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As I briefly posted yesterday, we bid adieu to mainland Puerto Rico, heading onward to Vieques in the Spanish Virgins (which technically is still a part of Puerto Rico, which technically is a part of the US).

We spent little time in Salinas, which may very well be the best hurricane hole in PR. The mangrove-lined anchorage is large, protected and popular. The one full day we did spend there was largely taken up with a sail repair job. Apparently sails don’t like rubbing on shrouds (the cables which hold up the mast). Who would have thought it? To be honest, we thought we had been doing a good job of keeping the sail from chafing on the shrouds but apparently not good enough. We first noticed 1 tear in a batten pocket and after investing a half hour or more in patching it*, we came to find several others. Fortunately, located right at the end of the dinghy dock in Salinas is Tradewinds Sails and Canvas. Mariannne Pfeiffer, the owner of the shop, dropped what she was doing to fix our main sail right away. Not only that, but after quoting us $100.00 for the repair, she only charged us $75.00 when the job was done (and it was done early). NOT ONLY THAT, but she also sent us on our way with a bag of fresh veggies to go with our newly fixed sail! How can you beat that? Two thumbs up for Marianne. The sail-repair experience ended with Rebecca and I racing the regularly-scheduled afternoon thunderstorm to get the sail re-rigged on the boat. And we made it, but with not a minute to spare!

No photoshop required to make these clouds look ominous. They roll in looking like that pretty much every afternoon.

A downside to the Salinas anchorage is that we could obtain no Wi-fi signals on our boat, even using our Alfa amplifier. Good thing we had our new HP Netbook that we could take to shore to use at the local bakery. It did the trick. In this photo you can see that I was uploading the Coffin Island video that’s been driving everyone crazy.

In addition to saying goodbye to Salinas though, we also had to say farewell to a few of our friends there. Our buddy Jim, from s/v Top O’ the World, will be hanging on there a couple more days, awaiting parts (do you see a trend here… cruisers are always waiting for parts to be shipped in). We also had to say goodbye to a new friend, John, who sails on his sailboat Dancyn. Cruisers often have stories about the “characters” that they meet in their travels. John fits the category of “character” nicely. Having sailed around the world in his 32′ monohull, and inexpensively I might add, there is much I’m sure we could have learned from him. Not to mention the fact that he is a riot to hang out with. Sadly he’s heading north, back to the US after traveling the world for the last 10 years. I bet within 6 months we’ll see him back out here on the water.

John, beginning his “party-trick” of free climbing to the top of the jib.

No headsails were harmed during this exhibition. 🙂

Why did we not stay longer in Salinas? As always, our travel plans are largely dependent upon the weather and apparently the relatively benign conditions we have had while transiting the southern coast of PR are about to end with the trade winds expected to fill back in within a day or two. Because we don’t relish the thought of beating into strong headwinds, we decided to get a jump on the weather by leaving early. Guess what? You can’t trick Mother Nature. Although the winds were light enough in the morning, by the time we reached the open water between mainland PR and Vieques, they had increased to 16-20 and moved right on our nose. It’s not like we haven’t experienced that before though, so of course, we kept on plugging through. And we’re glad we did. Just as we rounded Punta Tuna, which is pretty much the south eastern tip of PR, we got a hit on one of our fishing lines. Can you guess what it was? Yes, tuna sashimi makes a great lunch while under sail. If only we’d remembered to buy some more wasabi!

Mmmmmm… Tuna!

*Marianne complimented Rebecca on the good job that she had done on the one sail patch that we had completed.

26 Comments

  1. I love reading all of your exciting posts and am amazed at how you stay so busy!

    I’m not a fish expert by any means, however I believe that what you have there is a member of the ‘jack’ family as opposed to tuna. But hey . . . if it tastes good then that’s what matters.

  2. The fish you are holding is not a tuna. It is a type of Trevally (or a Jack as the Americans call it), one of the family Carangidae. Page 317 in your Scott Bannerot book.
    Photos in the book are scarce but there is one on page 90 and on the ‘Praise’ page right in the front, two pages before the Contents.

    Tuna is a top-water oceanic pelagic, you will usually only catch them with at least 30 meters of water under your keel. The trevallys caught in the ocean are usually near and around reefs in shallower water, but deeper down in the water column. You will not find trevallys roaming the open ocean and neither will you find tuna around coral reefs in shallow waters. For this reason larger ones may be carriers of ciguatera.

    PS: Nice catch regardless. Let us know what Trevally Sashimi tasted like. 🙂

    • Thanks for clearing that up, Etienne. We were fishing in everything from 50′ to 1500′ on the way to Vieques (we kept moving in and out of the deep water) so it could have been a tuna. But, Trevally Sashimi tasted great. In fact, we had some more for lunch today.

  3. Hey Mike – still can’t view the coffin island video – something about copyrights and not being able to see it in the US….

