30 November 2007

Kite-surfing, snorkeling and beach walks: this is paradise!

November 30, 2007

It really feels like we’re cruising again! Over the past week, we’ve spent time along the south coast of Puerto Rico; learning how to kite-surf, going fishing & snorkeling and long walks on the beach. Life is good on Whisper!

Houses that are built on the waterfront in Parguera.

The view of Parguera harbor. You can see Whisper: the boat in between the two islands to the left.

We left Cabo Rojo on Saturday morning and motorsailed about 10 miles to the waterside town of La Parguera. Puertoriqueños come here by the boatload on weekends to hang out in the crystal clear water and enjoy the party atmosphere at night. We stayed for 5 days doing the same! We also went snorkeling, fishing (unsuccessfully) and took a full day of kite-surfing lessons. We now know the basics of kite-surfing and are ready to use our own kite which we bought in Cabarete, DR, hopefully with less chance of mortal injury. Thanks to our sponsor, Hans Ericsson Photography, for making our kite-surfing dreams a reality. We hope you like your "Whisper Kite-surfing Expeditions" mug and tote bag. Please remember that your contribution is tax-deductible. Contact your local H&R Block for more details.

Kristen learning how to kite-surf with the help of Luijo.

Hans' turn at learning how to fly the kite. We started the lessons by both flying the kite while standing in shallow water. By the end of the day we both could control the kite and drag our bodies through the water upwind and downwind. Hans even got up on the board twice! Luijo, our instructor, was very impressed with our aptitude. We were just happy not to get hurt...too badly. Hans got a bad scrape on his leg from some coral.

The winds are not good for kite-surfing, but they’re great for traveling east, so we left Parguera and sailed to a spot called “Gilligan’s Island.” It reminded us of Shroud Cay in the Exumas, Bahamas: crystal clear water, white sand, shallow mangrove creeks and palm-tree lined beaches. We met a German named Gerd who lives there and we played Boule on the beach with him last night. On the way to Gilligan’s Island, we caught a little mackerel, our first successful fishing trip on Whisper! We fried it up and had a nice fish and mashed potato dinner. Thanks fishy-fishy!

Hans catches our first fish. Yes, it was small, but the perfect amount for two and very tasty. We think it was a mackerel.

Kit Kat examines the catch. Yes she got a piece.

The beach at "Gilligan's Island."

Hans, dinghy captain, motoring down the mangrove creek to the beach.

Sunset along the beach.

After some basic engine maintenance this morning, we weighed anchor around 9.30 and set sail for Ponce, 20 nautical miles east on the south coast of PR. We arrived around 1.00PM and finally got two anchors set in 30 feet of water nestled among moored boats around 1.30. Yes, cold Medallas were on order! Tomorrow we hope to catch a ride into town to see the art museum, historic district and maybe even catch a movie! We’re pushing to get to Fajardo in a week or so to have work done on the mast. Before leaving Luperon, we found some tiny cracks near the spreaders. They look benign but could mean a demasting. That could ruin a nice day! We’ve been in contact with a rigger so we just need to get there and he should have the job done in no time. Right…?