Alaskan family of five moves to Puerto Rico.

I was thinking homeschooling was you best bet at this stage, too.  So sorry you are having such a time of it.  Hang in there and something will turn up.

Some parents home schooling get together as a group for support.and schooling.

I don't know Gregg, I have very little patience and I don't think that I will be a good teacher.

My husband may be a better candidate but I am not sure if he is up to it either.

I looked into and it is pretty costly but thatight be my only option.

Will post an update

K-12 is pretty costly. If you took it in the states it would be free. However, and fortunately for you, at his age and grade level he wouldn't need a "teacher". He would need someone to make sure he gets his butt out of bed in the morning just like regular school. The main thing that would be required of you is to make sure that he does his work and sticks to it. With K-12 the school day is much shorter because there are no distractions or school functions to deal with. If he works through holidays and regular school vacation times he can finish his school year by March or April. Our daughter took 3rd grade with K-12 so she needed a teacher. When we got back to the states and put her back in a regular public school there was no problem with her being put into the 4th grade. The biggest problem you might have is getting him to stick with a regular daily regemen. It's almost like working from home. Not everybody can pull it off without some self discipline.

Call up K-12 and talk to them and relay your concerns. They will probably tell you the same thing as I did, that he doesn't need a teacher in the traditional sense.

I'm not sure from your posts if you'd be OK with your grandson getting his GED, but there is a GED administrator in Puerto Rico. (I've never had anything to do with GEDs, but I found this online.) Since it's from the US, they may have access to tests in English, although your grandson might have to go to San Juan to take the test.
Puerto Rico
Luis Ruiz
GED Administrator
Examinations, Diplomas and Certificates Unit
Department of Education
P.O. Box 190759
San Juan, PR 00919-0759
Phone: (787) 773-4881 or (787) 773-4880 or (787) 773-4884
Fax: (787) 281-0999

Its the most.wonderful time.of the year.

Back to school time.

Its an amazing sight. Almost every store is having some form of back to school sale including the Sears furniture department. Plus Gordons Jewelry is having a back to school sale. I am not sure how that connects to school but whatever, right? Maybe it does?

The shopping malls are packed with kids and they are super excited. Its almost like Christmas time in the states. I remember being in sixth grade and saying, wow, I only have six more years of school. I cant wait to get out. Then I realized that I forgot to add the college years. Looking back now I wonder why I wanted to get out so bad. School was great. I didnt have to worry about bills, insurance, retirement or a mortgage. Why was I in such a hurry to worry about those things?

The kids here actually really like going to school. They have incredibly interesting political debates and insights on life. They seem to be wiser than their years. The kids teach each other. They tutor each other and the help each other like I have never seen anywhere but here. The kids here seem to be more connected to current events. These kids are smart!

I will admit since moving to the Caribbean I try not to read or watch the news. Its actually really hard to do. I encourage you all to try it. I met someone several years ago who said his life has improved since he stopped watching the news.

He said, The news is just too depressing! Why would anyone want to be depressed? If something major happens in the news I would hear about it at work around the water cooler. My life is too valuable for that!

This person is a very decorated and high ranking military officer in Washington DC. His advice has been some of the best advice I have actually followed.

The next two weeks will be the very tough in our house. The mood swings have already started. You can easily see the grins turn into frowns with just a mention of school supplies or uniforms. It really is the most wonderful time of year. 

We also have a new addition joining us for a year. Our family of five knuckleheads will soon be a family of six knuckleheads.

I better get a few more surfboards and/or school supplies.

Thank you for coming back for an update.  That is really cool that the kids there enjoy school, actually I enjoyed school, too :)  You have a lot of compassion and kindness to take another into your household for a whole year, blessings!

Thanks for the info on the GED
That will be our last resort. I am waiting until Jul. 28 , when they tell me that the school personnel is back from vacation to call and find out our options. Maybe night school would be best at this point.

My neighbor also gave me the name and no. of a Christian school in Hatillo that Bilingual and we will see where that goes.

