We leave Salinas, PR at 8 am, having seen a few manatees in the bay. Winds are 20-25 knots and we travel at a good speed, 7.5-8 knots. For some reason, I tend to choose the most time-consuming and complex breakfasts on our passage days. In a novel, this would be a slightly annoying but endearing character trait. In real life, I think it drives Matt a little nuts. Today I make almond
flour-banana pancakes. Matt tolerates it in good spirits and the swells cooperate until I finish cooking. It’s another one of those days with 6-foot swells and every 3-5 seconds we are tipped 30 degrees one way, 20 degrees another. On a similar passage, I had prepared chili for lunch. I set the bowl on the counter for 20 seconds as I got a spoon. Although the bowl didn’t move, the force of the swell literally sent the chili flying out of the bowl and all over the cabinet and floor below.
We pull into the Ponce Yacht Club to fill up water and fuel. The fuel dock is closed for the lunch hour so we go to the café to wait. Sitting at the same table is a couple heading east. We ask them questions about the Bahamas and their passages. Before we leave, Matt asks their boat name (a common question and a way to remember people and spot their boat at various places).
“Carefree,” she says and then quickly amends, “but we’re not. Carefree, that is.” I start laughing because, while checking in at the St. Thomas marina office, the attendant had remarked that the owner of Happy Times never looked very happy. My theory is that, unless the boat is named to honor a person or alludes to a hobby or occupation, most boat names are aspirational. The person buys the boat as a means to achieving X and names their boat accordingly (Serenity, Bliss). That’s why you see the couple on Peace Time having a huge argument. They’re just not there yet – they’re still in the striving stage. I share this theory and she laughs and agrees. We anchor at Gilligan’s Island minutes before the sun sets and catch up to our friends Jim & Karen, with whom we’re traveling. The next day we leave at 7:30 am and get to Boqueron Bay, PR at 2 pm. It’s nice to have a shorter day, particularly because tomorrow is our first overnight passage down here.