Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Attack of the Zombie Bees

Did that get your attention? It sure got ours, but first...

Today was a travel day, moving on from Salinas to Ponce. As we sailed away, the early morning sun lit up the hills above the town - the light was incredible as was watching the shadows of the clouds march across the undulations.

I never tire of watching the pelicans as they skim the waves with their wing tips. Such ungainly birds and yet we see them balancing in trees and their control in flight can be incredible. I'm surprised we haven't seen more along the coast, but this one flew along with us for a while before heading back to his hunting grounds for the day.
As we rounded the end of the bay, I counted 43 wind turbines. These things are massive and are visible from many miles away. Those are big tall palm trees at the bases of the ones on the left.
Just east of Ponce lies Isla Cale de Muerte or Coffin Island. Pavlidis' cruising guide describes the origin of the name as either the result of the island's coffin-like shape, or a story of love and death involving a pirate and his dead bride whom he had embalmed and interred in her coffin on the island. All rather gruesome. On looking at the island I rather thought it looked like the dead young woman herself, without the coffin. Rather like the Sleeping Giant in Thunder Bay.
It was at this point in our day's excursion that things got a little exciting. As we sailed past Coffin Island we were suddenly inundated with bees. We shut up the boat so none could get in and as they menaced around us we had to resort to using the fly swatter on them. They were crawling over the boat particularly around the helm station and the risk of grabbing a line with a bee or stepping on one on the deck was rather daunting. We felt that for every one we killed or swatted away, another three would appear in its place; all very zombie like. In the end we figure we killed a good two dozen. Sorry to all the bee keepers and honey producers out there but six miles offshore is not where bees belong!
Arrival in Ponce saw the bees exit (perhaps back to sea?). We dropped the anchor in the little protected anchorage just off the Ponce Yacht and Fishing club.
On the other side of us is the Malecon, or boardwalk, where apparently it can be very noisy later in the week in the evening, thankfully we are here on a Monday and they must be all partied out from the weekend.
This is a Puerto Rican Yacht club - a few sailboats but fast power fishing boats as far as the eye can see.
The marina is about five miles out of the town of Ponce and is surrounded by a commercial dock area. Not overly pretty and we will need to take a taxi to get into town.
Tomorrow we'll explore Ponce and do some provisioning. As the second largest city in PR at ~160,000 people, the city apparently has a rich architectural and artistic history, as well as loads of modern stores. We'll let you know what we find.

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