No habla español
When we originally set to sail to Puerto Rico, we had an idea that we might stay for a while. What we didn’t expect was to travel all the way around the island! Finding jobs, saving some money and having the perks of being in a US territory without being in the States sounded great. After spending some time here however, it seemed quite apparent that if we wanted to have a job (especially in the service industry), we’d have to be bilingual. Seeing as neither Dave nor I are fluent in Spanish it didn’t seem like PR would be the best fit for us after all 🙁 Needless to say, I was bummed. I love this country so much!
Since finding jobs here seemed a bit far fetched for us, we figured we’d just move on to the US Virgin Islands. Surely we could find some type of work there. Although we were ready to find some work, we couldn’t move on just yet. My family was planning to visit at the end of April and we had another month until they arrived.
What to do…
Some would think spending a month in a protected anchorage is ideal. I however, had just spent a week on my own exploring San Juan, waiting for Dave to return from the States. As much as I loved the city, I couldn’t stay any longer. I was stir crazy. I felt cooped up and needed a change of scenery. So, we decided that we’d take a trip around Puerto Rico to kill some time and see more of the island.
It just so happened that some friends from Georgetown (Sherry and Justin on SV Jasaru and Rob on SV Aspiration) were getting ready to cross over to Puerto Rico as well. Our decision to circumnavigate perfectly coincided with their arrival and gave us even more of a reason to travel to the far side of the island.
We had a wet ride during the first couple of days of our trip. Heading around the north side of the island we got stuck in a couple of day squalls. Although it was a bit nerve wracking, it was entertaining to watch the changing skies and approaching rain. Alli Oop also got a well needed rinse that was long overdue.
Dave had wanted to check out Rincon, a renowned surfing spot on the north west corner of the island. As we rounded the edge of the island, giant turquoise waves were peeling around the point. We could see dozens of tiny surfers bobbing up and down in the water, waiting for their chance to catch one of these massive breakers. As excited as Dave was, we weren’t able to stay, however. The anchorage near the surf was extremely unprotected and boats were rolling everywhere. We were running out of day light as well. If Dave wanted to surf, we’d have to visit Rincon via land next time.
West & South
We made our way down the western coast and ended up meeting or pals from Georgetown in Puerto Real. From there, we traveled to Boqueron and then to the southern coast stopping at Bahia Montalvo, Guilligan’s Island, Ponce, Coffin Island and Salinas. From there we moved north east up to the islands of Vieques and Culebra.
Although we didn’t spend time traveling up the eastern side of the country, we did spend some time at Fajardo earlier on, which is on the east coast. So technically we didn’t circumnavigate in one trip, but have definitely traveled all the way around the island in some capacity. I mean, take a look at our Garmin inReach map:
We did eventually make it over to St. Thomas where plans for work have started to unfold, but now we’re back in San Juan waiting for our special guests to arrive! Puerto Rico is a beautiful country that has everything to offer from city to country. I especially love the smaller, less inhabited islands with crystal, clear water. Culebra may be my favorite place in all of Puerto Rico. The tropical El Yunque Rainforest was another personal favorite that we visited at an earlier time. It’s safe to say that Puerto Rico has a piece of my heart and although I know we won’t be staying here long term, I know she’ll be here waiting for us when we come back. 🙂