Another sunny day here in Culebra, PR. Still under quarantine but good news is that we will be able to exercise (walk, run ect. outdoors while distancing) starting on Monday May 4th between 5am and 3pm, so I guess that is something.
Here are some photos taken from around Culebra….looks almost like a ghost town!
Meanwhile I’ve still been baking up a storm here with my trusty solar oven. Since I’ve last posted I baked my first chocolate cake from scratch. I didn’t have any eggs and experimented a bit, but it turned out pretty good. I think that I should have used more sugar and it would have been better if it had frosting but maybe next time. We also celebrated a birthday onboard and the birthday boy wanted pineapple upside down cake. I used a cake mix from a box and added pineapple. It turned out very tasty! Currently I have french bread in the oven to go with eggplant parmesan we are having for dinner. On half of it I sprinkled everything bagel seasoning…yum! It’s still been pretty windy and I’ve had to become creative to keep the oven and it’s reflective panels from blowing away!
Other than me fattening us up with all of my baking, things are pretty much the same. Brian is still working on sewing projects for fellow sailors here in Culebra. Word is out and seems there is always something that needs to be sewn somewhere. This is a good thing for us because it gives us some extra dough for the cruising kitty.
We will be making some big decisions here in the next week. It is past time for us to be home and back at work. Even though it seems as everything here is pretty much closed for the foreseeable future, back at home in PCB things are opening up. Not sure if we want to leave the boat behind in the Caribbean this year. Too many questions on how we can or if we can get back to it without jumping through multiple hoops. Who knows what is in the future for cruising boats in the Caribbean. We are considering sailing the 1000 + miles home here soon. Brian is looking forward to it, me not so much. But, we will do what we have to do and I get that.
Anyhow decisions will be made soon and we will share with you when we know what we’ve got planned. Until then take care all. Stay safe and smart with the cooties floating around out there!
Hello out there. We are still
here in Culebra. No surprise…right? What a crazy world that we are
all living in right now. Not
sure about all of you but we have been under quarantine since Sunday
At first it was like OK,
no problem, we can handle this. We are used to being on the boat and
provisioning for periods of time without going ashore and
it should be a breeze for us to tuck away for a couple of weeks. Then
a couple of weeks turned into a month and now it
seems that there is no
end in sight. It’s all
quite depressing really. Usually
by now we’ve put the
boat away for
the summer, have made it
back to the states, gotten to see our families and are back to work.
None of this is true for
us this year. Here we
still sit in our own little isolation looking forward to the times
when we are allowed to get off of the boat and go to shore
where we hope that we will run into some off our friends while we are
on our way to the post office or grocery store. If
we see someone that we know we still have to keep it short though
because sure enough the police will come along wanting to know why
you are in the streets and tell you to get on with your business.
Unlike Brian, I admit that I am not the most social person around but
I sure do miss hanging out with the gang as much as anyone else now!
We’ve been making do as all of you I’m sure by tying to fill the time with anything and everything. We don’t have TV (which might be a blessing), but I think that I have read the entire internet and had enough of surfing it anymore. We’ve tackled a few projects around the boat but for some reason are not feeling really inspired to take on any big ones. Brian has been sewing some for fellow boaters making main sail covers and roller furling covers and the like. He has been doing an amazing job and I have pictures that I will have to share with you next time.
I’m always getting asked what do you guys eat on the boat? So I’ve decided to share some of our yummy meals with you. I’ve been cooking up a storm with our solar oven and experimenting with new dishes with my time. As you see, we eat very well!
Before all of this craziness we did have a chance to visit one of our favorite beaches here in Culebra. It’s close to Soldier’s Point for those of you who know the area and it’s great for beach combing. It also leads to a beautiful tide pool that we’ve written about before.
Hope that you enjoy our latest and I did not overwhelm you or make you too hungry with all of the food pics! Our quarantine is supposed to end on May 3rd but not sure how hopeful we are on that. We have decided that the time has come and we need to make some decisions though. How to get home is the main one. Do we tuck the boat away and fly home? Do we really want to brave the airports with all of this mess going on? Will we be able to fly back to our boat easily if we leave her behind? Or do we set sail to get back? Either way it is a big decision. Not sure what it is like there in the states but out here the world is not the same as it once was and people are scared and weary of others. Things that used to be simple are not not anymore and that takes a pause of thought for us.