A GED is better than nothing but it will make it much harder for your grandson to get into college or to get a job.

Maiden voyage of our new Beneteau 361 S/V “Senses Pleasures” name change coming soon. Possible choices, “Address Unknown”, “Anywhere”, “Everywhere”, or “Less than Ordinary”. We haven’t decided yet. Maybe you have some ideas?

So here it goes..

As I drove to San Juan last weekend I realized my life is less than ordinary, at least to me. I have always strived to follow my dreams even if some of those dreams have been a little off the wall. I could go on and on. But if you know me, you will know this is true. Once an idea plants its seed it grows into something beyond control.

It has not been easy for my wife and three kids. They have had to endure many adventures and travels all over the world. I am thankful that they still continue to still love and follow me. My lovely bride has allowed me to live a life less ordinary. I am so grateful for her dedication to me and the kids for over the last 24 years of fun. Yes, I have been married to the same girl I met in college and she has been the best part of my crazy life. I will also admit that my kids are equally crazy, adventurous and I am proud of their life choices.

So I need to get back on track. As my car sped down highway 2 I realized the gravity of what I was about to do. Since I was about thirteen I have dreamt of sailing the Caribbean and very soon I would be living that dream. About a month earlier my son and I were walking the docks in Old San Juan and came across a little sailboat for sale. That’s when the wheels started turning. Liam (14) called the number and before I knew it we had bought a boat. The boats current name is “Senses Pleasures”. Try to say that ten times fast.

No, Really. Try it?  Liam says, that name sounds like a strip club. I agree so that name will be changed to “Address Unknown” or something else at some point we cant decide.

So for the last several weeks we have been driving back and forth to San Juan on the weekends. Each weekend a different child would go with me and we would clean, repair and prep the boat for the impending trip to the west coast of Puerto Rico. It’s not a hard trip but its 125 miles without any safe place to stop. So we wanted to make sure everything was perfect. I kept thinking about all that could go wrong, the things that could break and of the security of the San Juan Harbor. I said to myself, I don’t need to leave the harbor do I? It’s safe and sheltered. Everything I need is right here. If I leave the harbor too many things could go wrong. But the thoughts of floating at sea, the fresh ocean air in my face and the brightest blue ocean splashing against the hull far out weighted the risks. Besides, this was one of my many dreams and I have never let my fears run my life.

The day of maiden voyage had finally arrived. My plan was to leave Friday night and sail west for 125 miles to Puerto Real. My weeks of preparation were about to pay off and my anticipation was overwhelming. Our crew of four was ready and capable. My father flew down from Maryland and Meshach (Berkley’s boyfriend) also joined to. This was a blessing as the events of the coming days were unbelievably challenging.
We filled the water tanks the fuel tanks and the propane tank. We even tried to empty the holding tank. The batteries were fully charged and the engine had just been completely serviced. Just to show off I went to start the engine to impress my dad and it didn’t start. I was baffled. It just started a few hours earlier! WTF!!!! We hired a local mechanic and he replaced the ignition switch. Then the GPS started to power off for some reason. So we tore the steering console apart and rewired the unit. We thought we fixed it. And decided we were ready for the journey. We went to an early dinner and tried to sleep for a few hours. My plan was to set sail around midnight and arrive at the west coast turn around sunrise. It was a good plan!!!!

After a brief nap after dinner we cast off and left the safety of the marina at 12:30. The moon was bright, the skies were clear and the lights of Old San Juan were reflecting off the water in the harbor. It was beautiful. The wind was blowing from the east about 10 knots. The waves were down from 15 feet to 8 foot. It was a perfect time to head west.

