Racing Hurricane Karen to Puerto Rico

We arrived to Puerto Rico, JUST IN TIME FOR HURRICANE KAREN.  This marks our presence through 3 Tropical storms or hurricanes in the last month, and every time we were either suppose to be flying OR WERE heading into the general direction.    What ARE WE THINKING!!!. 

Michael and Margarita of Caribbean Sailing Solutions in Fajardo, who we had worked with for years and visited a few times, offered for us to stay on one of their boats in Fajardo while we were in PR, and we  thankfully accepted after spending the last month in hotels in Florida. 

It would be nice to be on a boat floating again.   However, KAREN had different plans for us, when her sea state and weather closed the ferry trip from Fajardo to the little Isleta where the boats where docked.  So we had to find an alternative for a few nights until the sea state improved. 

The thing with a hurricane in a tropical zone is that it can be devastating. So, as we found out in Martinique, and again in Florida, and now here in Puerto Rico, is that LITERALLY EVERYTHING shuts down or closes and boards up. For days!

We drove from San Juan towards Salinas ( the boat we went to look at was in Salinas). We looked for any hotel along the way. ANY. There were NONE. everything was on hurricane closures and with the history Puerto Rico had with both Irma and Maria a few years before, every precaution was taken. It was about 10 pm before we found somewhere possible that we could sleep for the night.

One hotel, ….  And we are hesitant to say, but for humour factor we will…..  was for rent by the hour. …. 

We eventually convinced them that we had travelled all day and we just really need to sleep! I guess we looked innocent enough and they made concessions for our stay for the night. Including a fridge.  But, just to tell you, there are no windows in the room, no clock, and there is a garage that you drive the car into to shut the door.  Get the picture???  UGH…..  BUT it was one of the absolute cleanest hotels we had stayed in over a month…..  so no complaints from this side. 

When we finally got to Isleta, it was delightful.   Except for having to drag our 4- 50 pound bags with us.    When we left NautiKel, we took  everything we would need for the next 6 months, until we got back to our storage unit in Panama. …..  (right, as they say for sailors that plans are written in sand at low tide)   

Now, on about the boat that we went into Puerto Rico to look at……

The Knysna is a decent sailing South African built catamaran.   Knysnas have a good reputation and a good design for the charter market. 

We had a couple issues with THIS particular boat for a couple reasons. 

The boat we went to see, was misrepresented, it did not have the dinghy included in the pictures, none of the ‘ stuff” in the original pics was included, and it was not ready to go.  The stainless rack on the back, built to carry the dinghy, was so heavy that the back transom step was already submerged, and the dinghy was not even on it.

Again, when you decide to sell your boat, make sure its ready to sell. Make sure that boats pictures are as it will be seen at viewing by the buyer- Not pics with stuff that’s not included and not pictures from 10 years ago. People spend a lot of time, money and energy going to see a boat they are considering, every seller should keep that in mind.

We felt duped….. again.  So we bailed.   And again felt disheartened. 

We then got word of a Leopard 47 in the area, not qute ready to sell, but the owner was willing.  Leopard 47’s and 43’s make very comfortable liveaboard cruising yachts.

We looked at it the first time, and it seemed ok,…   The second time we went back some things had started to be swapped out and changed, and the third time we looked, we felt that with the oil in the bildges and the warm engines always on our arrival, something was up.  So we bailed on that one too. 

This boat search was getting really hard on both the heart and the pocketbook. 

Time to reassess. 

Storm on the horizon in Isleta

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