Rob recently pointed out that for a sailing blog, I write very little about actually sailing. This is a fair point, but it is true what they say—sailing is boredom punctuated by terror. Most of the time we are just staring off at the vast seas and occasionally trimming the sails. But it doesn’t take much–a rogue wave, a squall, an engine pitch change, a pod of dolphins, a fish on the line—and things get exciting fast.
We knew we needed something to keep ourselves busy this hurricane season. There’s only so much beach paddle ball we could play. So, in addition to knocking out some boat projects and chasing waterfalls, we started working towards our OUPV (Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel) licenses. Also known as the 6-pak license, the OUPV license allows the holder to captain uninspected vessels up to 100 gross tons with up to 6 paying passengers. We don’t have any grand plans for using the licenses, but it’s something that might come in handy in the future.
We had a great time living in San Juan, PR over hurricane season, but we were itching to get back on the boat and continue our journey south. Last season, we quickly learned that cruising can be like a roller coaster ride with amazing highs and frustrating lows. And this season has started off the exact same way.
Tomorrow is the day we’ve been counting down to all hurricane season. Tomorrow we’ll wake up with the sun, set sail, and start Part 2 of our sailing adventure. To say that we’re excited is an understatement. We’ve been busting our butts and knocking out boat project after boat project the last two weeks to prepare us for this moment. We’re exhausted, but we know how rejuvenating the seas can be and tomorrow all our hard work will pay off.
If you can’t tell, I’m having a love affair with Puerto Rico. We’ve been fortunate enough to spend the last 3 months here and I’m amazed at how much this territory has to offer. The island is only 100 miles by 40 miles, which is one tenth the size of my home state (Indiana), but it has everything from pristine beaches to tropical rainforests. The only thing it’s missing is some snowy peaks.
It is now low season in Puerto Rico. Tourism season is from November to May. This actually works out great for us, because we often get to enjoy even the most popular Puerto Rico attractions all to ourselves. We recently discovered that we can rent a car from the Enterprise down the street for just $16 a day (all fees included). When we rent cars from marinas, we typically spend around $40 a day, so this is a bargain. Of course the price will go up in November. But since renting a set of wheels is so affordable right now, we’ve been exploring inland in search for rivers, waterfalls, and more.
With the power out all over the island, many Puerto Ricans woke up Thursday (9/22) morning in the smothering heat without air conditioning. Since most businesses were closed, people had the day off and needed to find a way to cool off. So everyone flocked to the beach, but Rob and I had different plans. We’ve been wanting to visit El Yunque National Forest since we arrived in Puerto Rico. What better way to beat the heat than to hike up into the clouds and swim under waterfalls?