·         12:30 am Cast off and left San Juan Harbor
·         1:00 am Meshach and Liam pass out (My crew of four is down to two)
·         1:15 am leaving the safety of San Juan Harbor
·         1:30 am at 5 miles north of the Puerto Rico shoreline we turned left and headed west. 
·         2:00 am autopilot failed (This sucks) My Dad says, “This isn’t good!”
·         4:00 am GPS failed (This sucked worse!) My Dad says, “This really isn’t good!”
·         5:00 am the wind died to a dead calm (watched a meteor shower)
·         6:30 am Liam and Meshach wake up and start trolling for Mahi Mahi. They were not concerned about the problems as those two knew they could swim to shore. We were five miles north of Puerto Rico. They both claimed they could swim that in their sleep.
·         7:00 am the batteries died (Now nothing is working, My panic level was increasing)
·         At 9:00 am we noticed water in the cabin and bilges full of salt water (Now, I’m scared)
·         At 11;00 am Engine water pump failing (major engine problem, water all over engine room)
·         At 12:00 pm 12 hours after the journey began we had only travelled 40 miles (The boat speed was only 3-4 knots due to opposing current and barnacle growth on hull. We had planned on travelling at 6-7 knots we were not even half way to where we thought we would be)
·         1:00 pm called the Coast Guard for info on towing assistance I had to spell the name of our boat five times as they had no idea what “Senses Pleasures” was. It must have sounded completely different over the VHF radio. (SEATOW was unfortunately on the opposite side of the island and could not assist plus they charge $375/hr)

Channel 16---

Me---“US Coast Guard, US Coast Guard this is Sailing Vessel “Senses Pleasures”, we need your assistance. US Coast Guard, US Coast Guard this is Sailing Vessel “Senses Pleasures”, we need your assistance.

USCG—Can you repeat the name of the vessel?

Me---“US Coast Guard, US Coast Guard this is Sailing Vessel “Senses Pleasures”. US Coast Guard, US Coast Guard this is Sailing Vessel “Senses Pleasures”.

USCG—Can you repeat the name of the vessel again Capt.?

Me---“US Coast Guard, US Coast Guard this is Sailing Vessel “Senses Pleasures”. US Coast Guard, US Coast Guard this is Sailing Vessel “Senses Pleasures”.

USCG—Can you spell the name of the vessel Capt.?

And so on….. Finally

USCG—We do not provide assistance in the waters around Puerto Rico. You will need to call SEATOW located in Ponce, PR. Here is the number.

Called SEATOW and they stated they were 6-8 hours away on the opposite side of the island. Basically we were on our own. So we all just looked at each other for several minutes waiting for someone to break that awkward silence. No one did….

·         2:00 pm started to hyperventilate and panic attacks started.
·         3:00 pm checked diesel fuel level below ¼ tank (3 gallons) still have 40 miles to go against a 3 knot current. We had already travelled 40 miles and went through 15 gallons. You do the math. It just plan doesn’t add up. How were we going to go the next 40 miles on three gallons?
·         5:00 pm made the turn heading south. We are almost out of fuel only 1/8 tank left.
·         5:30 pm 10-12 foot waves breaking on north shore (this was scary because If we ran out of fuel we would not be able to avoid the reefs. Its 300 feet deep in front of the reef and an anchor cannot reach or hold in ten foot seas.
·         6:30 pm beautiful sunset and I mean beautiful! I should have taken some photos
·         7:00 pm sailed past a 200 foot pier and didn’t see it. (No lights, no power, no fun)
·         7:30 pm anchored in Aguadilla (no power, no lights and in high surf)
·         7:45 pm We paddled ashore to buy a new 12 volt battery and get more fuel. There was a huge party on the beach, live band and dancing. I started to second guess the decision to get a battery and fuel. The thought of manana, manana kept invading my mind. Why do today what I can put off to tomorrow, right? Fiesta!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
·         8:00 pm my beautiful bride arrives at the beach to shuttle us to the store. I got a much needed hug and encouragement. Gosh, I love that lady…..
·         8:05 pm I realized I could party tomorrow, sad, huh? It sucks being a grown up!
·         8:10 pm Meshach leaves us and was replaced by Deliz (Maddie’s boyfriend) I think Meshach was worried that the next day was going to be equally challenging. We didn’t tell Deliz so he had no idea what he was getting into.
·         10:00 pm returned to boat filled fuel tank with (4) five gallon jugs in 5 foot waves. This was not easy. Plus the ragging party on the beach was a little distracting. Neighboring sailboat owner swims over to say hi. Funny thing, his name is Sam Adams Owens. He talks with us for several hours.
·         12:00 pm Cellphone battery completely dead. Nothing on board to charge it.
·         12:30 pm tried to sleep the boat was rocking in the waves violently all night. I wish I would have stayed at the beach party.
·         6:30 am pulled anchor and set sail after hot wiring the engine. Dad, MacGyver’d the new battery on deck to the GPS. I will admit it looked a little ghetto but it worked. This is when I realized, Yep, I’m a true sailor!
·         7:30 am hit 7 knots for the first time. I was super stoked.
·         8:30 am wind died. Yep, the wind died!!!!
·         9:00 am motoring against the current is not all that fun. When you see people walking on the beach faster than you are motoring in a boat it’s kind of disheartening. But we did have beautiful skies and we are in the Caribbean on a boat!
·         3:00 pm successful navigation through several below surface reefs. Thank god we had a MacGyver on the boat and working GPS!
·         4:00 pm Successful navigation into Punta Carenero, Puerto Real
·         4:30 pm Ran aground in the marina. Damn it!
·         4:35 pm moved around to a deeper side of the marina.
·         4:45 pm “Address Unknown” has a new home slip C-15 we were told to go to C-16 but whatever, right? We are in the Caribbean on a boat.
·         5:00 pm Super Cold Corona with Lime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I will continue to cast off my fears, set the sails and leave the safety of my harbors. It is my hope and desire that I influence my children to do the same and live a life less than ordinary.

