurricanes, a few years back. Sad to see how that works, but glad to have been part of the positive side.

You absolutely must speak Spanish to navigate well. Taxes are overall lower, than the mainland, but keep an eye on this. Today, PR does not pay any Federal Income Taxes, but their own taxes are higher than most States. Still comes out far ahead. However, they just had a referendum (non-binding) to become a State. If this actually happens, taxes will be among the first things to change. Albeit, support to the island would presumably increase too, which is highly controversial.

My simple analysis of the issue is that Puerto Rico no longer serves the purpose it was originally acquired to serve (trading port), nor it's secondary (defense). Therefore, the Feds debate why they spend so much more on the island than they get back. This happens on the contiguous mainland too, but a mid-western state is not optional. Tourism is about it's only remaining asset in PR. It's population, especially the skilled population, has been leaving for the mainland for decades.

It's a mess, but has incredible potential. IMO. I'd think about Culebra or Vieques.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We spent a few nights on Vieques 20 years ago. It is nice but we like to have running water nearby and Vieques is arid. Spent a night in the hook there 4 years ago, south coast. The horse smell was incredible, I could not sleep, and that is saying something.

We also spent some nights around El Yunque, that was more to m liking.
 

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Pretty high crime around the more populated areas around San Juan so I wouldn’t want to leave my boat unattended there for any length of time. Did some scuba diving along the south coast and I was very impressed with that area, both the natural beauty and the more relaxed and peaceful vibe there.
 

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LOL! Horse smell on the south side of Vieques. Yes there's horses, but you'd have to try to be in the right spot with the trades blowing. Probably Sylvie, the French Pirate Queen's horses. She moved there from St. Thomas years ago. I never had a problem in PR. Respectful, a little spanish (mas cerveza) and a modicum of caution. A lot of anglos live in PR. Vieques is a different situation, as is Culebra. You got to get in, get "in" and get settled. Crime is everywhere in America. Hell, look at what's going on . . . never mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, there is that, never mind indeed.
 

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico \'97 Liz G. Rodr\'edguez Qui\'f1onez grew up schooled in being able to throw her body to the floor in the middle of the night, in the event that stray bullets from a nearby shootout came crashing through her window.\
But it was only this past fall when Ms. Rodr\'edguez, who operates a food truck in a town just east of the Puerto Rican capital, experienced her first murder: Standing by the stove in her truck one morning in September, she heard a series of pops, then screaming, and realized that the man who was the intended target of the gunfire was standing right behind her truck. She ducked \'97 thanks to the training from her youth \'97 but there was no hope for the man, who died only a few feet away.\
It was not yet noon.\
\'93I saw the dead body. He was around 30 years old. It was horrible,\'94 Ms. Rodr\'edguez, 30, said with a shudder.\
Puerto Rico has long had one of the highest murder rates in the country, almost all of it attributable to gang violence. But a recent spree of brazen daylight killings, some of which were captured on video and widely shared on social media, have shaken the population and worried local and federal law enforcement officials who thought they had seen everything in the roiling, populous city of San Juan.\
\
This NY Times story illustrates the sort of crime I was thinking of in the San Juan area. Murders, along with more minor crimes like pickpocketing are all too common and it’s also common to not be aware of it until you or someone you know is impacted because it’s not something they publicize much. I used to frequently lay over there and walked all over the place without ever feeling threatened, but then I started hearing stories so checked into it This wouldn’t stop me from basing a boat in Puerto Rico but I’d avoid keeping it in the San Juan area where most of the crime is occurring. Fortunately, once outside of San Juan, crime, especially gang related violence, is much less common.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Basing in San Juan was not on my mind. However you hit my curiosity up and I did a Google Earth search and ai see 2 marinas near the old city, across the channel from one another; one has a lift.

Spent 35 years living & working in center city Philadelphia. Recently a 20 yo witness to a murder was gunned down, murdered, in broad daylight in a tourist plaza. For some of those years I worked as a transit maintenance supervisor. Spending New Years Eve in the ghetto was “interesting.”

Rest assured we will not consider San Juan.

