Ocean Gem
Geoff & Eileen Mander
Tue 1 Apr 2014 13:36

Position: 18:01.343N 67:10.614W

Date: Tuesday 1st April 2014


On Sunday morning we made a relatively early start to try to get past Cabo Rojo, the southwestern cape on Puerto Rico, before the winds and seas had built too much.  We had a good sail with fresh winds behind us all morning.  At one stage I went forward to pole out the foresail with the spinaker pole.  As I started to manouvre it into position the upper fitting (where the pole is connected to the mast) came away and I was left trying to balance a long, heavy, near vertical and unattached pole on a rolling foredeck.  I felt as if I was an entrant in a ‘tossing the caber’ event.  After a few wobbly moments I managed to lower the pole and secure it to the guardrails, so that I could fix the errant fitting after we had settled down in an anchorage.


Rounding Cabo Rojo:






After rounding the cape we turned northwards and had a splendid sail with 25 knots of wind on our beam, and flat seas in the lee of the headland.  Our destination, Boqueron, came abeam far too quickly and we turned in to the bay to anchor in the northeast corner just outside the small town. 


In the afternoon we took the dinghy ashore to look around.  The little town was absolutely heaving.  It was packed with people all of whom were in party mood.  Stalls selling various foodstuffs lined the streets, all of the bars and restaurants were doing massive business, loud music was all pervasive and everywhere was thronged with groups of people walking, dancing, drinking, laughing and generally having a splendid time and, of course, the sun was shining.  I thought that there must be some sort of festival underway so I asked someone what the special ocassion was.  He told me that it was just a normal weekend.


Monday morning was quite different as it seemed the town was nursing a giant hangover.  Everything was closed, and the streets were deserted.


Our main business in Boqueron was to prepare for our next journey, which would be a two or three day crossing to the Turks & Caicos Islands. This involved getting a taxi to the nearest supermarket to stock up on fresh food, going to the port of Mayaguez (about 30 minutes ride away) to complete the customs exit formalities, and meeting our new crewmember, Jim Sheehan, who was due to fly in from the US on Wednesday afternoon, to help us complete the trip.