We have been keeping so busy working on projects, running errands, and seeing all the wonderful sights in Puerto Rico that I am way behind in writing blogs. Last I left us, we had conquered the Mona Passage and arrived safely in Boqueron. If we had the energy, we probably could have left Boqueron the next morning (which would only have been a few hours later since we arrived around 3AM). However, we needed sleep! We slept in and then relaxed through the morning. Then we got busy cleaning up the boat, checking the engines, etc. etc. By that afternoon, the winds had really picked up and we weren’t going to continue east. We did decide to move the boat closer to shore, so we wouldn’t have as long of a dinghy ride to hit up the local restaurants… but that was a mistake.
We dropped the anchor, let out chain, attached the bridle, let out more chain, then set the anchor. At least we tried to set the anchor. We were dragging. So we took in the chain, removed the bridle, took in more chain, and raised the anchor. We moved to another spot and dropped the anchor, chain, bridle, more chain, and tried to set the anchor. No luck! Still dragging. We repeated the raising process and dropping process two more times, before we gave up and went back out to the other side of Mile High Dream again, but still not quite as far out as we were originally. This time we got the anchor to stick. We’re not sure what the difference was in the sea floor, if any, but at least we got anchored again. Time to get wet in the dinghy and check out the local scene.
We tied up to the dinghy dock not quite as soaked as I expected us to be, but certainly not dry. That’s okay, the day was warm enough to dry us out as we walked. We had no idea which way to go, only a recommendation from the guys on Mile High Dream to go to Pelican’s where they had a great experience and better food. So we chose a direction and started walking, keeping an eye out for Pelican’s. We were soon deeply into a residential area and made a couple turns to head back towards the shoreline. I’m glad we took this route because we found a natural park type of area that was right up my alley.
It was a nature walk that led through a mangrove nursery. There were sprouts everywhere and some mature mangrove trees around protecting them. The area was a stark contrast to the very populated neighborhood and business district around it. Spring is definitely in the air. We noticed it first in the Dominican Republic when the birds were becoming quite twitterpated. This time, besides for birds, we noticed the small crabs (pictured at the top of the page) in the swamp using their large claws in a shoving match, fighting for… territory? domination? a female crab? However it works, there was definitely a lot of drama going on!
The Latino culture is in love with color. Colors of all shades, but especially bright colors. I really enjoy seeing the colorful buildings. They seem so bright and cheerful. At home, we appear to be afraid of colors, choosing earth tones and subdued hues. Back following along the shoreline, the bars and restaurants varied from street carts with an umbrella to small wooden or corrugated metal shacks to large colorful or polished wood buildings. And everywhere we looked we saw cats. Cats on cars. Cats in the streets. Cats on top of awnings. We learned much later (in Old San Juan) that Puerto Rico had a severe rat problem. Cats were brought in to kill the rats, which worked quite well. But now they are left with a cat problem. There are associations trying to educate people on getting cats spayed or neutered and visitors are asked to adopt a bilingual kitty to bring home. I saw so many adorable cats I’d love to adopt, but I don’t think Gizmo would take too kindly to it. He’s already grumpy enough living in a house that never holds still!
We continued walking, noticing the specialties such as oyster shooters, pina coladas, empanadillas, and some even more colorful such as the one pictured above. How can you not try that? Well, we didn’t. They were not open. In fact, a great many of the places were not open during the day, even in the late afternoon. The party doesn’t seem to get started until 8:00 or 9:00 at night. By then, we cruisers are in bed. We live by the sun now.
After walking the entire length of the shoreline, on the very last street we found Pelican’s. A beautiful young lady greeted us immediately and seated us. As she took our order for drinks, we learned that it is a family run business that was previously located about 20 minutes away in some town that sounded lovely when she said the name (but said it so quickly I couldn’t catch it). Her dad was cooking, her brother worked there somewhere, and two of her sisters helped her run the dining room. We learned even more as she served the drinks and took our order for dinner. What we didn’t learn was what corn sticks were. She was stumped. She had no idea how to describe them. So she said she would have the cook fix a couple for us to try. I told her I would describe them for her so she would know for the next person. This made her happy. The corn sticks came. They were about the length of my pinky but the width of my thumb. They tasted similar to the corn batter on the outside of a corn dog, just lighter in texture. And that was how I described them to her: deep-fried corn batter similar to the outside of a corn dog. “Yes! Exactly!” she said. “I will never forget you! Thank you so much for telling me.” Haha! We think something was overstated in the translation and perhaps she meant she will never forget how to describe corn sticks. But I like to think that if I ever walked in again, she would remember the corn sticks lady.