Where will we go next?

Wow, what an adventure!  So glad you came back to tell us more of your journeys and adventures.  Hope you and your family are well, bless!

Ok my friend we are ready to sail, are you going to get us lost on Gilligans Island? Haha. We have experienced some of the same things both good and bad. Give me a call sometime maybe after the holidays we can get together.

Enjoy reading your posts! We lived in the Bayamon / San Juan area for three years. Just moved back. And yes GPS here does not work with addresses. If you ever find a place, pin it! Then you can get there again. I was reading your post routing for you to find one of the Costco stores. When I read you got to Ikea I thought now they will find the Costco store less than a mile down the road on the left. Oh the irony!! And if you ever do stop for directions, Puerto Ricans never use street names just landmarks like the pink house or the tire place or where the big Ceiba tree is - except when it is a numbered highway - then they have a name for that highway and don't know the number. Haha!

If you ever decide to go to Ikea and Costco again, go to the Ikea PR website first, place your order a couple days ahead of time, it will usually be ready for pickup in 48 hours. Go to IKea. If IKEA is on your right, drive down the road 3/4 of a mile. The Costco will be on your left. But as soon as you see the Costco get way over to your right on the little side road that goes to the gas station across from Costco. That is where the left hand turn Lane is. After you turn left to go to Costco, on the right side of Costco, there is a Baby Bull restaurant that has the best burgers and ribs we have ever eaten. It was our go to place, and the owner speaks English. Now hopefully that would be a better day if you ever attempt it again.

Hey there, Matmore; Pin it! That's what I do too... GPS works SOMETIMES, but only if the address is "proper".  Hey, I'm curious about Cosco... is it worth the drive from Rincon?

Well I'm sure glad I didn't get an invite this time Bill LOL, we need to get together soon. We can use our friends condo in Mayaguez for a weekend anytime we want. I am ready to sit and have a cold beer with you my friend. Give me a call!

Costco kept me sane while we were living in PR, but it was only 5 minutes from our house, and we had a 2nd fridge and freezer to be able to buy in larger quantities. If you have a second freezer or fridge, it definitely would be worth it to make a trip every six weeks or so and stock up. If you don't have the storage then you are limited to mostly dry goods. It still might be worth it because they have better quality and variety than most any supermarket in PR and better prices. They also have a lot of great household items. Do you have a Sam's Club in Mayaguez? SAMs club would be good too. If not, I would probably be making a trip to Costco every other month or so for sanity's sake.

