About a third of the way West from the SE end of Puerto Rico is the town of Salinas. It appears to be a very protected anchorage. For most Weather it is. If it blows hard from the SW, S or SE it could be bad. Off from the mainland are many island of mangroves. They grow on the thin beach or shallow water and put shoots into the bottom of the water right off from there branches. They collect sand in their roots and shazaam, an island. Large seas pass over and through the new island until they get established. These are not to established. Some cruising friends of ours that frequent this area often say it can get pretty rough in here. We have been here almost a week and it has been beautiful.
We have two cruising buddies who have been here getting ready to head to Guatemala and points south to Panama. Neither are planning to go through the canal. Too expensive. One of the couples is looking at joining the x-patriots group in Guatemala. Time will tell. The other couple have been cruising for years and have been to the area and are going back to visit. The mate and I talked about going, but there are long sails with strong winds and large seas. They are part of the Columbian Low. It is almost always there and always rough. The mate is not wanting to do days of rough weather when you go into the stuff on purpose. Some of the places they are going are supposed to be really beautiful. That’s nice, but not worth the beating to get there and back.
The end of this week we will move to the west end of Puerto Rico and stage for the trip across the Mona Passage and points west. We will start by going early to Ponce for fuel then on to Gillian’s Island for the night. Another small Mangrove island. The nest day on west to Perto Real and be ready for a weather window that is to come a week from Friday. We will be ready, hope the weather is. Depending on the weather and our guts, we may try a multi-day passage.