Anyhow, we will leave on a bit of a positive note. The Lyrid meteor shower peaks on April 21-22 and we are really looking forward to seeing it. It is supposed to have up to 18 meteors per hour! It is named after constellation Lyra, and is one of the oldest recorded meteor showers. According to some historical Chinese texts, the shower was seen over 2,500 years ago. The fireballs in the meteor shower are created by debris from the comet Thatcher, which takes about 415 years to orbit around the Sun and it is not expected to be visible from Earth again until 2276. So you know where our heads will be for the next few nights…facing the north-west night sky and hopefully the show will be amazing!
Spring makes everything new. Easter is about love, hope, and happiness. May you have plenty of each. Outside, the flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, the world is full of happiness. We hope your Easter is as beautiful as the flowers in bloom and we wish you all the blessings of Easter.
We are still in Culebra, Puerto Rico. We just found out that our quarantine was extended until April 12th and got a little stricter on the rules. The new rules begin on March 31 and run through April 12, the curfew will be broadened from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. and all grocery stores will be shut on Sundays. In addition, there will be restrictions on what days of the week cars can circulate, depending on their license plate. All beaches, public parks and all nonessential businesses continue to be closed and we are ordered to stay home or in our case on the boat. I know that we are in paradise but it is no fun being here and not being able to enjoy it! We are lucky we have plenty of food and fuel, of course we have our solar oven too and as long as we have sun we can cook to our hearts content. Hopefully this will all be over soon!
I guess there could be worse places to have to quarantine! Stay safe everyone!
Hello all. It seems that the whole world has changed since we last posted. As of now we are still in Culebra, Puerto Rico, quarantined on Moon. Not a bad place to be we suppose. It has been rainy and windy this week. It is however still as beautiful here as usual. We are pretty sure that we have all of the necessities we need. For us it is just like provisioning for a long passage so it was not hard to plan and supply. We’ve been lucky the stores have been pretty well stocked. No toilet paper shortages here 🙂 Our island as all of Puerto Rico is under restrictions and nightly curfew. Like lots of other beach towns we can’t go to the beach either! Seems that most people are adhering to the new rules. We are anchored on the edge of town, at dakity reef. There are a few other boats out here with us. A couple of regulars and a couple of new boats. Everyone has to hunker down and wait it out because it seems most ports are closed to new arrivals. Some of the nearby islands have even made cruisers leave their ports! Listening to the news it seems that more cities around the states are moving to implement these same restrictions too, so soon we will all be as some say “In the same boat”.
most of you know I recently had a birthday. We were looking to find
something new that we had not done before so, we sailed Moon to a
nearby island for some fun. Little did we know at the time that this
would be our last adventure for a while.
We decided to sail over to Cayo Luis Peña for the day. Luis Peña is a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Culebra under the protection of the U.S. fish & Wildlife. It is only accessible by boat. The few people that come here usually come to snorkel and enjoy the small beaches. We had heard from a friend that there was a old road that we could hike to the top with amazing views and some old ruins from when the military had control of the island. We thought that this would be something cool to check out. We left dakity reef and because it was such a short distance we decided to motor sail over to the island. We picked up one of the two mooring balls in the harbor when we arrived, kayaked to shore and set off to find the trail. I have to admit that at first I was not really enthusiastic about the idea of a hike in the middle of the day. It was hot and I really thought that we were going to snorkel and enjoy the waters and then hike later in the afternoon or early the next morning. The anchorage was a bit rolly that day though so we decided to go ahead and hike up and then spend the night somewhere else.
been to Luis Peña before but only to enjoy the beaches and snorkel.
