Ponce (pronounced “pohn-say”) is the second largest city in Puerto Rico (San Juan is, of course, number one). On Sunday morning, we pulled into the very nice and reasonably priced Ponce Yacht and Fishing Club. Although we were looking forward to exploring Ponce, we were also hoping to deal with a couple of boat issues.
First… the boat issues. While in Puerto Real Marina a week or so ago, they had no 50-amp service on our dock, so we used the marina’s 50 amp to 2-30 amp y-adapter. One evening the breaker on the dock source went off. Since that time, when we were hooked up to shore power or running the generator our electrical outlets would turn off periodically and my charger/inverter would read “overtemp.” That didn’t sound good to me. So, I had arranged for a mechanic/electrician to meet us on Monday morning. Lo and behold, once I arrived, I no longer had the problem. I even turned off the shore power and ran the generator and still no problem. I’m very thankful! But, I hope it doesn’t recur once we’re underway again. The other boat issue which needed attention was that my water temperature sensor is reading crazy numbers (like 120° F), and my wind direction and speed indicator has stopped working. We’ve had problems with it intermittently going out since we’ve had it installed. These are new electronics (as of August of this past year) and are under warranty. But I’ve found, finding a authorized Garmin dealer in the Caribbean is next to impossible. I’m still in contact with Garmin to try to figure this out. Those pieces of equipment are not vital to safe travel, so we can wait a little while if we must.
Now, on to the fun part! On Sunday, we were serenaded with a number of merengue and salsa bands (most were recorded) whose music emanated from the La Guancha (the boardwalk or malecón) which sits just across the small harbor from Beatitude. The serenades blared simultaneously through the — I might say — very efficient loudspeakers. In the evening, we decided to take a stroll over to La Guancha to join in the fun. I didn’t really mind the loud music. I love the tropical sound of salsa music.
On Monday, we rented a car and drove to the Ponce Museum of Art, the largest and finest art museum in the Caribbean. They have an impressive collection of European art as well as that of local artists. And, as a bonus, it only cost $13 for the both of us to get in. After enjoying art of the “fine” variety, we decided to take in some art of the modern film variety. It had been quite some time since we had gone to a movie theater. So, we decided to go to the Caribbean Cinemas in Ponce and see the critically acclaimed “The Revenant.” It was intense! And Leonard DiCaprio deserves to win the Oscar for best actor.
Today, we thought we’d head to McDonald’s for breakfast since it had been a while since I had enjoyed a sausage biscuit for breakfast — those who know me well, know that the McDonald’s sausage biscuit has been my favorite breakfast for many years. What a disappointment! There are no biscuits at the McDonald’s in Puerto Rico! What is wrong with these people!
After having been let down for breakfast, we drove to the physical center of Ponce, the Plaza Las Delicias. The main attractions of this plaza are the Parque de Bombas (the famous red and black firehouse built in 1883), and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, which dominates the plaza. Dating back to 1670, it is has suffered damage from multiple fires and earthquakes. The present building, whose exterior is in the neoclassical style, dates back to 1839.
We plan to enjoy Ponce for a few more days before continuing our eastward trek.