Posted by: rosyroadsadventures | June 27, 2011

Ponce & Salinas to Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico

N 18° 04.67′    W 65° 47.78

Palmas del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico

We are within 21 miles of our target destination for this first major leg of our voyage, a day trip away!  We are ready to move on as soon as thunderstorms from a tropical wave pass through.

Salinas was pleasant and we wish we had more time there. We are feeling more urgency to get to Fajardo and nail down our hurricane plans. Phone conversations and and e-mails with the marina there have been non-committal and a personal visit seems the best way to communicate.

While in Salinas, we spent a day exploring the mangrove rivers. Securing the boat in a mangrove is our hurricane “Plan B” and we wanted to be more familiar with the huge mangrove area there. Secured in the right location the mangroves can provide shelter from the winds, and a natural cushion of sorts. Many experienced sailors recommend mangroves as the preferred hurricane option. We took the boat up some of the rivers and explored other by dinghy, sounding out the depths and making notes on our charts.

The next day’s passage was a 5 ½ hour trip around the southeastern tip of Puerto Rico to Palmas del Mar. Taking advantage of the night lee was the strategy once more, and we hoped for better conditions than the trip into Salinas. We got up at 3 am and were under way by 3:30. Getting up so early is not my idea of fun, but given the probability of smoother seas, it was the lesser of the two evils.

We exited the anchorage in the dark through Boca del Infierno. The Spanish can be very descriptive in naming nautical locations, and I like to check the translations for hints as to what one might expect. Boca del Infierno, a narrow inlet between two reefs, didn’t sound pleasant, literally translating as “the mouth of hell”. At that hour in the morning, the pass was tame. We quickly got out into deeper seas, and then set up camp at the lower helm for a more comfortable trip.

Palmas del Mar is a large residential and resort community with a huge marina. There used to be an anchorage here, but it is now filled with marina slips, so the decision to stay in a marina was easy. There are pretty grounds, a nearby beach, restaurants, and a small, expensive grocery market. In contrast to the mangrove areas, this location has been bug-free which Bob particularly enjoys. The marina is protected from the sea by a huge boulder breakwater, and seems reasonably well designed with high, concrete pilings and extra space between piers. They have good slip availability, and this could be hurricane “Plan C”.

We have good internet service here so will update photos since Ponce:

The La Guancha boardwalk area across from the Ponce Yacht Club marina provided free entertainment each night


We experienced our first traffic jam in months trying to find the square in downtown Ponce


View of the Ponce harbor and town from Yacht Club grounds

The newly stitched dinghy chaps were christened in Ponce, and survived their first test drive. I am glad that project is done!


The gorgeous Isla Caja de Muertos park was a scenic anchorage, but proved to be uncomfortably rolly for an overnight stay

Mar Azul anchored in Salinas harbor

The gals -- out for a ride in the dink


Exploring the Salinas mangrove rivers


Beautiful sunset at Bahia de Jobos anchorage near Salinas

Lovely Palmas del Mar marina



  1. Thank you for sharing your adventures! The pictures are great! I’ve probably said it 3 times already, but we’re excited to be heading down to St. Maarten on July 9th! So, if you’re looking for Hurricane Hole Plan D, come on down to Simpson Bay!

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