We arrived in Culebra, an out island off the west coast of Puerto Rico, you can access it by ferry from the mainland, or a small airport, or by boat. Very cool small island. It is about 5:00pm when we arrive and the rule is always to check into customs immediately before doing anything else on the island. A rule specific to Puerto Rico is that you MUST call before showing up to customs. However it is 5:00pm and customs is now closed, AND we don’t have a phone on us to call anyone.
First thing in the morning we are walking to the airport to see customs. As soon as we walk in the door and explain why we are here, he starts to give Matt a hard time:
“Yes, I am sorry sir but we don’t have a phone”
“It always amazes me how Americans don’t have phones. What time did you get in?”
“It was late, sir I am not sure the time”
“You are the Captain of the vessel and you don’t know the time?!?!?! You are responsible for that.”
And so it went until he gave us the paperwork and everything we needed to be sent on our way. Just as we were packing up another couple walked in and we experienced deja vu. “Did you call to make an appt.” “No sir we don’t have any phones”
With that done we are moving on to the next adventure for the day, it involves trying to rent a $20.00 golf cart. In our quest it seems like the only problem is that the price is actually $50.00 a day. We research online and it clearly says we can rent it for $20.00, so we make an online reservation and try to pick it up. However, when we go back to pick up the golf cart we learn that there is a required insurance you must have to drive a golf cart specifically in Culebra. That is why the price will always come to $50.00. HMMMMMM we ponder this and don’t rent the golf cart. We have principles you know!
The next morning our principles be damned, and we get the golf cart to do some exploring around the island. At this point the lady must hate us because she gave us the shittiest golf cart they own. As we head off in search of surf the guys on bicycles speed by and I wonder if we ran we might be faster. We eventually get to the surf spot but do not see any surf. Asa gives it his best try while Matt does some body surfing instead. I am doing some squats and people watching while Alisa works on sketches in her notebook. This is how our day goes, cruise around on the golf cart, stopping and hiking, or stopping for lunch on the side of the road at someones house, and lounging on the beach.
That evening a lady came paddling over to our boat asking for some help with her engine. Matt asked her a bunch of questions and gave her the best advice he could. She took off to test out his new theory and came back shortly to say it didn’t help. Matt told her he would come by and take a look himself. I asked Matt to drop me off at the bar while he headed out. Lucky for me Alisa and Asa were making dinner so I could sneak off to have some alone time. I spent happy hour sipping my strong gin and tonic talking with any girlfriends of mine back home that had the time for me. Matt came to get me and wanted to relax and have a beer but I decided I better not have another since I already feel giddy from the first. He told me what happened with the engine lady and the advice/instructions he gave her. We headed back to the boat where the most amazing sushi had been prepared with the tuna we caught while under sail.
The next morning we are out spear fishing, trying to catch some food. We came up empty handed and decided we should try another spot. So bright and early the next day we were at it again. This time I saw an angel shark, nurse shark, and all kinds of fish, it was great! Matt ended up shooting a Strawberry Grouper and Hogfish while Asa shot the dangerous lionfish. When we got back to the boat, Alisa and I worked on our fish print skills, not only is she learning a new art form but she also has learned how to filet the fish and worked on that skill as well. Another excellent meal!!
After exploring the whole island by golf cart, trying to surf, catching some fish, and testing a variety of drinks at all the bars, we decide it is time to head off to another island. We do one final grocery run and are getting into the dinghy when the engine lady shows up and is so excited and full of praise. Matt’s advice had worked and she was able to get it running properly again. He was her hero!!!
We had an interesting sail to Culebrita as the weather could not decide if it wanted to rain or shine. We made a loop around the island to see which place would have the most protection and best anchorage before we found an ideal mooring ball and took a hold of that. The next morning we hiked up to the lighthouse and down to the beach. Asa and Alisa went to play in the tide pools while Matt and I went hunting for fish. We came back with a giant lobster!! So far we have been happy with the selection of fish our crew is eating on board: Tuna, Grouper, Hogfish, and Lobster. Asa and Alisa have decided to sail with us to Dominican Republic before they continue on their journey to Cuba. At this point it is time for us to make our way along the south coast of Puerto Rico to get to the Eastern end so we can relax before our voyage across the Mona Passage to the DR.