Auto Ads by Adsense

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

2022 Spanish Virgin Islands: Puerto Del Rey Marina to Punta Tamarindo

 After a bad night of sleeping, we woke up and ate the rest of the food we'd bought, packed up, and headed down to the lobby to checkout. After hearing me complain about the fire alarms and the loud parties, the resort took $100 off our checkout fee. It turned out that Niniane didn't have room in her car anyway, so Arturo and Mark converged into our lobby. When Niniane turned up with her car, Arturo realized that with some judicious rearrangement of luggage he could fit in it, so the ride was just us and Mark.

It rained pretty hard on the way to the marina, but once we got there the weather was nice. The marina was huge and heavily trafficked, and to get us from the parking lot to the boat the charter company supplied a trolley! The trolley was big enough to take all of us, plus it also had a trailer large enough for all of our luggage AND provisions.

The Yamuy was a Lagoon 420 Catamaran with 4 cabins, 2 v-berths, very little lazarette space, an AC, and a water maker but a tiny 73 gallon water tank. We selected cabins and tested everyone for COVID19, and was relieved when everyone was negative. We loaded all the provisions and luggage into the boat and unpacked, and then the boat briefing started.

The boat briefing was surprising --- this was the first boat where we weren't told to check the engines and generator oil every morning. That meant the boat had a relatively new set of diesel engines and generators or the charter company was full of confidence that their regular maintenance intervals would catch all problems. We were told that the water maker was finicky, and told that under no circumstances were we to tow the dinghy behind the catamaran. We were told never to let the B&G marine GPS update, and told to be patient for it to go through its reboots when starting up. People complain a lot about Garmin's software, but trust me, B&G is much much worse!

The chart briefing was similarly cursory. We were told that all the places that were crossed off on the chart were disallowed, and told that the best snorkeling was on Culebra on the West side of the island. We asked about our first night and they said we could sail to Isla Palominos, which was close but would be full of boats and people partying, or we could just motor all the way to Culebra, which was 2 hours away, and get the painful beating into the wind/waves over with right away. Since we weren't interested in parties, the latter was an obvious decision.

The boat looked like it was going to be in good shape, though we would learn later that sail deployment and furling would be a pain in the neck. The water tank was topped off, and then we were taken to the fuel dock to top up the fuel tank, which should have been topped off by the previous person who chartered the boat, but wasn't. After puzzling over it, the charter company crew finally realized that the last person who took the boat out was the owner!

With that, we were off! We beat directly into the wind with the engines going at full cruising speed. I was prepared for a rough crossing, and thanks to my ancestors who'd sailed all the way from China to Malaysia I never ever got sea sick, but to my surprise nearly everyone else did. Mark had taken his drugs and so was OK, and Bowen was fine as well, but Boen threw up, which is really unusual. Others looked kinda green, so it was with relief when we pulled onto the mooring ball at Punta Grand Tamarindo.
We got into the water, which wasn't crystal clear because recent storms had churned it up. I would have been dismayed if I'd known that this was as good as it got! The flip side of the Spanish Virgin Islands being relatively untouristed is that nobody shared a Bay with us for the first few nights.
It rained while we were in the water, but as one of my diving instructors once said to me, "it's not wet underwater!" Once you're already in the water, the rain doesn't do anything, and I got a few nice pictures of the boat in the rain.

Dinner was kept simple as everyone was exhausted --- hamburgers! The water on the boat was nice and warm from running the engines for so long, so everyone had a good shower.

No comments: