Salinas (Puerto Rico)
We didn’t visit the bioluminescent bay in the end as conditions weren’t good for the long, wet, dark ride along the coast in our dinghy. We decided to move on early the next day (Thursday) instead and hopefully have enough time to get to know a little of mainland Puerto Rico.
We are now in Salinas bobbing around in strong winds (F6) in a large lagoon surrounded by low lying mangrove swamps. As we approached the anchorage after a fast 53 mile run from Vieques, we sailed into a thunderstorm and then anchored in pouring rain which was a bit of a novelty. We also spotted the large hump of a manatee disappearing into the shallow waters and have been hoping to see another since, to no avail. This is the shallowest anchorage we have been in at barely 3 metres and the entrance to the lagoon showed even less depth - a heart stopping 2.4m (our draft is 2.1)! Still we have been told we have to get used to these scary figures once we are in the Bahamas where it’s all like that.
The lagoon by dusk:
This is a somewhat scruffy and off the beaten track type of place but feels delightfully different from the smaller Caribbean islands and definitely Latin American in character. It is popular with yachties because the anchorage is safe enough to leave a boat whilst hiring a car for a day or two to visit the capital of San Juan, about an hour’s drive from here. That is what we will do on Monday although David is understandably nervous about driving in the country with more vehicles per square mile than any other place on earth! The traffic jams are legendary.
Green hills beyond the crowded anchorage: