Sunday, March 17, 2013

Puerto Patillas

We started the day with a plan to head just to Ponce. We would lay over for a couple of days in the marina, rent a car, reprovision and tour a little bit. Then Dave called us on the radio with an alternate plan. There was a little weather heading in on Saturday night and what did we think of doing a big day today, skipping Ponce altogether, anchor for the night then head to Palmas Del Mar in the morning?
We checked it out on the charts and quickly agreed that this looked like a good idea. The marina had really good reviews and had slips for only $1 per foot. We had great weather so why not? Our plans are very flexible and we're up for just about anything. We motor sailed and watched the mountains glide by for most of the day.
The captain prepared us a wonderful lunch of California rolls, which I am now going to refer to as Blue Moose rolls. Their filling totally depends on what is in the fridge on that particular day. Rice, of course, maybe some mango, or avocado, red peppers and perhaps some ham. Accompanied by an icy cold Canada Dry ginger ale. I'm spoiled.
As usual Brian had the fishing rod rigged and ready. What will we catch today? A tuna would be awesome.
This is the Mahi Magnet (my pick)

And this is (was) Brian's favorite. Some fish is no doubt sporting it as a lip ring

And this is a trolling plate to take the lure down deep where the big guys hang out
The Mahi magnet has been very successful. it may be the pink colour or it may be the holes in it's head that make bubbles as it's towed along. The silver spoon has also worked well. That's the one we (OK Brian) caught the snapper on.
After a few lure changes we had a "FISH ON!" We had to consult our fish charts and books for a species check and still aren't totally sure. We first thought it was a Wahoo, but it isn't blue enough so it may be some type of Mackerel. It did have an impressive mouthful of teeth. To keep the blood and guts to a minimum in the cockpit Brian cleaned it on the deck. I watched rivers of gore run down the deck and out through the toerail. A few buckets of seawater and a scrub brush later and good as new.
With the fish in the freezer we continued on and watched the scenery.
A call from Banyan came in "whale just off our starboard". A few minutes later, there it was right beside us. Every few minutes blowing a spout of water up in the air. I googled it to find out what kind of whales they might be, and it looks like they are humpbacks. I think it's a good thing that I googled it after the fact because humpbacks grown to 50 feet and 50 thousand pounds. That's 9 feet longer and twice the weight of our boat. A little scary, don't you think?
A short time later another one appeared off our port side, but closer. I believe Brian said at this moment "Sally! Holy S%#*, it's coming right at us! We have to get out of the way. So....who has the right of way? A mama humpback whale and her baby or a sailboat under power? I don't believe this was covered in any of our training. Ah ha! I know. She was restricted because she had her baby with her and it couldn't swim as fast as her, so she has the right of way. I'm quite sure she heard us and thankfully altered course. It was pretty exciting though.

watch the video here 

Celilo opted to stop before us because they were running low on fuel. They would catch up to us in the morning. Banyan and Blue Moose continued on to our nice little anchorage in Puerto Patillas where we were settled by early afternoon. A wifi signal, nice shelter, a short hop tomorrow, perfect! An hour later, out on the horizon we saw a sailboat approaching. Celilo must have had a power refueling because they had caught up to us. The trio was together once more.
The three of us were anchored in a triangle a nice comfortable distance apart when another sailboat entered the bay and proceeded to head directly at us. We watched, a little curious. Yes, it looked like....are you kidding me? He was trying to anchor right smack in the middle of us. One attempt, and they pulled the anchor up with a big clump of grass. Second attempt, same thing. Brian called over and politely told them that we were leaving at first light and that he was parked right over our chain. They pulled the anchor and tried again...and again. Celilo called over and suggested that maybe behind us might be a good place. They tried that a couple of times with no success and then came back in the middle once more. This is a very big bay with lots of room for 50 boats. Why right on top of us? It must have been the disapproving looks we gave them, but they decided this wasn't a very friendly place and were soon seen heading around the corner.
Dinner.... Yes, food again! was steak...and baked potatoes...and sour cream...and carrots...and sautéed mushrooms aboard Banyan. Oh yum! We haven't had a steak since Florida. It was delicious.

1 comment:

  1. We bought one of those trolling plates and I spit all over our lure... Nothing !!!!
    And what is it with cruisers who want to get all up close and personal?? Too funny.


About Us

Brian, Sally and Cricket the cat sailing on our 41 foot Morgan Classic sailboat. In October 2011 we sold our house, quit our jobs and set out for Florida in search of a sailboat. We found her in Madeira Beach Florida. A 1987 41 foot Morgan Classic. Our plan is to sail for a couple of years. First to the Bahamas, after that...who knows.