On Saturday, we rented a car to do some shopping and provisioning before driving approximately 50 minutes to the San Juan International Airport to pick up Justin and Shera, our long-time friends from way back in my pastoral ministry days. They have decided to spend their 40th wedding anniversary with us on board Beatitude. We have officially accepted them as crew members for the next seven days. After the drive back into Fajardo, we stopped at a nice Mexican restaurant, the Blue Iguana, which is the on-site restaurant at the Fajardo Inn near the marina.
Sunday morning we pulled away from the dock at Sunday Marina around 9 am, and once clear of the harbor, set a course of ESE for a return trip to Culebra. The ride was a little bumpy into the swells and wind-driven waves until we made it into the lee of Cayo de Luis Peña and Culebra. At that point, conditions improved to the point where Justin and Shera were able to enjoy the view from the front deck without the risk of being showered with waves of salt spray. We also had a little fishing action en route. Not long after passing Cayo Palominos to our north, we reeled in a Spanish Mackerel on our port-side fishing line. We were barely finished filleting that one, when we had a hit on the starboard line. It was a very nice sized King Mackerel. The emphasis is on the was. By the time we got it near the boat, a shark had taken a good chunk out of the tail region and left large gashes on the rest of the body. There was still enough meat on it for a large freezer bag of fillets, however. I guess there’s nothing wrong with sharing our bounty with the sharks!
Shortly after 1 pm, we entered Ensenada Honda harbor and dropped anchor not far from our previous anchorage spot. We let out 120′ of rode in 15′ of water, backed down on the anchor with both engines at 2000 rpm for a minute or so, and felt confident that we were secure for the next few days. We quickly prepared the Spanish Mackerel and some of the King for fish tacos for lunch before all settling in for a well-needed nap. In the evening, we had a Valentine’s Day dinner (and 40th anniversary dinner for the Argabrights) of NY Strip Steak. After dinner, we watched 2 of the last 3 Downton Abbey episodes before bed (thanks to Shera for bringing the DVD’s). The night went well at anchor except for one of the passing rain storms which caught our guests by surprise, soaking Justin’s side of the bed. That’s boat life!