Thursday, November 17, 2016

Staying A Little Longer - A Sort Of Unscheduled Stop

A new day.  I get to see it because we aren't in a slip!
Changing "plans" does not come naturally for me.  In my former life, I often had everything mapped out for weeks or months in advance.  I knew what I was doing and where I was going and a change in the plan was met with lots of angst...

Cruising life has changed all of that.  While my mind still continues to make plans...I'm learning to welcome changes and going with the flow much more happily...

Setting moon
The plan was to get an early start out of Boca del Infierno to take advantage of the nightly clocking and backing of winds coming off of the mountains to propel us eastward to Cayo Santiago just off the east coast of Puerto Rico.

The forecast called for light winds and kindly seas and we thought that an early start would give us seas nearly flat and we could stay close to the island to avoid most of the current that flows east to west along the south coast of Puerto Rico.

Pulling up the anchor

Goodbye to our calm anchorage

Jezabelle in position and things are looking good!

Sun just up as we approach the gap in the reef

Bruce on bow duty just in case as we approach the reef
We expected a certain amount of stacking as the waves are forced through the gap in the reef at Boca del Infierno.  In less calm conditions this route is not recommended for anyone, but this morning it was kind as we followed previous tracks out.

Dodging rain showers

Rolling seas but relatively nice...

After the initial wave she settles down somewhat.
So far so good...  wait, what???  Just as we get outside the gap, Jezabelle has that certain look on her face.  She gets up and makes a mad dash for the companionway but we aren't letting her go below today... nope.  If there's anything to clean up it's going to be up here where it will be easy.

Poor baby.  I knew that after four months in the slip she was going to have a period of re-adjustment to cruising life.

Just let it end........
She was not happy with the sea state.  It was much more rolly than we had anticipated, even close to shore, or maybe because of our proximity... in 60 ft depths, the waves come from deeper water and bounce around in a confused state that is uncomfortable to nervous felines.

It doesn't LOOK bad at all!
Humans were OK with the ride, but Jezabelle continued to look miserable... so miserable in fact that we changed our plans for her.

Instead of the all-day-journey to Cayo Santiago, we quickly re-evaluated our route and shortened it up to include a stop at Puerto Patillas.

I never tire of the mountain view along the south coast of Puerto Rico

Squalls threatened us all morning but we were lucky... not a drop!

Jezabelle hunkered down for the duration - glad when we finally got some relief from the roll...

Puerto Patillas in sight - hold on Jezabelle, we're almost there!

Instead of motoring all day (or maybe getting in a bit of sailing as we turned northeast further along the coast) we settled for a short hop of just over two hours.  By 10 am we were motoring into shallow waters looking for a place to drop anchor.

With a tide range of barely one foot, we felt confident dropping anchor in depths between 7 and 8 feet.  There shouldn't be much fetch this close to shore and the protective reef.

We dropped anchor and looked around us.  Well, this wasn't how we though our day would go, but maybe this time we will go ashore and check out this sleepy little town!


The wind picked up but we swung comfortably on the hook.  The breeze was cool as we opened up the boat and did some light housekeeping.

After a short nap we went to work troubleshooting the signs of low voltage... remember that warning light on our fridge at the last stop?

Well, some of the 12v outlets we have display voltage... and they aren't displaying 12 volts.

Bruce went to work checking power to the many devices we have hooked up to our battery system... he also took a look at the manual for the Seafrost and found some hints at where to look for the problem.

I was pulled into this because I have more nimble fingers than Bruce and as sweat dripped from my face, I helped him search for corrosion that could possibly cause our problems...  until I let the wire touch something that caused the fuse to blow... And we realized we don't have another spare 20 amp fuse in our giant bag of fuses...  How does this happen???

At that point it was almost cocktail hour so we decided to quit and resume working on this tomorrow... Maybe we can go ashore and find a fuse... or maybe we can find another cruiser who is more knowledgeable in 12 volt systems to help troubleshoot our problem.

Before cocktail hour and sunset pics... FEED ME!!!

The wind came down and our anchorage became calm

The sound of tree frogs lulls us to a pleasant sleep.
And because I have adjusted in a healthy manner to changing plans... and because we love our feline baby... we will just stay over another day or two here in Puerto Patillas.


  1. Awww...what great fur baby parents you two are changing your plans for Jezebelle :-)

    1. We just had to stop...she was so miserable. Now it's turned out to be a lucky thing!

  2. I remember doing here locally.With Bowti. It got so bad that even I was starting to feel it. Never forgot the look I got from her as stepped on the dock. Use to be that I say Boat or Dock and she ran to the truck.... took a lot time for her to get comfortable sailing with me after that.

    1. Jezabelle was an old salt before we stopped for four months. She really seemed comfortable out there, we hope it won't take her too long to get her sea legs once again.