Tuesday, December 8, 2015

More Vieques on to Culebra

08 December 2015

Puerto Rico continued….

The Ponce Fishing and Yacht Club hosted a sailboat regatta the weekend before Thanksgiving.  Our fellow crew member, Bill is an avid racing sailor and inquired about entering the races.  The yacht club scrambled and came up with a Sunfish, put together with borrowed pieces from various boats in the club—showing once again the generosity and friendliness of Ponce.  Bill’s borrowed sail was not a racing sail, and was red and white striped.  Almost all of the other sails were mostly white, so we were able to see how Bill was doing from Callisto, about a mile away from the race course.  Close to us were the youngest sailors, on Optimist Prams.  They were very competitive, yelling out the rights of way and taking their penalty turns without complaint.  What was very impressive to me were the adults on the race committee, I am sure they were hoarse for days afterwards..they encouraged each sailor throughout every race.  I was also pleased that there were both boys and girls in the class.

If any of you are familiar with Sunfish, you may think they are a “kid’s boat”.  They are well suited for young, agile sailors, but people well into their 60’s and 70’s can compete at the world level.  Bill did fairly well, learning a lot in two afternoons from his fellow racers. Sunfish photo

Now for the food…Ponce has built a public park along the waterfront near the working harbor.  There are 18!  little food kiosks along the boardwalk.  One of them, Tango, is known to the cruisers as the place for internet and very cold local beer.  We discovered Raul’s, where Raul and his wife (both well into their 70’s) cook and serve…A lot of the kiosks just have microwaves heating up things put together elsewhere and frozen.  Raul’s the real deal, his own hot sauce, and very generous portions.  I had a shellfish mofongo (mashed fried plaintain with spices) mixed with conch, king crab, lobster and shrimp…so much I had enough for two more meals back on the boat.  The guys had carne asada and for an appetizer we had a Puerto Rican version of nachos.  I had no idea so much garlic was part of PR cuisine.  The space in the grocery store for garlic, both fresh and in jars is about the same as that devoted to potatoes.

After six days in Ponce we moved east a short distance to Patias, Esperanza and then to Ensenada Honda, still on Vieques.  Both Patias and Esperanza were very “rolly”, meaning large swells curling around the protective reefs in the bays rocked the boat, just enough to say let’s not stay here more than two nights.  Esperanza is noted for its gorgeous beach and the bioluminescence in the small bays nearby.  http://vieques.com/

Next time..Ensenada Honda Viequez and then Ensenada Honda Culebra

Gretchen, s/v Callisto, Ensenada Honda Culebra