Friday, March 20, 2015

More Culebra Snippits

Culebra has been a delightful rest stop for us for the last couple of weeks, although the reason we've been sitting here so long has been due to a fuel problem. After much trial and error it turns out that we had a clogged fuel line and filter and most likely lots of water and sediment in our fuel tank.

We had hoped to fill with fuel in Salinas on the south coast of PR, but the pumps there were empty. So, as we bounced up the coast, we churned up whatever was in our tanks and along with snagging the crab pot that led to a propeller change, we lost power in our starboard engine and eventually had problems with port - thankfully after we were anchored in Culebra.

With Robert's help troubleshooting and with Jason's diesel pump, Henry was able to get the lines clear and then for two days we filtered all our fuel back and forth between the main tank and jerry cans - a process called polishing. As the fuel went round and round, and the diesel drips and fumes accumulated in the cockpit, I went off to the store to buy (shares in) more paper towels, but not a drop was spilled and the turtles continued to visit us each afternoon.

Out of the main tank and into the diesel can.
And now back to the main tank, all thanks to that trusty little pump!
In the meantime, life continues on Culebra with the ferry arriving multiple times a day to pick up and drop off beach visitors to the island, and locals bound for the mainland PR shops. Even the garbage truck for the island comes and goes on the ferry. We tend to go ashore for a bit most days, either to pick up some groceries, take a little hike or meet up with friends.

Mowzer, anchored at the back on a day with very few other boats around.
It gets busy in town when the ferry arrives.
The tourism office has lovely painted panel doors.
Creativity is everywhere - even Heather's Pizza sign is a work of art.
There are a couple of I little grocery stores, but the local fruit stand is open Tuesday and Friday for best selection.
Out of the little town, the roads invite you to see what's around the next corner.
Not sure what there is to eat here, but mom and baby seemed quite happy.
And don't ask sleeping dogs to move - the jeep just drove by and this guy barely lifted his head.
How about a day trip? Looking suitably rustic with its wooden lining.
Three to six in the afternoon finds the dinghies lined up at The Dinghy Dock bar and if you want to meet the local cruising crowd hanging out on Culebra, this is the place to be. As the sun goes down they feed the frigate birds and tarpon, and eventually the hungry crowd gathered round the tables.
Just look at the wing span on these birds, and they're so agile they will steak food from other birds in flight.
The tarpon, up to 4' long, make the water boil
Jason, the happy customer said the fish was fresh!
One of the reasons we were happy to make Culebra our home for a bit, is the easy proximity to the marine shops on the east end of Puerto Rico. Once again we took the ferry over to pick up parts we'd ordered.

See why we double-check the ferry schedule? It just might have changed since yesterday.
Leaving Fajardo with a seat by the rail.
We made it onto the quick ferry this time - looking forward to a nice easy ride.
But I think I'll sit in the comfy seat, a bit more sheltered from the wind.
Goodnight to Fajardo.
We still need to change our fuel filter but the good thing is that we can now move on. A stop at Culebrita, the little island north of Culebra and then we will be heading back into the US Virgin Islands.


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