Yes there is a Sam's in Mayaguez.

Since there is a SAMs, then I would probably go there instead of driving 2 hours for Costco??

I like Costco better. But you are right. A 2 hour drive in Puerto Rican traffic isn't worth the difference.

FWIW there's a Costco in Caguas. Easy to find but the mall is, like so many here in PR a pain to get in and out.

I try to keep my sanity by leaving most of the shopping to my wife (who seems to like it..) :D

The Sam's in Mayaguez (by mainland standards) is laim; limited selections, and inconsistent.

The other Sam's Clubs on the island are the same. This is Puerto Rico.. :)

Still loving it!

Mona Island. Yes, Mona Island……

I apologize; it has been a while since my last post. We have had a lot of visitors and the new grand babies take up valuable time. So here goes the latest adventure.

We were sitting in the marina bar on a Sunday night talking about crazy sailing adventures with several other sailors. Some of the stories were harder to believe than others. Sailors always try to make the stories more interesting so others will actually listen with envy. This is why sailors are so interesting, right?

Then someone brought up the beautiful island called Mona in one of the most dangerous passages in the world. The Mona Passage is feared by many because of the crazy current, high seas and rogue waves. Mona Island has some incredibly unique animals, birds, turtles and is sometimes called the Galapagos Island of the Caribbean. Very few people actually get to go there because of the required permits and difficult location in the Mona Passage. This was one of those father son bucket list moments that I knew just had to happen. Before we knew it we had a crew of five ready to leave that Thursday night. They all had the same enthusiasm as Liam and I. It started as a joke and snow balled into reality and in four days we were going, for real. The crew consisted of a DEA agent, retired NY State trooper, an EMT, my amazing son Liam and me. I am leaving their names out.

Remember this is a sailor’s story. So as most of this is true some things are not. I will let you guess.

We all met at the marina Thursday evening to set sail that night. Of course nothing is ever simple. The bolt for the alternator pivot point snapped off on the engine pre check that afternoon. That was not an easy part to find as Friday was Three Kings Day and every store closes early the night before a holiday. I was able to find the bolt in Mayaguez and replaced the alternator pivot bolt. I did another thorough check of the entire boat and concluded we were ready for crossing the Mona Passage. I will admit I was a little nervous. We set sail at 11:30 PM under a full moon. It was a beautiful night. The wind was coming from the west at 10-15 knots and waves were only 3-5 feet high. Every hour of this ten hour journey the engine, batteries, gauges and bilges were checked. Like I stated, I was nervous. Besides I was responsible for four other lives. During the first four hours of the trip the seas were calm. By 4:00 AM the moon had set on the horizon, the seas and wind picked up and my crew was fast asleep with the exception of my boy, Liam. It was pitch black. But in the far off distance I could see the occasional light from the northern Mona Island lighthouse.

I actually loved the sound of the ocean crashing against the hull and the wind whistling by. Plus, the conversations you have with your son at “O” dark thirty while everyone else is asleep is priceless. The lack of sleep didn’t seem to bother either of us. We were too excited to care. He and I spent hours just talking. I don’t actually remember what we talked about but I am sure it was earth changing stuff.  At 06:00 the sun started to rise and the cliff face of Mona Island was lit up like the Cliffs of Dover. It was an amazing sight. The crew woke up and before we knew it, we had caught two five foot Barracudas. As we sailed past the northern shore/cliffs another island became visible. It is a much smaller island just north of Mona called Little Mona, Original name, huh? That island is all cliffs all the way around and impossible to anchor next to and explore. I hear the fishing around that island is fantastic.

