Puerto Rico – Replacing the Engines

Back in the U.S. How strange. Although not exactly like California it really did feel like being home, which was a little disturbing although convenient for projects like the engine replacement. Reminiscent of the Volkswagen scandal, our engines were recalled based on emissions problems. On Volvo’s dime we got hauled out at Puerto del Rey Marina, the largest marina in the Caribbean. And fancy at that. However it’s so fancy they don’t let you live aboard in the boat yard so we got an Airbnb within walking distance. It was also nice having somewhere to go each night to shower and abuse their washing machine and internet. Us being the practical cruisers we are, we made sure our Airbnb had unlimited Wi-Fi.

While Puerto del Rey is a large marina and a huge yard (with three Travelifts) Wasco is a big (or at least wide) boat. We had to use their largest lift (150 tons) and had a pretty snug fit in the well. Wasco didn’t even register on the strain gauges that measure the weight of the boat being lifted! Our first time out on anything other than a trailer.

Inches To Spare
Wasco Takes To The Air
Flying Low

The engine replacement had us out of the water for a week. It didn’t go as smoothly as is could have, mainly because the dealer showed up on Monday to take out the old engines, but then failed to show up again until Thursday. That made for a rushed and less than perfect installation. But, we got new engines, got to take care of some other minor work that needed doing, and got back in the water only a day behind schedule.

The Work Begins

Of course, we didn’t have the Airbnb reserved for that extra day, and they don’t allow you to stay on the boat in the yard…. So what’s a good cruising couple to do? Well, we stayed on the boat anyway. Kept all the lights off, and tried to make no sound. It was a drizzly night, so maybe that would make things better. But no, the security guard didn’t want to get rained on, and where better to park your golf cart out of the rain than under the bridge deck of a nice, big catamaran? We went to bed early while he watched TV on his phone under the boat 🙂

We spent most of our time in the yard, but only had to go about two boat-lengths to find a pre-Columbian burial that had been exposed only a week before during some excavation work in the yard. As a site of archaeological interest the area had been turned over to the government archaeologist just the week before we arrived, and they had 90 days during which they could study/excavate/document/move the site. We spent part of one afternoon getting a tour. The burial (or at least the part they were working on at the time) appears to be a mother and child. The mother’s torso was covered with a turtle shell, which we were told was quite common in these burials. Very interesting.

The Dig
Women With Turtle Shell Covering Her Torso
Archeology 101

Once back in the water we sailed over to Luis Pena and Culebra. We enjoyed a very pleasant, empty anchorage at Luis Pena and did some nice snorkeling and walking before heading over to Culebra. The town of Dewey feels a bit like the 60s came by, and then never left. Berkeleyians should feel right at home. And we did. We spent the day walking around the island, exploring. Had lunch at Zaco’s Tacos. Delicious. Finally, after a year and a half some good Mexican food. We did take a dinghy excursion out to “the best snorkeling site in….” but were again underwhelmed by our jaded palates.

2 thoughts on “Puerto Rico – Replacing the Engines

  1. So fun to see your smiling hard working faces. Would have loved to be there for Archaeology 101.
    Living through you enviously….don’t ever come back – just keep sending pictures and comic journalism.

  2. I’m reminded of Tahitian canoeists sheltering from the rain between Anduril’s hulls before the start of a race.

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