Newsletter/Update Some of you may remember Captain Suzy or I telling you of our plans to start a sailing school in Puerto Rico this winter. As with most plans, it hasn't worked out quite as well as originally envisioned, and our expectations have had to adjust somewhat, but we have made great headway. Suzy flew down at the beginning of September to work on getting a license to do business in Puerto Rico, and now, after months of shuttling full-time between one government office and another, she was able to finally submit our completed packages last week, and we hope to be in business down here by the new year. As an example of the hoops we had to jump through, despite registering as a foreign business, we had to prove that we didn't owe any child support here Puerto Rico - almost quaint.
Our plans for sailing the boat down to Puerto Rico, however, went very smoothly. A friend helped me sail Licentia down the Chesapeake to Norfolk, then navigate the Inter-Coastal Waterway (ICW) to Beaufort, North Carolina. We accomplished this in 5 days, leaving Annapolis on October 20th, and had perfect weather the whole way. Once in Beaufort, I picked up Suzy at the local airport just as the weather turned sour. We had to wait there for a week for a good weather window before heading east into the Atlantic to cross the Gulf Stream, but we finally left Beaufort on October 30th.
The passage took ten days before we made landfall at Puerto Del Rey in Puerto Rico on November 8th, and it was by far the smoothest ocean passage I have ever made, highlighted mostly by some very calm days about half-way down. We have posted a few short video clips of this on our Facebook page. The most excitement we had occurred the last night at sea when we ran into several hours of rain squalls that whipped up the wind into the 30s and 40s, and then dumped piles of rain that cleaned the salt off the decks rather nicely. These squalls sent us in circles for a few hours as the wind seemed to change direction by the minute, but the seas were smooth, and there was no danger, just very wet feet.
Of course, every passage has its share of things that go wrong, or break, or otherwise remind you of your insignificance and subservience to the will or whim of the gods, and they come in packages both big and small. On this trip, for instance, we developed a leak in one of the hoses from our fresh water tanks, leaving us with only the bottled water we had brought aboard for fresh water. While we had plenty of that, we did have to resort to bathing and washing dishes in salt water. And who do you think took this all in stride? My dearest Suzy never stopped smiling and dancing the whole way down...
This holiday season we will be joined by Suzy's sons Miquel and Mitchell during their winter break from college, and we will be sailing and swimming and exploring the Virgin Islands aboard Licentia. If it ever gets cold up there this winter, please consider joining us here in Puerto Rico. We are making great connections with local hotels, and would be happy to show you our new neighborhood.