Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dinghy Shopping in Puerto Rico

Take two frustrated cruisers; put them into a rental car with a terrible map and a GPS that doesn’t register any address put into least not the way we kept trying to input.

Keep stirring the mix with a language foreign to the frustrated boaters, including how to figure out an address....”Is this word a street or a town??”

And keep up the scenario for hours and hours in traffic and no street signs. 

Stop for directions from the warm and friendly locals.   Smile. Get back into the car.    “I don’t know what the hell he said.”   

Increase the frustration level.
Grocery shopping in our dinghy

OMG. If we didn’t need a dinghy so badly, we would have given up!

To you non-cruisers, our dinghy is our mode of transportation 90% of the time. We usually anchor out as marinas are few and far between AND cost a bunch of money AND are never as pretty as an anchorage. 

Therefore, the only way to get to shore for mundane tasks such as shopping or to sight see, is to get into the dinghy and head in. We are careful and always LOCK our dinghy with a heavy chain and padlock -- even locking it to the boat at night if we leave it in the water (rather than pull it up on top of the boat via a davit). We can’t believe we got robbed. Ugh.

Thank Goodness we are in “USA” here at the Marina Puerto del Ray in Farjado, Puerto Rico. The little Go Phone works and wifi is available. Hours spent on the computer and on the phone, trying to locate a 12” AB inflatable and a Mercury 4 stroke, 15 HP engine to replace ours, was a trial of perseverance and patience.     Half the places in the books and computer listings are no longer in business. 

There is no “For English Press 1”.

There has not been a Mercury dealer in PR for about a year and there are NO 15 HP Mercury engines on the island, period. We’re getting a Yamaha, but it is more expensive.

Luck prevailed or either the Gods in the Sky decided we’d had all we could take. We finally found a 12’ AB Inflatable Dink that had been sitting in a store for a year. We checked it out & grabbed it. No other brand of dinghy was the same length/beam and most likely would not have fit properly on our aft deck roof mountings, creating another expensive problem in moving the mountings around....drilling holes in the roof..

Island time prevails. Sitting and waiting for delivery of the dinghy was OK. The engine delivery, however, was like waiting for the Police in Viequez....15 more minutes. Hours later......

We clearly are not departing Puerto Rico tomorrow as planned as the two items are not both here nor put together nor tested in the water.

Ugh...The weather window is good for now to get to the Turks & Caicos - a 2 night overnight trip....

The frustrated boaters are mixing cocktails.....

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