Posted by: rosyroadsadventures | September 18, 2011

Marina Time

N 18° 04.67′   W 65° 47.8′

Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico

Time in port is a change of pace with different activities. For Bob, the past week entailed a lot more work and less reading. The boat is cooler since we don’t operate the engines at dock and we use shore power to run the air conditioning all the time. That makes inside projects more pleasant, especially those done in the engine room. Bob changed the oil in both engines, both transmissions & both generators, repaired a fuel leak, repaired the sinks in both heads, and installed an anti-roll device that we hope will better stabilize the boat at anchor. He removed the wall to wall carpet in the master salon – a growing priority after several Lady accidents – and is cleaning and restoring the pretty wood flooring underneath.

Bob has been requesting quotes for the upcoming bottom painting job.  It has been an unexpected challenge to get the various boatyards to respond. When and where we have the bottom painting done will impact our departure schedule from Puerto Rico, so I am anxious to get this nailed down. We are considering having the work done in St. Martin (or Sint Maarten?) which would be a new twist in our plans.

For me, time in the marina offers a chance to catch up on cooking and cleaning chores. I can use the stove, bread machine and vacuum cleaner at any time without coordinating them with generator running times.  Yeah!!  I can use all the shore water I need without getting yelled at by the captain. Another bonus!! The only chore that is harder at this particular location is laundry since they don’t have a marina laundromat.  The marina regs frown on hanging out laundry on deck, which I don’t want to do anyway, so using the ship’s small washing machine is out.  There is supposedly a $1/pound pick up & delivery laundry service I am going to need to check out if we stay in port much longer. It sounds too good to be true.

I am working on updating and reorganizing our supply inventories in preparation for our departure from Puerto Rico. Once we leave this area it will likely be harder and more expensive to get certain items and I need to carefully prepare shopping and mail ordering lists. I am catching up on mail and internet time, and enjoying the beautiful pool here. The cook was treated to several nights out with dinners at the marina bar & grill that is open on the weekends.  It’s also a nice place to meet the locals and other boaters.

We have been offered an occasional ride to town when someone is making a supply run but mostly we get around on foot. We will rent a car for provisioning day, when we go to Humacao and maybe Fajardo to stock up on supplies. There is a small supermarket in the resort shopping plaza about a mile away and I often walk there to replenish a needed food or household item. The dogs get extra walks while at dock, which I often do solo while Bob works on other tasks. Since they are more manageable with individual walks I am putting in about 4 – 5 miles/day in dog walks alone. My walking muscles are getting a terrific workout and my feet are aching with blisters. The marina provides complementary golf cart service to and from the boats which we use when carrying lots of parcels, but otherwise we pass on the free ride. We could rent a golf cart for use in the resort, but that seems like an unnecessary expense. Plus we can use the exercise. Getting around primarily on foot is a new experience for those of us used to driving our cars everywhere.  You have to plan your needs and activities much more carefully to avoid being without the things that you want. 

Marina time is also an opportunity to get to know some of our fellow boaters. The facility is quiet this time of year since most boats are stored here and not lived on full-time. Owners are mostly locals who live ashore in Puerto Rico or absentee owners who live elsewhere part of the year and use their boats during the winter season. During this visit in Palmas we got to know Cap’n Rich, a fellow Defever owner, while he was in town to work on his boat. We had met Rich and Judy briefly several years ago while vacationing in the Keys. They are experienced sailors who spent many years living aboard and cruising the Caribbean on their sailboat. They graduated to a trawler several years ago to continue their boating adventures on a part-time basis. (The old saying is that lifelong sailors eventually move on to trawlers . . . then to RV’s . . . then the nursing home.)

Fellow cruisers are a great resource and most will happily share their mistakes and misadventures as well as what has worked for them. We enjoyed happy hours with Cap’n Rich and got lots of advice and “food for thought” as we plan the next stage of our adventure.



  1. Glad to hear that you are considering St. Maarten for your maintenance. It won’t compare to St. John and some of the other hot spots you have found, but I can steer you to some really nice spots, if you don’t already know the island well.

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