On the west side of Mona Island, the wind and waves had died down. The sailing became comfortable and calm again. The visibility below us was over 75 feet. Yes, we could see the ocean floor 75 feet below us. This made navigating a little difficult as you could not believe the depth meter or your eyes. It appeared to be much shallower than it actually was. We then spotted a buoy about a mile away and sailed towards that. That buoy is the guide marker to make it into the mooring area. Once we rounded that buoy we could see the two markers on the beach. We lined them up with the buoy behind us and sailed right in. The passage into the protected anchorage was about 50 feet wide. In high surf I don’t think our boat could make it in or out.

We tied up to the mooring buoy just north of the old loading dock in about 10-13 feet of water. The water was crystal clear with turtles swimming around everywhere. The beach sand was a bright white. We all sat there looking at the cliffs and the little beach for several minutes. We just could not believe what we were seeing.

After we absorbed as much as we could we all dove into the water and swam to shore. We walked down the beach to the Mona Island Departamento De Recursos Naturales Y Ambientales or DNRA office. The Island has 4-5 armed rangers stationed there every week. They rotate out every other week. The DNRA employees do not have a working boat. They have several ATV’s and trucks but no water craft. We thought that was a little odd. After introducing ourselves to the DNRA officials they asked us to help save 18 Cuban refugees that were stranded on a cliff about a ½ mile away. They told us that the refugees had been there for three days without food and water. Liam and one of our crew members jumped into the inflatable and made nine trips back and forth. They retrieved them all including a man with a broken leg and a four year old girl.

It is really sad to see what people endure to leave their countries for the American dream. Most of these refugees will pay $1500-2500 to have someone deliver them by boat to Puerto Rico. The worst part is most of these refugees get dropped off on a deserted island 46 miles away from Puerto Rico. They climb the sheer cliffs to find stores, cars, people and they find nothing. It is an expensive trip for people that only make around $5.00/day. The majority of them get sent back to their country after landing on Mona Island. The DNRA processes the refugees. They Photograph, fingerprint and confirm actual point of origin. Then they get picked up by police boat and returned to their country by air from Puerto Rico.

Later that day we decided to walk the beach and stopped to talk to one of the DNRA officials. He told us they find at least three dead refugees a week on the island. He also told us that they find abandoned boats at sea are without people on them. He was visibly shaken up as he told us this. He also stated that he fears 100’s of refugees lose their lives every month crossing the Mona Passage and they are never found. They simply run out of supplies, get affected by the high seas, lose direction and/or die from dehydration. The bodies just disappear in the Mona Passage.

So back to our first day on Mona Island, We rescued 18 Cubans, we explored the deserted beaches, did some scuba, snorkeling, floating and some much needed relaxation. It was a full day plus Liam and I had not slept. I decided to take a walk and sleep under a palm tree. After about twenty minutes I realized I would not be able to sleep on the beach. The hermit crabs and huge iguanas were just too curious to let me sleep. They don’t see many people so they are not afraid of us like they would be in more populated areas. I did not enjoy the curious visitors next to my face. So I headed back to the boat where Liam and the other crew members were out having fun chasing sharks and turtles.

That afternoon Liam caught a several lobsters for dinner. He even found a shark hiding in a cave which really freaked out one of the other crew members who was diving with him. We cooked the lobsters and some steaks on the grill that night. The sunset after dinner was one of the prettiest I have ever seen. After sunset the almost full moon came out and lit up the water. The glistening of the moon on the surface of the water made a dramatic reflection on the ocean floor below the boat. I wish I could describe this better. Then a huge shark swam under the boat. The moonlight shimmering through the water onto the back of the shark created a menacing black silhouette on the ocean floor. He swam back and forth under the boat for several hours.

I think this is what kept me out of the water the next day.

That evening I think I fell asleep around 8:00pm. I decided to lie down on the couch in the living room area of the sailboat. The next thing I knew it was 6:00 AM. I think the lack of sleep finally caught up to me. Liam and crew decided to watch a movie with surround sound. They also turned on the generator, turned on the air conditioner and closed all the windows. Then a huge thunderstorm hit with heavy rains and high winds. Somehow, I slept through it all and heard nothing………………

The next day I woke up early and made breakfast tacos and coffee. Everything tastes better on a boat. Cleaned up and away we all went again. We ended up doing much of the same as the day before.

