Friday, May 05, 2006

Viequez, Puerto Rico to the Virgin Islands

We then sailed to Sun Bay on the south coast of the PR island, Vieques in the Spanish Virgin Islands. On the way we caught a four foot Dolphin Fish, a brilliant bright green and blue color and delicious eating. This was another overnight sail, livened up by conversations with Diesel Duck and Dreamtime. Nearby phosphorescent Mosquito Bay was spectacular! Dreamtime (that's them below with Scott) and ourselves took our dinghies over there, had drinks and a picnic supper on the beach. Impromptu sculptures made of flotsam and jetsam are a fun happening on many beaches (see above).
After dark we took our dingies into the bay and swam. Amazing! We lit up like fluorescent bulbs as we moved through the water and when you lifted your arm, the drops of water ran off sparkling back to the sea.

At that point the gremlins arrived. Our transmission oil cooler sprung a leak so we had salt water in the transmission and the impeller on the gen set went too. Then the engine itself wouldn't pump water; it turned out it was sucking air through from the generator, but we didn't figure that out for a few days. So we were without power and were worrying about our batteries. Luckily, we found parts over the phone in Fajardo on the main island and the shop drove them to the air port where the little airline flew them in for $5. It turned out that one needed an adaptor so Scott got up a 4:30 AM to catch a local bus to the 6:30 ferry to Fajardo, got the adaptor and then rather than waiting for the 3 pm ferry flew back for $23. We at least got the engine working then and took off. On the way a whale passed in front of us, evidently on a mission because it didn't slow down or pause - we sure did - it was only 50 feet away. Our boat brakes for whales! Once in St. Thomas, USVI, with much help from Benno on Diesel Duck, the generator went back together and all is now well.

We spent two nights in St Thomas provisioning and doing laundry, and three nights seeing friends on St John. Bill and Suzanne Osborne have been living and working there since we last visited them in 1987 with our family.
They have built a spectacular home high in the hills overlooking the British Virgins (see photo just above showing their hot tub and the view). They treated us to dinner two nights and came on board for a sail one day (Bill and Scott above) - a lovely visit.

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