The small beach on the north side of the island has an amazing
underwater elk-horn coral forest. This time however we wanted to find
the trail that we had heard about and make our way to the top. We
started by walking across the skinny peninsula from where we were
moored to the opposite beach where we could see Culebra just across
the channel. From there we started to look for the trail we heard was
just over a small hill that would lead us to the old road. We hunted
around and found what looked like a trail and gave it a try. It was
less of a trail and more a goat-cleared path. There are wild goats on
the island. Luck would have it and we found the old military road
that would take us to the top.
It was a pretty easy hike, mostly shaded and the grade was an easy one. For the most part we could see and follow the old military road. On some parts trees and mother nature had completely taken over. We carefully pushed through thorned bushes and cactus. Lots of pretty flowers and mushrooms along the path to admire along the way and we even came across a snake catching some of the suns rays.
Once we reached the top we were rewarded with the largest gun turret/helicopter pad that we have ever seen. It is crazy if you think of the military action that has happened on this island. Cayo Luis Peña was one of the areas that the Marine Corps used during the various training exercises from the 1920s through the late 1940s for munitions firing. Marine units stationed on Culebra fired artillery onto the northern areas. They also used the entire area for aerial bombing and gunnery practice. One historical document indicated that the Marines had also dropped napalm onto Luis Pena. Additionally the island is located in the immediate vicinity of the Northwest Peninsula that served as the main military bombardment and impact area. We had to be careful as we explored because unexploded ordnance items have still been found on the island to this day! As we explored the grounds and ruins left behind it was amazing to think that all of it’s history was not all that long ago.
taking in all off the views and wonders we made our way back down the
path and paddled back to Moon. We dropped the mooring ball and headed
to melones beach just off of Culebra to spend the night in a more
comfortable anchorage. As we were motoring away from Luis Peña our
engine started overheating and shut down…oh no! Quickly Brian
hoisted our jib and main sail and we sailed into the winds towards
melones where were planned on anchoring. Thankfully after a few tacks
we made it in just as the sun was setting. The next day Brian
discovered that the boats impeller, part of the water pump for the
engine had lost several veins and it had to be replaced. Luckily we
had a spare and Brian was able to make the repairs at anchor. I’ve
said it before and I will say it again…My Hero!
Brian says that he thinks that Cayo Luis Peña is haunted because every time that we visit there or near there something happens. Once we were anchored on the north side on a beautiful, sunny peaceful day and a big storm came out of nowhere and reigned havoc on us causing us to have to leave abruptly and break one of our almost indestructible 8 ft oars and other times we have sailed around the island the winds would either come on full blast out of nowhere or die down to a complete calm. And now with our water pump going bad as we were leaving the harbor….just saying something is not right there and you can’t convince Brian otherwise!
We were also fortunate enough to visit beautiful flamenco beach with our friends Patty and Les for a day of fun in the sun before all of this mess going on. Not only was it a birthday celebration for me it was one for Patty as well. Pisces Girls Rule!
meanwhile has also been working a some sewing projects.
like we said in the beginning of this post seems as if everything has
changed now. It’s hard to believe that we have to hunker down where
we are. There is so much to explore here and it is hard to sit still.
I know that we are blessed though. At least we are in a beautiful
spot. As of now we can jump off of the boat and swim in the sea that
surrounds us, see the sun rise and enjoy the sea life swimming around
our floating home. Guess we can’t complain too much. Take care all
for now, stay safe and by all means…wash your hands after reading
this post, who knows where it has been!!
Hello all. Just wanted to let you know that Brian and I have decided in the light of everything that is going on to quarantine ourselves on our boat for two weeks. This should be sufficient time for most of the yuckies to make its way though this area.
It’s been a week so far and we thought that we would share with you our progress…
Day One – Brian installs new y-valve for water maker. I surf fb for latest news. We drink a six pack of beer, eat a small meal and are mindful of the amount of tp we use.
Day Two – Brian fiber glasses and paints bottom of dinghy. I surf fb for latest panic news. We drink three six packs of beer, have a good sized dinner, eat all of our potato chips and are not as cautious of the amount of tp we use.