  4. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    Yup that fish is a small “GT” giant Trevally , it has a bulbous head & the ruff side spins down both sides from the middle of its back & they are “ruff” like bony plates
    Rebecca could show John a thing or 3 about free climbing doing all the pole dancing she done/ “does”
    Fry or BBQ the GT in garlic butter MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

  5. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    PS The giant trevally, Caranx ignobilis (also known as the giant kingfish, lowly trevally, barrier trevally, ulua, or GT),
    Hope that clears it all up for you lol 🙂

  6. This is what the Coffin Island video say in the US:
    “Coffin Island”

    You must be logged in to view this video.

    The following content has been identified by the YouTube community as being potentially offensive or inappropriate. Viewer discretion is advised. Please confirm that you wish to view this video.

    This video or group may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as determined by the video uploader. To view this video or group, please click here to sign in or sign up and verify that you are of the appropriate age.

    This video or group may contain content that is inappropriate for some users, as flagged by YouTube’s user community. Please confirm that you wish to view this video.

    This video is unavailable.
    This video contains content from UMG, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.

  7. Culebra has a reputation as a greet hurricane hole, as well.
    Re the video, would changing the name help?

    • They must be referring to Ensenda Honda for the hurricane hole. As for the video, the problem is the music. I could remove the music but then it would be pretty boring.

  8. I can’t view it either (your video) … still. I am in Arizona at the moment and it says it I can’t see it due to copyright issues. Did you put music to it? That’s probably the problem. I tried to upload one of my first video’s (a slideshow I made for my daughter’s wedding) to YouTube the other day and, although the video loaded, it was without sound as I used several songs in the making of it. So I took it down as the music is what made it so great, in my opinion.

  9. Nice catch! We wouldn’t have known it wasn’t a tuna. We definitely need to get a book about fish. As long as it tasted good, it doesn’t really matter.

  10. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    Did you catch the fish on the “new” rod & real or Hand Line ? & Tuna have a far more pointed face & mouth Built for speed 🙂

  11. Rob Kingsley ( dingy- dock) - Reply

    The fish you caught is a horse-eye Jack & I don’t recomend
    eating them especially around these parts. Because of ciguatera
    if you feel cramping, muscle&joint pain,flu-like
    symptoms, tiredness , weakness,nausea,diarrhea,numbness
    tingling &hot things feel cold/cold things feel hot,or itching
    then you might want to see a doctor. There is a feild test kit you
    can get called Cigua-check from CaptHarry .com for about $ 30
    and it can check 3 diffrent fish . Around here a good rule of thumb is
    don’t eat the jacks,barracuda, or king fish over 30 lbs w/out checking
    them .. See ya later, Rob

  12. Finally have a good internet connection at the end of our Bahama trip here in Bimini. So we finally got to your blog to get updated on your adventures. Nice tuna! Hahah! You guys are really on the move and we are glad to know that all is well. Mission accomplished….we saw our pink flamingos in Long Cay in the Acklin Island Group and so we decided not to go on to Great Inagua as we really could not afford the time. We actually went back to Rum Cay which we loved and then to Cat Island to meet up with a friend. We can’t thank you enough for the drive full of movies and catching up on the latest cartoons. We have had an incredible season here in Bahamas, meeting unforgettable people such as yourselves and the Bahemians have been so welcoming and wonderful. We have surfed, fished, snorkeled and sailed in their pristine waters and walked on the powder white beaches and can hardly wait to return. Thanx for the laughs Mike and Rebecca, and we hope one day we will be anchored beside Zero to Cruising again. Smooth sailing! Wade and Maureen

    • Hey you two!

      We enjoyed hanging out with you guys as well. Rum Cay was a blast (partly because you guys were there) so it doesn’t surprise me that you’d want to go back. Hopefully you make it further south next year and we can hook up again. Keep in touch.

  13. Hi Mike and Rebecca-
    I just stumbled on your blog site because of your visit to Salinas. Our boat Magus is in a corner of the harbor on some “hurricane anchors,” and we missed being there when you visited by a couple of weeks. Looking forward to checking out your site more. A couple of things:
    1. I’m happy that you had such a good experience with Marianne at Tradewinds, and her husband Frank is a great guy, too. In fact, Salinas has lots of great people, and we’ve really enjoyed having Magus there the past few years.
    2. If you have the time, tell me about your fishing details– rod, weights, lures, etc. I throw a line and some gear over quite a bit but have had no luck. Your catch looked great.
    Anyway, enjoy your travels, and I’ll try to check in to your blog in the future.

    • Hi Albert

      I wonder if we saw your boat. Yes, Salinas was cool and the people we met there very nice. I can see why you like it there.

      As for the fishing, we really don’t know much about that. All the fish we have caught have been on hand lines (yoyos) with 80 lb test. We use a wire leader to a rapala-type lure. We sometimes use squid lures too but have had more success with the rapalas that dive a bit..

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