Our unplanned stop in Puerto Rico this week had a couple of bright spots and provided yet another reminder that the world is indeed small.
|Parrots in the Marina|
Who should pull into the slip beside us here in the Puerto del Ray Marina in Farjardo but Second Hand Rose with Lou and Lydia aboard. Lou was the boater who heard our plea for help via the VHF the night the dink was stolen in Vieques and came to our rescue that night and provided our transportation to/from the Police yet again the next day! We’ve enjoyed their company here in the Marina and the great conversations that ensue when one makes a new friend!
|Sam & Olga aboard Finally Fun last year|
This unplanned stop gave me the opportunity to call Olga, my friend from Novartis with the news, “We are here! We are in San Juan in a rental car!” Ah, a great reunion at their home, with Sam cooking dinner for us. Over wine, we caught up on the past year, chatted with their girls and about the upcoming wedding plans for May.
|Sam, Master Chef!!|
|John & Kathy at one of the parties in Grenada|
The unplanned stop also gave us a chance to catch up with John & Kathy, aboard Oceania, friends from our days at Port Louis Marina in Grenada. Sharing their rental car, we headed off to dinner at a special restaurant Kathy had heard about. Same frustrations we’ve always experienced in Puerto Rico..... GPS and printed Map in Hand translated into hours spent driving in circles trying to find the place. This time, however, after going thru the same traffic light once East, once West, once North and once South, all to no avail, we found two Policemen on motorcycles. Asking directions, with yet another tourist pulling over to ask his How To Get To... question, the police threw up their hands. It was obvious we didn’t understand a thing they were telling us. The cops said, “Follow Us”. We had a police escort to the restaurant with the other tourist trailing behind, waiting to get to his place of confusion!!!!! Super - we laughed all the way. Wonder if anyone thought we were important!! I guess not - we never got a table any quicker..
Such a treat! We spotted a family of manatee residing in the marina. One has a baby, always tucked UNDER her body as she swims along. Once in a while, as they all do, Baby took off on his or her own. Mama swam immediately over, tucking Baby back under!!! A great sight to see, but failed to have my camera out in time!
|Manatee drinking from fresh water hose|
|So ugly, she's Beautiful|
|She drank forever it seemed!|
One more time, our little Go Phone rang. Another call (LOVE being able to have a cell phone now that we are in USA waters), this time from from Jenn & Greg with little 6 year old Quinn in hand. Our friends off Mirasol were just down the coast in the next marina! Another fun afternoon aboard Finally Fun as we caught up with each other’s news! The conversations extended into the evening at our marina restaurant before they headed back to their marina to tuck in little Quinn.
It never ceases to amaze me how many friends we’ve made along the waterways over our four years and how often after that our paths cross again and again. With the internet via emails and via FaceBook, we keep in touch. Sometimes the world is so small we hear a call coming over our VHF radio, “This is xxxx”. Not hailing us, but hailing a marina or whatever. A voice from our past yet again, in the water, somewhere nearby. A quick call to them via our VHF, a quick change in direction or schedule and boom, another fun evening of rapport, of gossip, of information exchanged on Where to Go and How to Go or How to Fix......
The cruising lifestyle is one of ever friendly cruisers, of firm friendships made, of one stopping to help another in need and never feeling lonely, ever. This is quite the social environment, comprised of folks from all around the world, with a common love of the sea, of adventure and a thirst for knowledge about it all and about their fellow cruisers.
I shall so very much miss all this when we decide someday to become land based, or life’s events decide that FOR US! I absolutely DREAD the thought of purchasing a house somewhere, making a mistake, finding ourselves in a neighborhood of folks going about their routines and not reaching out to the newcomer! That was our experience during our 12 years in Atlanta - an experience I’d never had before from neighborhoods.....Makes me want to kinda live aboard forever rather than risk boredom....and folks focused only on themselves.
|So pretty So LOUD|
After a false start yesterday - we actually checked OUT of the marina but before casting off the lines, got delayed helping a delightful French (yes! helping a French couple - after all the fun poked at the French) family who pulled in next to us. In the interim, the weather turned squally so we decided to stay put for another night.
|Sharon's idea of dress shoes|
We used our ‘extra’ gift of time wisely, hitching a ride to West Marine one more time. West Marine is the addictive shopping spree of choice for us and all other boaters -- beats shopping for clothes or shoes!!
Ah, I’m going to have such a tough time adapting to life on land....