Nigel North
Thu 23 Apr 2015 21:59

POSITION  N18:01.25  W067:10.59 




WILD BLUE had long gone when I awoke next day to still air and flat seas.  But I was in no hurry to get to BOCHERON, and being on the West coast of Puerto Rico meant we should be able to sail south in the prevailing east wind no problem.  So set off at the respectable hour of 0930 – a luxury – with a smile on my face. 

Didn’t last long.  Rested I was, but had clearly morphed into Captain Cock-Up overnight.  First thing, the bilges were once again full of water.  Why?  Then took the skin off a thumb checking the oil.  Not satisfied with that, I raised anchor and set off with the dinghy still chained by the stern to Pinball.  Then very nearly turned far too early onto course, which would have taken Pinball across a reef.  But I did check, in time.

Switch on Skipper! 

In fact the wind was the opposite of prevailing, ie Westerly!  This must have been a local effect as the gradient wind certainly was Easterly, as I would find out 25nm later as Pinball turned the corner at PUNTA GUANIQUILLA headland to head east into the bay leading to BOQUERON. An ear-flattening 33knots dead on the nose took 2 knots off the speed, but soon arrived in the relaxing and popular beach area and dropped the hook… next to WILD BLUE again!   A most pleasant day, apart from manually pumping out the bilges.  Still couldn’t figure out why.  The stern seal wasn’t leaking, the heads cocks were all shut, the hawser hole was blocked with cloth.  Don’t get it. 

Next day rowed over to WILD BLUE in my guise of being a thorough pest, to invite them ashore for a 'proper breakfast'.  They didn’t really look the type to do that, but worth a try, and I was interested in their unusual steel double ender too, sensing a story. 

No thanks was the answer, but Darryl talked about what they’d been up to, whilst I bobbed up and down on his rail.  WILD BLUE he built himself in steel, and they have been sailing all over the place for the last TWENTY YEARS.  I said they must have been teenagers when they started, but I guess they were in their forties now. 

‘So, how far have you sailed then?’

‘Hmm..don’t know really.’  He had a think. ‘Maybe 60,000.’ 

Breakfast in the small hotel was a mistake.  Full of hungry families, I had a fair wait, only to receive a very modest sized meal…and NO SAUSAGES!  I complained, but they had run out.  But better than nothing eh?  Oh yes.  Afterwards I walked the mile or so of beach and back, and having ‘done’ the small township, reckoned I’d seen BOQUERON.   On the way back I pestered WILD BLUE for a pic of the two of them as they were staying around for a couple of weeks, resting up after the pretty arduous trip down through the Bahamas.   For me, two and a half days here was enough. 

‘See you down route maybe’ – the standard cry of Cruisers.