Sunday, August 2, 2015

Water water everywhere

And nary a drop to drink.

We are pretty self sufficient on the boat, energy wise. We have two solar panels and a wind generator that are currently providing all of the energy we need. Lots of sun every day, and the constant trade winds keep our batteries topped off. One thing that we don't have is a watermaker. We have to fill our tanks to keep ourselves supplied with fresh water. We have 3 tanks, and so far we seem to be needing to switch to a new tank every 5-6 days. In the BVI it is easy to get water, there are quite a few places to drive the boat up to the dock and get fuel and water.

We assumed that it would be similar in Puerto Rico, and we were half way through our second tank when we arrived in Culebra.  Well, you know that to assume makes an ass out of u and me..., it turns out that the only place in Culebra to get water is a place that is too shallow for our deep draft boat (7' 2"). You need to have some method for getting the water into your dinghy and then over to your boat. This boat came equipped with many things. Water "jerry cans" were not among those things.

The information we got from the local cruisers was that we should go to Fajardo on the main island of Puerto Rico, and the best way to get there is by ferry. So this morning we got up at 5 AM to get into our dinghy by 5:30 to take the 30 min dinghy ride to the dinghy dock so we could walk to the ferry terminal to get tickets for the 6:30 ferry, that left promptly at 7:45. Apparently the ferry was an hour late arriving because on the 5 AM ferry from Fajardo there was a group of 20 people that got into a fight that caused the captain to turn the ferry around and kick them off the boat.

We made it to Fajardo and were picked up by Al, a retired taxi driver referred to us by friends. Al was great, taxiing us to the store, picking us up, taking us to another store and then back to the ferry. He runs his taxi service on referrals, and only takes trips he wants because he is retired. He was a great find for us.

Our main objective for the trip was to get 3 or 4 jerry cans for water. Unfortunately Puerto Rico is in a major drought and  parts of the island is rationing water. There are some places that you can only have water every other day, or in some cases every third day. Because of this the water cans are in short supply. The first store we went to showed us a rack of about 6 containers. I went to find Bob to see if they were the types of containers that we wanted. By the time I got back with him, they were ALL gone!

Second stop, we found 2 cans of the type we wanted, but they only had two. We bought those and searched two more stores with no luck. So, we are back in Culebra,  with  two new jerry cans ready to begin the process of carrying water to the boat. I will let you know later how that worked out.

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