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Vacation Journal
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Part Two Bertas Boating Adventure

By: BertaB (View Profile)
Date: 5/24/2007

Wed 4/25/07

For some reason I woke at 4:55 am this morning. I think I gave Leo a heart attack by being awake before he had the chance to scare the bejeebers out of me. Score another one for the crew.
I have been designated as cook. Fine with me as I love to cook. Since we were leaving so early, all I could do was slice up some fruit and had bagles and cream cheese. Early mornings
call for food that is easy to grab on the go.

Leo heads out to the bow to work the windlass and tell me which direction to move the boat. Chris was below deck to flake the anchor chain. Flaking the anchor as its called, is simply
making sure the chain does not pile on top of itself. If that should happen it jams up the the windlass, and that is not a good thing. Keep in mind that this is all happening early in the
morning and the sun hasn't even risen yet. Leo tells me to back the boat up and I am thinking I can't back up that far, there is a boat behind us. Fortunately that only lasts a second
and I pretty much stand there until 300 feet of chain and the anchor is safely up and stowed away. Now I get to navigate thru the bay while Leo and Chris wash up. It is pitch black out
and I have to avoid the other boats and take care to not run over their anchor lines.

I get out into some clear water and check the plotter and search for the buoys showing the channel out of the bay. I manage and we are out on the open sea again. Now its time for
me to learn how to enter data into the plotter. I know how to do it on our boat, but each captain is picky and I have to learn how to do it his way. Talk about confusing. I did mention
the term K.I.S.S. to him but it didn't sink in. If you don't know what K.I.S.S. is.........Keep It Simple Sweetie. Soon the sun came up.

Today was going to be a long run before we reach our next port. During long runs, most of the time each of the crew does a "watch" in which they are the sole person
looking out for other boats and keep track of oil pressure, engine temps, recording our coordinates and charting the progress. Leo decided that we would all share in
the job as Chris and I were "rusty" at doing it. Every hour either Chris or I go down to the chart room with Leo and do the paperwork.

As we work our way to Ponce, we notice a boat more or less on the same course we are. From a distance, I said it looked like a boat that was in the harbor
with us the night before. Eventually we caught up with them and sure enough it was the same boat. Leo called them on the radio to say hello and ask where
they were heading. The "Continuous" was heading to a port just east of Ponce to hide out during hurricane season. We buddy boated with them for awhile and
then said goodbye and wished them good seas next year.

After 12 hours of running we were getting tired and still had another hour to go. It would have been too late to call a marina as all the slips tend to fill up by mid
afternoon. Our choice then was to anchor out again. Looking at the charts, we see Isla de Caja Muertes. Yes folks, that translates to Coffin Island.
I do some reasearch and find out that mainland Puerto Ricans flock to this island on the weekends. Thankfully it is midweek, so we should have no problem.
It is decided we will pull into the anchorage area for the night.

3 miles to go and the port engine shudders and slows down dramatically. Leo shuts it down and we limp into the anchorage on the starboard engine.
Drop the anchor and don the snorkel gear to see what the problem is. This will be my first test of my new gear. I jump in and the water was nice and
warm. Thank goodness, I don't handle cold water very well. Anything that isn't as warm as bathwater is cold. LOL
Leo dives down and announces we picked up a fish/lobster pot marker and line and it it wrapped around the prop and shaft. Thank god this is all the
problem is. Chris hands me down a knife which I pass to Leo. He cuts away the line and I grab the pieces to throw in the garbage. We don't want
to leave the garbage nor do we want someone else to get tangled up in the mess.

Now that we have that job completed, we climb back on the boat and check out the island thru the binoculars. There is a ferry dock, a bunch of palapas
and a nice beach. According to our guide books, this place is hopping on the weekends and the parties go on all night and day. l sorta wish I could stay here
to check it out.

Back to reality and time for dinner. I made chimichangas for dinner. Leo and Chris had never had them, and from their reaction, you would think I
was best friends with Emeril and Wolfgang Puck. ROFL Don't I wish.

Soon enough it is 9:30 and I am exhausted. I can't believe I am going to bed so early. At least we don't have to get up before dawn tomorrow.

Thur. 4/26/07

I got up at 7 am. Wooo Hooo, sleep in. Start up the engines and they were both running fine. That was a relieve after yesterdays experience.
Radioed into the Ponce Yacht Club. Here we would top off the fuel tanks and take on water. That job done we head to our slip. This was a new
experience for me as I have not had to lasso dock lines on pilings yet. I managed, but darn near had a coronary doing it.

Time to take care of a few details in settling the boat in and then to the marina office for our ID cards and a tour of the facilities. We arrange for transportation into town. Next installment........Ponce Tour. There will be more pictures from here on.

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