Z E N I T U D E
Blue Water Dreaming
Puerto Rico - A Caribbean Island with the convenience of a US Territory
Salinas - A sleepy town comes alive with the horse parade - 10 to 17 January 2007
We arrive in Salinas in the early hours of the morning to find a nice quiet and sleepy anchorage. We are in the process of finishing to set our anchor when a guy comes along in a dinghy. Rather than a welcome message this guy says we just anchored in the spot he had chosen because he is about to move his boat, so please could we move out to another spot. We looked around as there were lots of spots to anchor and thought, you have to be kidding, but no, he was deadly serious. Keeping our policy of good neighbors at anchor we lift anchor and off we go to anchor somewhere else.
After some rest we go to town. This is not a port of entry so we have to go to Ponce for customs and inmigration. Salinas is a fishing port and a good base to rent a car and visit Puerto Rico.
In a rented car we drive to Fajardo and San Juan, and take advantage of US supermarkets for provisioning before continuing our way east.
Around town everybody is talking about the horse festival. It's an annual event that takes place every January. And we happened to be in town for it. Between 1,000 and 2,000 horses from all over Puerto Rico come to Salinas to ride through the streets. There are horses everywhere! Everybody is cheering in the streets, there is music and food, an enjoyable event.
It is time to keep going and just before sunset on January 17th we leave Salinas with light winds. When we left the winds were around 10 knots from the east but as soon as the sun started warming the air they increased. By 11.00 AM they were reaching 20 knots on the nose, at this point we decided to enter Las Palmas, in the SE corner of Puerto Rico and hide there until nightfall.
The horse festival in Salinas
Las Palmas - Hiding from strong trades - 17 to 18 January 2007 - (17.57.5N-67.17.5W)
We anchored the best we could in this small place. Most of the space was taken by a new development, we hear they are building a new condo with a marina and most of the previous anchorage space is gone. It seems that there is space for 2 or 3 boats at the moment and we happen to be the third one here. Soon after a trawler comes and somehow manages to anchor as well. We are all trying to hide from the strong easterlies. At 2.00 AM all seems quiet again, we raise anchor and get out to sea to continue our way towards Saint Martin.