That said here is a list of marinas or potential spots I know of. Listed clockwise from Active Captain via AquaMap.

Club Nautico de San Juan
San Juan Bay Marina - travel lift
Cangerjos Yacht Club - fishing
El Conquistador - hotel
Marina Puerto Chico - big trailer?
Sea Lovers Marina - reported destroyed
Villa Marina Harbor
Sun Bay Marina
Isleta Marina - travel lift - reported out of service
puerto del Rey - travel lift - multiple
Yacht Club at Palmas del Mar
Varado at Palmas - 100 ton x 26’ travel lift
Marina de Salinas Marina - secure lagoon for mooring
Ponce Yacht Club - Travel Lift
Caribbean Images (Ponce)
Boqueron Yacht Club (very small?)
Marina Pescadoria - Puerto Real - mooring lagoon
Club Nautico Arecibo - 5’ entrance
 

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You know, I never had a problem in San Juan. There's no defense to a PR murder rate of 20/100,000 population. But Baltimore, St. Louis, etc. seem to have substantially higher murder rates. So does the Virgin Islands. You stumble into the wrong place, hang in the barrio . . . same as if you go to New Orleans. East L.A. You name it. There's some places you just don't step into. But you should never miss the food fair in Old San Juan. I used to have to go over at least once month, grab a cab and go to Guaynabo. Used to race the Heineken Regatta that Angel Ayala put on every year. Had a blast. Great people, with some evil around the edges like everywhere.
 

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Las Palmas is pretty nice. Short enough drive to San Juan if anything needed, but kind of sleepy resort vibe
 

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Fajardo can be sketchy around the edges, but we never had an issue. Palmas del Mar was where they had the last Heineken Regatta out of. I think. Prior to that it was at Puerto Del Rey. I must admit I haven't been over there for awhile, but that's part of the plan for 2021.
 

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My impression of PR is that it is a pretty violent place, especially for a ******. I've never really had much trouble, but I was there when a guy set a hotel full of people ablaze, just to kill his girl friend who worked there.
I once had a cabbie come after me with a tire iron when I wouldn't pay him without a receipt. Fortunately we were at the boatyard where I had a couple of tugs being worked on, and the crew came to my defense.
I couldn't imagine living anywhere near SJ, but I'm sure there are many small villages where life could be pleasant.
 

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So sad. San Juan and surrounds is the only real major metropolitan city in the SVI or USVI. One would think they had the advantage of being on an island and all the bad guys can't really get away. However, that's clearly wrong.

Still, I find the entire island chain to be a gem, with extraordinary potential. If it would get out of it's own way.
 

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I can offer up as vile an article in any major U.S. City. I don't mean to cast aspersions on PR. Again, personally, never had a problem. I think this all took place on that stretch of E-W highway between Munoz Airport and Isla Verde next North. Had friends with condos there, stayed at the Ambassador there. Never had a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeh I am shure a wee bit of “street smarts” will long, long way to keeping you safe.

PR does seem to have some definite advantages. We also like Dominica and DR a lot, maybe Antigua.

We are still years from finding a “land home”, and being in the States (due Covid) has helped us find where are hearts are. The other day I mentioned I was having a hard time imagining living in a house, my Wife, the seasick boat hater, gave a heartfelt acknowledgement of agreement.

So we have been eye balling houses only to discover how much we like the boat.

Yet we need to keep our weather eye out on potential locations, one never knows what can happen.
 

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I must say that it is absolutely, positively, and for sure necessary to visit the fort in old San Juan, if you are in the Caribbean. If you have a national parks senior's card, you get in for free.
For history buffs, especially historical sailing buffs, forts have to be on one's must see lists, and the one in SJ is one of the best.
I liked the one in Crete where you had to crawl through a door on your hands and knees, so as an invader, you were offering up your neck for decapitation if you tried to go through. It's especially interesting to see how, without modern weapons and defenses, they could still stop intruders.
Maybe that could be how we defend ourselves from pirates? lol
 

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I don't go anywhere you need "street smarts".

I'm a tourist on perpetual vacation. I'll go somewhere better.
 
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