Day Three – Brian completes some small repairs around the boat. I surf fb again for the latest numbers and for what is selling off of the shelf. We use around a half of a roll of tp and start to eat all of our other snack supplies including drinking a whole case of beer.
Day Four – I am still surfing fb for the real news. After scrolling for hours we come to the conclusion that if the end of the world is coming we should no longer ration our tp supplies and should drink the rest of our beer and start on our supply of rum!
Day Five – We wake up in a cloudy haze. I no longer consult fb. We do however decide once again that if the world is ending we should finish our rum and pantry rations. After all in these apocalyptic times we wouldn’t want to have someone board the boat and take them from us!
Day Six – We roll over in the morning wondering what truck came through the bunk and ran us over. We stumble to the galley only to find that our supplies are somehow running low. I once again consult fb for the latest news, after all it is the most reliable. It shows zombies in the streets and mothers stealing milk out of the mouths of babes. We breath a sigh of relief, all is normal!
Day Seven – We come to the realization that our two weeks worth or rations barely made it 6 days for some reason. We decide that we have to brave the world and make a trip to town. We gear up in our masks, gloves and bodysuits and off we go…wish us luck and stay tuned for updates… 🙂
Hi there. Been awhile since we’ve made a post. We could make the excuse that we have been snowed or iced in and unable to leave the boat, but you all know that is not true! Yes, it has been beautiful here and we have been taking advantage of all of it!
We’ve been spending time with our Culebra friends, having beach cook outs the old fashioned way …. find wood, dig a hole and start a fire and also spending some time on the water.
We were invited on our friend Chris’s boat Dottie II for a day sail. Dottie II is a ex-racing boat, a Pearson 33 and she sails like a dream. It’s been a while since we have sailed on a mono-hull, (a boat with only one hull for my non-sailing friends, we have three!). It was awesome, so different than sailing on Moon. Chris was at the helm and Brian and Ricky were grinding away at the wenches getting all the speed that they could out of her. Of course as soon as we saw any other boat underway it was a race to see who could sail the fastest! Wind was around 12-15 knots making for some decent speeds. I had to remember to secure my beverage when underway so that it would not spill when we were healed over! We stopped for a bit in nearby Almodover Bay and picked up a mooring ball where Ricky jumped in and speared some fish for dinner including a lion fish! We had a blast, thanks Chris for an awesome day aboard Dottie II!
The next day it was our turn to take out the gang. In all we ended up with eight of us on Moon. The winds though were light, about 5-10 knots. Disappointing because we wanted to show off what Moon could do. Brian did not want to turn the motor on, he wanted to sail! We were doing OK, and we would have gotten there eventually, but I had to encourage him to motor sail so that we would go faster than 3 knots…that’s really slow for a sail boat, especially us!
We again picked up a mooring ball in Almodover Bay and enjoyed the crystal clear waters. The gang was determined to find a conch that was big enough to keep. The bay was full of them but they were all too small. It was fun, a few would swim and collect conchs…is this one big enough? How about this one? How ‘bout now? Unfortunately for us, but fortunately for the conchs we did not find any keepers. Don’t feel bad for our crew though we had quite a lunch spread on board and hopefully no one left hungry! Another amazing day on the water! Great time and crew!
is off today looking at a sewing project on a boat. Word has gotten
out of his skills and he has lots lined up to do from sewing shade
sails, sun covers for rolling jibs, bimini tops, trampolines and even
engine repairs! As always no matter where we go he is a wanted man,
in a good way though, LOL!
enough for now. Take care all and stay warm we are sending lots of
sunshine your way and spring will be here before you know it!
And so another year begins. We are back to doing what we usually do on our island in paradise. We had so much fun when Rachel and Drew were here that now everything seems so boring. It was too fun playing tourist!
Brian has been working on a
sewing project for our friend Chris. He is sewing a sun guard for
Chris’s rolling furling head sail. Now he’s just waiting on some
material to arrive so that he can finish it up. The word is out on
the island that Brian can sew sails and canvas and there is now no
shortage of work waiting for him. Lucky guy, huh?
