You can tell we are approaching the end of the Tropics: Weather patterns are starting to change!
Back in the Lesser Antilles, winds were from 60° to 120° True, but most of the times blowing 90° True. In Puerto Rico they can blow from around the clock. Squalls can be brutal. I remember that in Brazil you have squalls that are called “Piraja” and can last from 20 to 40 minutes max, with maximum wind speed 26 knots and the wind coming from the same direction.
Between Culebra and Vieques here in the Spanish Virgins we were caught in a sudden squall of 35 knots that lasted only 5 minutes but the wind backed 40 degrees.
We damaged our Genoa sunbrella and so we had to sail to the one of the only two sail maker in Puerto Rico, in Fajardo. Puerto Rico doesn’t have a big sailing community, the vast majority of boats are power boats.
Once repaired the Genoa, we sailed to San Juan. What a spectacular town! We ended up spending 4 weeks there!
You are in the US but everybody speaks Spanish. Not the Spanish spoken in California, which is quite bland. The Spanish spoken in Puerto Rico is a very pleasant music. They enunciate very clearly, and it’s very easy to understand. People address men as “Caballeros” and women address other women as “Mi amor”. They are very polite and have a very good attitude.
The old town is one of the most spectacular in the US:
The Castillo San Felipe del Morro, also known as El Morro, is an impressive fortress build by the Italian architect Juan Bautista Antonelli.
We had a lot of fun walking around in the old town:
The beach off Condado:
We also discovered a little restaurant off the beaten path with excellent and inexpensive food. I had the best beef of my life (except that burger in cowboy country Idaho several years ago).
It’s easy to understand why we spent 4 weeks in San Juan:
1) Finally we were able to buy spare parts and other items online and get them shipped to us without having to pay hefty shipping and import taxes.
2) We felt a little bit like as if we were somewhere in Spain, but with all the convenience of being in the US (Home Cheapo for example).
3) We loved to just get in our car and drive on wide open roads, just like in California!
The only downside of being at anchor in San Juan for 4 weeks is the incredible growth on our anti-fouling! Never seen such a thing in my life! Poor Oroboro, it’s bottom looks like that of a fishing boat now!
We applied the Antifouling last October in Grenada, and it was totally fine up to St Thomas. But after 4 weeks at anchor in San Juan, this was the result. But this is a topic for a separate post.