Cayo Icacos

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After a week in San Juan I was ready for a change.
Now anchored at Cayo Icacos,
A tiny island off the West coast of PR.
During the day lots of locals anchor here and party but I am the only boat which stayed overnight. Not sure why?
Nice beach and mooring balls for diving the reef. Large mountain to the West on the mainland. Beautiful…

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Just learned today is big party on Icacos called Chrismas in July.
Boats raft off and celebrate into the night.

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Kind of like a (mini)-Jobbienooner happening back home today on Gull Island.

Islands, keys, cays we visited….

Andros

New Providence Island

Highborne Cay

Leaf Cay

Allen Cay

South Allen Cay

Norman’s Cay

Shroud Cay

Warderick Wells Cay

Staniel Cay

Big Majors Spot

Great Gauna Cay

Little Farmers Cay

Lee Stocking Island

Children’s Bay Cay

Stocking Island

Great Exuma Island

Long Island

Conception Island

Crooked Island

Acklins Island

Mayaguana

Providenciales
(TCI)

Puerto Rico

Back in Canada

As my ten months of liveaboard status comes to an end I can only look back and be grateful for the experience. Although there were some scary, challenging and difficult times they were offset by the good times. Gorgeous blue water, beautiful remote islands, interesting towns, stunning beaches and a lot of awesome people crossed our path.
The trip thru the ICW was a great start….it was a wonderful learning experience with beautiful scenery to match. The Florida keys and Marathon was interesting, beautiful and a great place to socialize with other liveaboards and cruisers. Learned the ropes from a lot of great folks there. Thanks to all those special people💜.
As we ventured thru the Bahamas we kept coming upon more beautiful islands all with their own uniqueness. My favorite was maybe Lee Stocking Island with hiking trails and peaks with stunning vistas. The anchorage there was unbelievably gorgeous. All on our own…anchored with nothing around but beautiful blue hues of water and a stunning beach just a short dinghy ride away.
Stocking Island (not the same as Lee Stocking Island) just a little south and across the bay from Georgetown and Great Exuma Island was really awesome too. The hiking trails were excellent and again they had stunning views from atop of the beautiful deep blue ocean on one side and aqua blue Georgetown harbor on the other side.
The beaches we came across in the Bahamas were spectacular….we were always stunned by the beauty of these mostly untouched sandy paradises.
As we headed east we came upon some Bahamian islands that were very very remote…..a different world for sure. So glad we got to experience those special places.
Onward to the Turks and Caicos Islands where we played on the beaches while waiting for that weather window to head south east towards Puerto Rico. The waters of the TCI are very challenging with coral heads everywhere but visually beautiful.
We planned on heading to Luperon, Dominican Republic, skip along the north coast, cross over the Mona Passage and then continue on making day sails to the far east end of Puerto Rico where we would finally end up and haul the boat out for hurricane season. But…like everything about boating….plans all hinge on the weather. We can make plans but we always have to be prepared to change our plans and go with what the weather dictates. We waited for the ideal conditions to leave the TCI but the prevailing easterlies were not letting up at all and givin our time frame we had to adjust our route. Instead of heading south for the Dominican Republic our only option was to head northeast into the open Atlantic Ocean and then at 25°N and 67°W we made our tack south. Going way out of our way we travelled 720 nautical miles in six long days. We had spectacular sailing weather for all but about 16 hours. Saturday nite into Sunday afternoon we dealt with hard pounding seas that tore abit of the jib and completely ripped apart the front strata-glass window and canvas. Those dam rouge waves😢. Fortunately we have a sewing machine onboard and we were able to remove the canvas windows and fix everything before continuing on into the moonlit nite. Oh ya….very grateful for the
full moon that showed up every single nite and lit the sky for us 🌔🌔🌔🌔🌔🌔. It was a great help for sure. I will always think of the moon in a different way now😊.
Arriving in San Juan harbour on day six was very satisfying until we had to find a place to anchor in the very small and crowded designated area for pleasure craft. Passing the cruise ship terminal we set anchor in about 30 ft of water and realized how spoiled we were with the clear shallow waters of the Bahamas. Such easy anchoring there and now we had to deal with a lot of heavy chain in deep water and no windlass. We made the call to customs and immigration to check in and were instructed to walk over to their office. All was good until they told us they wanted to inspect the boat…now. That meant we had to walk back, haul up well over 100 ft of chain, motor over to the Marina dock and meet up with the friendly customs agents and their canine unit. Welcome to the U.S. (Territory)😕. And then back to the anchorage to re-anchor…what a pain‼️
The harbor here in San Juan is very lively with all sorts of activities going on around us. Cruise ships, jet skiers, paddle boarders, gigantic yachts and the airport next to the harbor with large and small planes buzzing overhead all surrounded by a very vibrant and bustling city. I only wish I had more time to explore this area.
After getting groceries and doing laundry today Jeff is now ready to head east to Fajardo and Puerto Del Rey Marina on the east coast of PR where the boat will get strapped down for hurricane season. While I head back to Canada tomorrow Jeff will wait for that weather window to show up. Until then he has a beautiful city to check out while he waits😊. After hauling the boat out of the water he will be Michigan bound.
Meanwhile I will be waiting for the arrival of my grandaughter in late July back in beautiful Canada. ❤

Jennifer

San Juan

We made it to San Juan from Provo Turks and Caicos yesterday (Monday) at 5:00 pm.
Traveled 720 nautical miles (826 miles) in six days.
Quite an adventure.
Anchored in San Juan bay near cruise ships and downtown.
Vibrant fun people and area.
Lots going on. Need to do a few repairs but boat held up well.
Jen flies home again tomorrow.
Will be on my own until July 1st haul out at Puerto Del Rey Marina on East coast, then I fly home for a few months until hurricane season is past.

