S/V Koinonia Weekly Sailing Log - Puerto Real to Ponce, PR (Wed May 31 - Tue June 6, 2023)
Wed May 31 - kids do school. Ben sanded and applied a second coat of primer on the deck where the starboard genoa track will be reinstalled. Today is Amber’s grandfather’s 98th birthday! She called and spoke with him for a while and wished him a happy birthday. Amber and the kids cleaned all of the fans in the cabin. Went ashore to get showers. Ben made seared chicken and rice with rough cut veggies in a white wine velouté; watched a family movie: “Secondhand Lions.”
There is a common saying among cruisers which goes something like, "cruising is just doing boat work in exotic places." A lot of days, that saying resonates as accurate.
Thu Jun 1 - kids do school. Ben sanded the 2nd coat of primer and then applied the final top coat; it came out really nice! Started looking at weather along the south coast of PR in the early morning hours to get to Ponce; this strategy will take a few days but will avoid bucking strong wind, rough seas and the equatorial current and we will get to enjoy some nice stops en route. The whole crew went ashore and went for a walk, picking mangos on the roadside, getting a few essentials and, of course, ice cream from a small grocery store. Went back to the marina, got showers, and then the girls played with some super cute boat kids aboard S/V Liberdade. Quiet dinner at Antares restaurant (highly recommend) which included fried fish tacos, kan kan pork bites with pickled onions (wow!), rice and beans.
Fri Jun 2 - kids do school. Cleaned the genoa track, carefully applied butyl tape around every screw to insure a watertight seal, and installed the track. So glad that project is complete! Went ashore to get showers. Amber made a delicious chili in the insta-pot for chili cheese nachos with sour crème and jalapeños; the kids made ices for dessert.
Sat Jun 3 - hot and humid today with occasional rain. Wind out of the south and very strong. We finally broke down and turned on the generator and the A/C. Ben and the girls went ashore; filled the gasoline Jerry cans and let the kids play for a while. Went back to the boat and had lunch. Heard from our friend Neftali; he made it safely to the DR. Minor fruit fly infestation due to fresh produce, so Ben made some traps from used water bottles and within a few hours caught and killed over a dozen of them. Continued to check whether to make our way to Ponce. Had a nice dinner with S/V Liberdade at 9 Barrios.
Sun Jun 4 - breakfast and Sunday worship. Ben made a big pot of bolognese with penne for lunch with homemade Italian sausage. Went ashore and walked to Mercado’s Bakery; got some delicious pastries, donuts, and other deserts; highly recommend! Picked a few more mangos along the roadside. Showers and then went back to the boat. Fruit flies appear to be gone. Our battery powered brass ships clock died; we are replacing it with an antique ships clock, a Seth Thomas Corsair mechanical wind-up clock, made in the USA (found one on eBay). Amber made breakfast for dinner and the kids watched the Haley Mills classic, “Summer Magic.”
Mon Jun 5 - donuts and pastries for breakfast; a rare treat. Kids do school. Stowed anything that could fall to prepare to get underway. Went ashore in the afternoon to see friends on S/V Liberdade one last time and do a load of laundry. The kids made “snow cones” with their manual shaved ice machine, to the delight of young and old. Got back to the boat and immediately got underway for Bahía Salinas, a tiny harbor to the west of the Cabo Rojo lighthouse at the south western most tip of PR. Unfortunately, as we feared, it was super rolly due to the persistent S winds that had been blowing; very difficult to sleep as the E wind kept the boat beam on to the waves all night.
Tue Jun 6th - 5:15am, weighed anchor and got underway. Started sailing but had to furl/ drop the sails 45 mins into the trip since the wind was directly on our nose and the current was against us. The wind and waves are more mild than usual, so we decided to forego some of the great stops along this coast to get to Ponce, so we can complete our boat projects. Arrived in Ponce Yacht and Fishing Club around 1:00pm. Topped up fuel, checked in at the marina office, then moved the boat to our assigned space on the T-head of “B” dock; promptly turned on the A/C and washed down the boat. Firmed up arrangements for boat work with various contractors; tentative haul-out on Monday to replace the cutless bearing (often incorrectly spelled cutlass bearing--- like a pirate sword -- but probably a losing battle). About 5pm, the power went out and Ben thought our inverter might be having a problem, but the whole marina’s power was out. Later we learned all of Salinas and Ponce were down. Cut on our generator since several other boats had already done the same. Approx 3 hours later, the power came back on. Such is boat life!