It is hard to believe we have been here for 10 days already. The time is flying and we have nothing to show for it, except a relaxed attitude. It is so nice not to have to go anywhere, study weather, and plan excursions. We are living the life in Boqueron.
The first day here, we were just hanging out in the cockpit recovering from the passage when we noticed a 53-ft sailboat dragging across the bay. We tried calling any authorities in the bay (local police, Cabo Rojo police, Natural Resources police, even the Customs and Border Protection -- all of whom have boats with lots of horsepower in the Cano) but we got no useful response. So we lowered the dinghy and put out a general announcement call on VHF 16 telling any boats listening that we were headed to the south end of the bay; please join us to help save a boat from going up on the rocks. Three sets of boaters answered the call. In no time we had dinghys on each side of the sailboat pushing like tugs, people raising the dragging anchor and people steering the boat. The owners of the boat were not in Boqueron -- they had gone to San Juan for the day. We pushed, guided, and finally anchored the boat about where it had been before dragging over a mile down the bay. This was a terrific demonstration of cruisers helping cruisers. Thankful owners met the rescuers the next day on the dinghy dock. Wow.
That was our big excitement. But maybe even better is the wildlife we are seeing here. There is a very healthy population of terns fishing in the bay, screeching all day and diving like crazy. They are joined by pelicans and most everyday by a pair of frigate birds -- big black soaring birds that have a wingspan about 7 feet wide. Completing the bird list so far are the yellow-crowned night herons swooping low out of the mangroves. We've also seen dolphins, a ray, maybe heard a manatee, and a sea turtle came over to investigate us too. (Hey dude...) We are loving this.
Of course we've taken several kayak expeditions, going into the Cano to check out the mangrove swamps and going around the northwest corner of the bay up the coast a mile or two. Even just going up and down the beach by kayak is fun -- there is always something new to look at. Speaking of the beach -- what a gorgeous place. It is over a mile long and is backed by lots of palm trees so that there is plenty of shade to get out of the afternoon heat. The beach is the focal point here in Boqueron, and the weekends are just packed with people all having a great time -- families, tribes of teenagers and college kids, even cruisers -- many bringing barbeques and tables and setting up for a whole day of fun on the beach. And the music! Fabulous sounds from all over the beach and live bands playing in the bars and restaurants in town. Dancing in the streets is acceptable behavior here. This weekend there is a boy scout jamboree added to the mix - must be 1000 scouts out there playing volleyball, swimming, and camping out on the beach.
Weekdays are very quiet by comparison. We tried to take public transportation to the nearest supermarket, but didn't know that it was some holiday. Taking pity on us, a man who lived next to the bus stop gave us a ride to Cabo Rojo and the Econo supermarket. We shopped and filled four large bags with groceries and tried again to find the bus back to Boqueron. The supermarket staff tried to help us too. No luck. Just when we were contemplating walking 4 miles with all this food, here came Henry to the rescue. Henry is another cruiser who lives part time in Boqueron. He figured us for cruisers and offered us a ride back to the dock. How could we ever get this lucky! Later in the week we had Henry and his wife Martha out to the boat to swap stories. They are remarkable people and we are happy to have met them.
So we spend our days watching for new boats to the anchorage and saying good bye to boats leaving. Boqueron is a crossroads from the Caribbean to the Atlantic and we are eager to meet those coming from the south to hear about their experiences in all the places we intend to go. Everyone loves to talk about what they've done and to advise us about places we simply cannot miss. We just take it all in. And we keep running into people we met in the Bahamas who are going south as well. It really is a small world.