We are in the process of
upgrading to lithium iron phosphate batteries and Brian has been busy
learning all about them and installing them on the boat. So far so
good and hopefully we will post about that project here soon.
I’ve just been doing regular
household chores as usual and baking things up in the solar oven.
Nothing new, beans and rice with cornbread for dinner tonight. All
baked with the sun. Sometimes I kayak to a nearby beach where I can
find sea glass. It’s the beach by the tide pools that we have
shared with you before so you might recognize some of the pictures.
It’s kinda my happy spot. Been working on some sea glass creations.
Now I just need to find a glue gun, then we can share them with you.
As you can see lots of
exciting stuff going on here, right! Anyhow, hope all of you are
doing good and this new year will bring all of us new
adventures…you never know what lies ahead!
Christmas Post, Puerto Rico, Christmas on Moon, 2019
Hello again. Finally here is our last post of all of the Christmas fun that we had. I tell you what it was quite a chore to go through all of the pics that we took! Again I want to thank Rachel and Drew for taking the majority of them. It is always cool to see the world through someone else’s eyes and this is a perfect way to do so. There were so many good pics that I had a hard time leaving some out. I don’t think that you will notice though because we have lots to share! So I better get started….
Last we posted we were in Culebra. Next stop for us was mainland Puerto Rico. There are few ways to leave the island. You can either take the ferry, a private boat or small plane. We had planned on taking the ferry but Rachel was looking on-line and saw that the ferry was sold out! Brian and I had thought that we planned out this trip to a tee, made all of our reservations ahead of time so that everything would go smoothly. This moved us to plan B. We had to buy plane tickets to fly to the mainland.
After our 15 minute flight we arrived in Puerto Rico. We stayed in Fajardo on the northeast coast for our first couple of days. We picked Fajardo for a couple of reasons, for one we thought that the malecon (waterfront) would be a hopping place for New Years Eve and the location is a good jumping off point to visit the nearby waterfalls.
Turns out this was not where the party was. We had fireworks at midnight, but all of the nearby restaurants were closed and nothing was going on at the malecon. Once again we had to make our own party…don’t worry or feel bad for us though, we were becoming pros at that!
The next day we visited the El Yunque Rain Forest. It is such a amazing and magical place! As we drove around the mountains like a race car hugging the hair pin turns my fingers turned white as I gripped the door handle to keep my balance. We stopped at the Coco and Juan Diego Falls. It was raining. Imagine that raining in a rain forest! The paths were slippery but we were determined to enjoy the waterfalls views. As we were leaving we came across a dog that had appeared to had been left behind. Strangely, the last time that we were here there was a cat in this very same place wondering from car to car in the same way. I was heart broken but there was something strange about this. There were lots of people around but no one was paying attention to the dog not even the park rangers. This is where it gets weird. Drew was on-line researching El Yunque. Seems that many believe that the fabled shape shifting chupacabra, lives in Puerto Rico’s El Yunque National Forest! Could this wondering dog be the mythical chupacabra, we were not about to find out. We diverted our eyes and skedaddled out of there lucky to be alive to tell the story!
Next was an adventure that was new for all of us. We booked a cabin at Hacienda El Jibarito in San Sebastián. San Sebastián is on the northwest side of Puerto Rico where the geography is completely different than we had seen before on the island. From here we were able to drive to Rincon beach famous for surfing when the waves are big and also visit Gozalandia waterfalls that were busy but amazing!
night for us in San Sebastián and then it was off to Old San Juan
for us. Along
the drive there
stopped at Tunel de Guajataca. A
former train tunnel for sugarcane transport.
also made a stop at Playa Puerto Hermina. Supposedly, this is where
the remains of the pirate Roberto Cofresi’s hideout is. He was a
pirate that was from Puerto Rico.
