Saturday, January 14, 2017

Headed to Culebra, Take 2

(I have no idea why the font size is randomly changing.  I can't fix it.  I'm posting it before I delete the whole dang thing on accident.)

What's that big, white, flappy thing...(yes, that's Culebra off in the distance!)

We see another weather window so we make attempt number two for Culebra.  It turns out to be a nice sail with much smoother water.  Sails can be seen in every direction and texts are flying!  "Where are you now?!"

Three weeks after we landed in Puerto Rico and after a week at a remote anchorage, we finally arrive in Ensanada Honda, Culebra!  (Which means snake in Spanish because of the shape of the island, I hope).  We motorsailed 1/3 of the way then motored the rest. We had a much better ride than our last attempt and got an EXCELLENT spot in 12 ft of water behind S/V Sail Pending.  S/V Dos Libras will be here tomorrow!  The anchorage is not as crowded as last time.  Life is good.  Zacos Tacos & a bushwhacker are in my future.

Mamacitas Restaurant off the canal

We quickly hop in the dinghy to find some dinner. We were only here two days last time, but there is no shortage of restaurants. Lacking motivation, we try a restaurant we haven't been to yet because it's closest. We chose something off the chalkboard and chat with our waitress, Maggie who just moved to the island a week ago. "What in the heck made you move here? We only know it existed because we're on a sailboat?!"

Ahhhhh, the sound of roosters at 5:00 am...while sleeping on our boat in the Caribbean still makes me laugh! They're a special breed here one the island that start well before sunrise and continue throughout the day. Drunk, inbred, roosters.

The theme of this stop is new friends and old friends.  I'm amazed how quickly we run into old friends and make new friends.  Apparently, the time of year and our location means we can sit still while FaceBook friends and friends of friends pass through.

S/V Dos Libras is my muse every morning, because every #sunrise picture is better with a #sailboat in it!  #nofilter

We stop by Sail Pending, to meet a Women Who Sail FaceBook friend in person.  We tell them about plans for a dinghy drift.  They invite some more friends.  

What's a dinghy drift?  We had no idea.  Tammy on Dos Libras arrives and comes up with the idea.  Apparently, everyone dinghies out into the middle of the bay, ties together & chats until the group drifts towards shore (or in our case, the mangroves).  Then someone starts an outboard and pushes the group back out into the middle.  We'd never heard of it, but quickly helped spread the word.  At the last minute, everyone decides to bring snacks.  Huh?

Tammy of Dos Libras who came up with the idea for a dinghy drift

A rare photo of the crew of Odin courtesy of Dos Libras

There's even a video!

White caps in the anchorage...sounds like a song lyric.

A rain shower breaks up the party and that will be the last smooth day in the anchorage.  No more dinghy drifts.  We'd planned on hanging out here for a month, because we've got nothing better to do, but then the Christmas winds arrive.  What are the Christmas winds?  Good question.  In December and January, from the Bahamas on down, high-pressure to the northeast can cause the easterly trade winds to become stronger for a period of several days to two weeks.  This results in sustained 20-30 kts winds which can create some big waves on open water in the process.

We aren't going anywhere!  Our little piece of heaven is actually considered a hurricane hole (although I have yet to find an official definition of what that entails) so it's not a bad place to hang out.  However, 20 kts of wind will make any large enough body of water choppy.  Many of our neighbors are lamenting about being stuck inside.  However, I coaxed El Capitan into the dinghy for a wet ride into town for lunch (apparently, I owed him a cheeseburger so it wasn't hard).

Despite our confidence in our Mantus anchor (and the fact we've been here for a week, which means our anchor should be BURIED) this casual conversation took place:
  • Me:  At least we'll run aground before we drag into the mega-sportfish...
  • Him:  Yeah, that's good.
  • Yeah, we're not right in the head.
And then we went to bed.  This is the least fun part of cruising.  A rolly anchorage.  I'm not whining, just painting a picture:  I'm awoken by the wind howling through our 2 overhead hatches.  Do you close them to  get rid of the whistling and be hot? Or leave them open?  I closed one.  The waves are splashing against the side of the boat.  In our case, they also come between the hulls & if big enough, splash up against our bridge deck--under our bed.  Not constantly--just every few minutes, right as you are falling asleep.  AND THEN, every once in awhile, the boat lurches against it's chain and anchor which is basically like a cup of cold water in my face.  I get up.  I step out into the cockpit to confirm the winds have picked up from 20 to 25 (because that will help me sleep...) and a cursory glance towards the dinghy reveals it is a little farther from the mother ship than usual.  I turn on the flashlight.  The painter is missing and it's hanging by it's security line.   Now I'm wide awake.  EL CAPITAAAAAAAN!  (Because if I'm up, he should be up...).  We dig the painter out of the water & resecure.  He goes back to bed.  Amelia the Cat is awake, so I decide to hang out in the salon with my nocturnal baby--who promptly curls up & goes to sleep.  GRRRRRR.  That was rude!

My favorite Chris Parker-ism (marine meteorologist):  
"Least bad E-bound option".  
Lol. Sign me up!

The Captain does various projects around the boat & sometimes I don't even notice:
"Where did you go?"
"I was working on the {insert boat widget}."
"I didn't know it was broken."
"It's not. I fixed it."

And then there are no pictures to share!

Apparently, at some point, one of the supports for our trampoline broke off & it was repaired with safety wire. (I do not remember this at all!).

So yesterday, El Capitan repaired it with a bent bolt. Hmmmm, you can hardly tell! (Zoom in & you can see bolt threads!)

Companionway:  definition, front door

Taping off then sealant to fix a leak

Project #2:  Several rain showers roll through, reminding me that we had a minor leak at the companionway hatch, when it rained A LOT!  So out he goes with masking tape, a knife, acetone and some sealant.  Another chore done.  Nap time.

Stats:  Total time 3:40, avg speed 5.3 kts (0.5 kt into current), total mileage 17.0 nm.  1/3 motorsail, 2/3 2 engine-motor.