Six days out to sea

CWF5 – Depart: Provo, Turks and caicos – To: Puerto Rico (aguadilla or arecibo?) – (sc) Tyrntlzrdking – 30′ Maine Cat 30

You should have a good departure from T&C Wed7, with brisk mostly SE wind, allowing you to sail ENE on a close reach…on the S side of sub-Tropical RIDGE which lies along 25N. If you were along 25N, your wind would be S@12.

RIDGE gradually lifts N to about 26N Thu8 and 27N Fri9…causing your wind to remain mostly SE and moderate in strength…changing little from conditions departing T&C.

The SE flow in your area is supported by the normal gradient S of the RIDGE…but your wind is stronger than it would otherwise be, due to series of LOs migrating ENE-ward along a deep TROF from Florida thru waters S of CanadianMaritimes.

However, during Fri9 night-Sat10 the TROF and associated LOs weaken, and cause the induced flow across RIDGE to weaken…allowing your wind to both moderate AND back ESE in direction.

STRATEGY for your trip will be to sail ENE-E on a close reach for as long as wind remains SE (probably thru Fri9 afternoon)…then, when wind begins backing ESE, you’ll TACK and sail S.

During Sat10 night-Sun11 as you move farther S of RIDGE, your wind both backs E and rebuilds…allowing you to sail SSE on close reach or S on beam reach, depending whether you’re laying the W Coast of PuertoRico or not.

FORECAST:
Most of the day Wed7, departing T&C: 130@18g23<15g19k, wind-chop 5'<4'. STRATEGY: sailing close reach in general ENE direction (sail as close a reach as you can, without sacrificing too much speed/comfort). Wed7 late afternoon-night, near 22-30N/70-30W: 120@14g18<135@18g23, wind-chop 4'<6', STRATEGY: same. Most of the day Thu8, near 23-25N/69-20W: 135@17g21<14g18k, wind-chop 5'<4', STRATEGY: same. Thu8 late afternoon-night, near 24N/68W: 120@14g18<135@16g20, wind-chop 4'<4-5', STRATEGY: same. Fri9, near 24-30N/67W: 135@17g21<150@12, wind-chop 5'<3', STRATEGY: same...but if wind becomes sufficiently light to motor into AND you are nearing 67W...THEN you could motor SE on Fri9 during the day Fri9. Fri9 night, near 23N/67W: 140@12<120@14g18, wind-chop 3'<4', STRATEGY: motorsailing or sailing S along about 67W. Sat10, near 21-30N/67W: 110@14g18<100@18g23, wind-chop 4'<5-6', STRATEGY: sailing S on close reach along about 67W. Sat10 night, near 20N/67W: 100@18g23<090@20g25, wind-chop 6'<6-7'. STRATEGY: same. Sun11, approaching PR: 090@17-20g26, wind-chop 5-7', STRATEGY: same. Sun11 night, along W Coast of PR: 060@17-23g20<10k, wind-chop 5-8'<2'. STRATEGY: same. If you have questions, let me know...Chris.

Chris Parker

Weather this week is pretty good for moving from T&C to PuertoRico – BUT ONLY for an offshore trip, moving NE from T&C until you’re along the sub-Tropical RIDGE…then E for 1-2 days…then S or SSE.

More specifically, you could depart almost any day, but I would aim to depart Wed7 or Thu8. Tue6 night-Wed7 morning wind will be quite brisk ESE@21-24g30, and seas 7-8’…but with a Wed7 morning departure from ProvoT&C area, you’ll be in the lee of the T&C with an ESE-SE wind, and sailing NE, and during the day Wed7 settles.

Regardless whether you depart Wed7 or Thu8, on Day2 of your trip you would be near 24N/70W.

From Day2 to Day3 your wind veers more to the SSE, allowing you to sail closer to an E direction…so your location on Day3 may be near 25N between 68W to 67W.

About 60 hours into the trip, you might lie near 25N/67W, which is about where you may want to TACK and sail SW initially, then SSW then S as wind direction backs toward E.

Wind backs ESE as a function of time (regardless where you are, your wind direction backs ESE by Sat10 or Sun11)….and wind also backs a little more toward the E as a function of your Latitude (closer to E the farther S you move).

By the end of Day5 you should be reaching PuertoRico…so if you leave T&C Wed7, you arrive PuertoRico by the end of the day Mon12. If you depart Thu8, then you arrive about Tue13.

If this sounds like a reasonable plan, then I will email you Tue6 to let you know whether I suggest departing Wed7 or Thu8, then I’ll email forecast the day before departure.

If this plan (sailing offshore) is a non-starter, then I do not see any reasonable opportunities to move in the near future, but the least-bad might be to bash your way to BigSandCay on Wed7 or Thu8, then sail an overnight departing BigSandCay Thu8 afternoon / arriving Luperon Fri9 morning while the catabatic winds remain in place (arrive by 9am Fri9). On this plan you would only get to Luperon, and you would be motoring into mostly 14-18g23k winds with 4-6′ seas to get there, which sounds very ugly.

Please LET ME KNOW what you think…Chris.

NOT GOOD.
180 nautical miles NORTH out of our way.

HAVE TO GO 😕