You can read more about the
pirate Roberto Cofresi here:
Finally, after site seeing along the way we arrived in Old San Juan. If we hadn’t said it before, we love Old San Juan…wait, who am I kidding of course we have said that before!
had fun exploring all that we could of old town. We
the big fort, Castillo
San Felipe del Morro, or El Morro for short. We
walked up and down so many streets in awe of the amazing architecture
blue cobble stone roads. Rachel
had fun petting as many cats as she could. Sadly so many strays. I
favorite beach to find chaney and sea glass on and Rachel and Drew
went home with some treasures.
had a blast, but our
time had come to say good bye before
we knew it. What
amazing adventures that we all shared while Rachel and Drew were
that you have enjoyed them too! We
had such a great time and it was awesome to look through all of these
pictures and share our fun with you.
(Also known as the Spanish
Mention the Virgin Islands, and most people think of the U.S. Virgin or British Virgin Islands. Yet, just 17 miles east of the Puerto Rican mainland, 12 miles west of St. Thomas, lays the Spanish Virgin Islands. The Spanish Virgin Islands have always been a well-kept secret, even back in the days of Bluebeard and other famous pirates who used the islands for hide-outs.
fact that the Marines and U.S. Navy used the islands for bombing
practice until 1975 (Culebra) and 2003 (Vieques) also kept land
developers, commercialism, and an abundance of sailing charters away.
also happen to be our favorite islands.
naturally we wanted to share their
beauty with Rachel and Drew.
stop sailing west from St. Thomas brings us to
Culebra, little snake). Culebrita is a small island about a mile
long and uninhabited. We were lucky to get one of the four mooring
balls in Tortuga Beach known for all of the turtles that live there.
First Brian, Rachel and Drew hiked up to the lighthouse. It was built
by the Spanish Crown in 1882 – 1886. It’s in a crumbling state
and has been for sometime. I have heard that they are plans for
restoring it at some point. It has a colorful history and you can
read more about it here:
day we hiked over to the tide pools which because of the northerly
swells did not disappoint. Climbing through and over the large
weathered brown landscape always feels like we are walking on the
moon. Finally arriving at the pools we jumped in and waited for the
waves to come crashing in, turning it into a natural jacuzzi. What a
amazing way to spend Christmas Day!
for us was to sail just a bit more west to the big island of Culebra,
When we say “big island” you can take that however you want. The island is about 7 miles by 4 miles. It has rolling hills, amazing beaches and incredible snorkeling. The main town is called Dewey and it’s where most of the residents of the island live. We anchored Moon in the town’s main and very protected harbor Ensenada Honda and set off to explore. Brian and I have seen most of the island and Rachel has spent some time here too, but for Drew it was all new experiences ahead. We rented a golf cart and don’t tell, but we took it to all of the places that we were not supposed to. There were times that we wondered if we would make it back up the steep hills that we went down, but we did! It was also Drew’s Birthday so that caused for a celebration! We had a fabulous dinner at the Dinghy dock and wondered around town in search of some fun. Culebra being what it is, a bit sleepy we did not find a party but instead created our own.
course no visit to Culebra would be complete without a visit to the
world famous Flamenco Beach. Flamenco beach is a 1½ mile long
crescent white sand beach on the north side that is absolutely
breathtaking. Trees dot the shore line so there is always some place
that you can lay a towel, hang out in the shade and enjoy the
When the military was here Flamenco Beach was used for training exercises in 1939 as a lead up to the American actions in the Second World War. The Navy’s testing and exercises on the island did not sit well with the small population of residents, and in the early 1970s, protests began to try and get the military to leave the island. It only took about four years of outcry, but the Navy finally got the hint and evacuated the island, ceasing all testing. However, when the Navy bolted, they left behind a number of their tanks and other pieces of gear. While much of it was cleaned up, the huge tanks could not be moved and were simply left to rot. While the salty sea winds worked on the metal, causing it to rust and crumble, the locals got to work on decorating them, covering the abandoned hulks in layers of ever changing graffiti.
the tanks remain and have become a unique feature of the otherwise
pristine beach. New pieces of graffiti are continually added atop the
old, giving the old war machines an almost cheerful new life. Of
course this makes for a great photo op!
We had a blast visiting Culebra and Culebrita but there was still more for us to explore…I know can you believe it, more to share! That’s it for now until I go though even more photos. Take care all.