I had to repair the Jabsco toilet. This is one of my favorite things to do. If anyone knows what a Jabsco toilet is I am sure they have repaired one. It’s a real $h!**y job. I also had to remove the bolt I replaced the day before and install a shorter one. I have to make a side note here: Use anti seize lubricant!!! This makes working on a boat so much easier in the waves. I finished the departure pre check for the return journey and decided to kick back and relax.

The Coast Guard arrived around 10:00 AM to drop off more Cubans that were stranded on Little Mona Island. I believe they rescued 14. This seems to be an everyday thing out there. Liam and I did some exploring on the trails above the beach. We also found a few caves but we did not have the right clothes to go into them. The other crew members spent the day snorkeling, taking pictures with a drone and exploring.

Around 6:00 PM we decided to set sail back to Puerto Rico. The weather forecast showed a big swell headed our way. Our timing was perfect. If we would have waited any longer the waves could have prevented us from leaving safely out of the mooring area. The next day we found out the waves were over 18 feet breaking into that mooring area. We made it through the reef without any trouble and headed south. Liam stood on the foredeck pointing out which direction to go to avoid hitting the reefs. As we got further from the island the waves on the south side of Mona were far too big to sail safely back to PR. We turned back north and watched the last sunset as we sailed past our anchorage. Of course we caught another Barracuda. Then the sun faded away. On the north side of the Island the almost full moon came up over Mona. It lit up the sky so bright and just then we hooked a Mahi-Mahi. This was a beautiful fish. We would have loved to keep this one but due to the high waves it broke free. Liam still feels bad about losing that fish. We yelled at him and almost threw him overboard. It wasn’t really his fault but we needed someone to blame. Plus, he was the youngest on the boat and it’s always the youngest ones fault.

At about 11:00pm the entire crew was fast asleep except for Liam and I. He and I stayed up for the return voyage east. I was really nervous because the waves were increasing beyond my comfort level. The waves did not have any real pattern to follow either. Sometimes you can ride a wave like a surfboard but these waves were coming from all directions. It made for a very long night. Thank god for Auto Pilot and Liam for providing good conversation and back up confidence. Around 2:30 AM a large power boat appeared about three miles behind us. We were going around 4-5 knots. The power boat was traveling around 20+ knots. We immediately woke the rest of the crew and got them all on deck. As soon as the Power boat got close enough to see the full crew standing tall on deck they broke off and went south. Not sure what that was about. But it was a little intimidating. We wonder if it was just a friendly visitor or pirates. I guess we will never know. That is probably a good thing.

At 3:00 AM I could start to see the lights of Puerto Rico. Then the almost full moon disappeared around 4:00 AM and it was pitch black again. The GPS was my only way home. The noticeable landmarks of Mayaguez and Cabo Rojo just were not noticeable. We sailed into Puerto Real with blind folds on. I swear I have never been that blind. We sailed into port without a hitch. The sun finally came up as we were loading the vehicles for the road trip home.

We all were extremely excited to be able to say we sailed to one of the most unique places on earth. We did something very few people ever get to do and we did it without any real issues. And most importantly, I got to do this bucket list item with my son. The older he gets I realize I will have very few of these moments left. He has turned into a very fine young man and be will starting his own life soon. I am so impressed by him. He has courage, knowledge, common sense, resilience and he is definitely his father’s son. He will never fully understand how proud I am of him. I hope he knows that these brief moments in time that we spend together mean more to me than anything else in my life.

It was an outstanding father/son bucket list adventure.

What an incredible story, everything but the girl and you wrote it beautifully. Thank you for sharing. Any chance of seeing that drone footage?

Very nice story, I am guessing the JAWS going back at forth under the boat is the fish story.

Hello from the other side (Humacao).
Great story. How do the Cubans end up on Mona Island? Current?  I am going to share your story with some sailing friends and see if we can arrange a trip.  Where did you leave from? Salinas?

What a great adventure Bill! Say hello to Jen and the kids and congratulations on the Grandchildren!

Thank you for sharing your adventure with us! Those are the moments your kid will remember the most. Glad you are enjoying the beautiful places the island have.

It was all true. Nothing is made up. We broke a few rules so I thought I could protect myself with that comment.

Yeah, my understanding is that without permission, you may not walk on the Mona Island beach above the high tide mark.

I loved reading about your adventure! Thank you for sharing!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
It’s been sure nice talking to you….. My father and I talk at least once a week on the phone. He lives in Maryland. So guess that’s like a million miles away? At least it feels like a million miles away. He was in the US Navy for almost thirty years. He is an amazing man and I have always hoped to be half the man he is. He commanded submarines and was gone at least six months out of every year. Can you imagine living under the ocean blue for six months without much communication with family, friends and current events? It took a very special and dedicated person to be able to do that. He missed a lot of my childhood due to his career. Every once in a while he mentions a particular song that immediately brings tears to my eyes. The title of this blog is a line from that song. So maybe you have already figured out the song? I will drop a few more hints as I continue. I have found myself living the same way he did. I am way too dedicated to work. And I spend less time doing fun things with my children. Song lyrics….. “My child arrived just the other day He came to the world in the usual way But there were planes to catch and bills to pay He learned to walk in the usual way And he was talking ’fore I knew it, and as he grew He’d say, I’m going to be like you, dad You know I’m going to be like you.” I am bringing this up due to the new additions to the household. Last week my oldest daughter gave birth to twins. I have found myself just staring at these incredible creatures for hours and hours. In fact an entire week went by and I really did not do anything but hold them. Life is truly amazing. I am now a grandfather. Seriously, a grandfather! In my head I still think I’m only 25. Where did the time go? In the blink of an eye I went from being a child to being a grandfather. So back to the song, have you figured it out yet? Song lyrics….. “My son turned ten just the other day He said, Thanks for the ball, dad. Come on let’s play. Can you teach me to throw? I said not today, I got a lot to do. He said, that’s okay. And he walked away, but his smile never dimmed And said, I’m going be like him, yeah You know I’m gonna be like him.” So as my life continues to blaze by I find myself struggling for time. This is the same for everyone, I am sure. I was just hoping living in the Caribbean would help slow things down a bit. But it seems it doesn’t matter where you live. Time flies by regardless of where you hang your hat. Song lyrics….. “Well he came from college just the other day So much like a man, I just had to say Son, I’m proud of you. Can you sit for a while? He shook his head, and he said with a smile “What I’d really like dad, is to borrow the car keys See you later, can I have them please? Have you figured out the song yet? Song lyrics….. “I’ve long since retired, and my sons moved away I called him up just the other day I said, I’d like to see you if you don’t mind. He said, I’d love to, dad. If I could find the time You see, my new jobs a hassle and the kids got the flu But its sure nice talking to you, dad It’s been sure nice talking to you And as I hung up the phone, it occurred to me He’d grown up just like me My boy was just like me.” Here is the great reveal and my final thoughts. It is said, that life passes by in a blink of an eye. It is true. So find the time to get together with the people you love, even if we are a million miles away. I have lived in the Caribbean for over three years now. I have not been able to travel back and forth to the states as much as I would like. But with Facebook, skype and cellphone it is a little bit easier. It’s not the same but it works for now. Try not to blink and if you have to treasure that moment and we will have a good time then…………….. Song lyrics….. And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon Little boy blue and the man in the moon When you coming home, son, I don’t know when But we’ll get together then, dad Were gonna have a good time then.” ------ Harry Chapin, 1974

I've read some of your post and would like to offer some help please email me at *** and I would love to share some info to make your move less painfull.

Moderated by Bhavna 3 months ago
Reason : Please do not post your contact details on the forum. You should exchange them through the private messaging system.Thank you
We invite you to read the forum code of conduct

Karma, you need to read the rules of the site, posting personal contact info is not allowed. I had to hide your post.

Use private message for that.

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