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March 31, 2003
Waiting for a Weather Window

We are in Boqueron, Puerto Rico waiting for a "weather window" to cross the infamous Mona Passage. The Mona, we've heard, may prove a challenging sail due to its unpredictable currents and shoals where the water rapidly loses its depth from three thousand feet deep to nearly one hundred. You can imagine what that amount of water trying to condense itself into that small of space so quickly would be like, even under mild conditions. To add to the fun, thunderstorms build up daily over Puerto Rico before they head east on your tail. Luckily, we're doing it the more favorable of the two directions: downwind and down current. But still, we'd like to have a weather window to make our way west.

Weather windows are periods of time in which wind and waves conduct themselves favorably for completing a leg of a passage in safety and comfort. You can imagine why it would be to our advantage to wait for those conditions in this case. We'd like to have a nice calm sea and light winds. After having a week or so of almost non-existent wind and flat calm seas while we glided down the south coast of Puerto Rico, wouldn't you know, we get to Boqueron to stock up on some groceries, water, fuel, etc., and a cold front stalls over the Bahamas and Hispaniola getting things all crazy out there. From David Jones' report this morning, it sounds like it will be Saturday before we can try to make our way to Luperon. So here we sit waiting. It's a bit frustrating as we're now running short on time to get home by June. And while Boqueron is nice and all, it's not the place either of us would choose to wile away a week.

Boqueron is home to a large open bay with a palm lined beach. A little town sits at one corner and serves up shops and restaurants to the tourist crowds. It's pretty sleepy… save the weekends when the beaches and bay are teeming with jet skis and boom boxes, and oily tan bodies. Roadside stands abound with piles of oysters and clams. All sell the same fare. All look exactly the same. They're often not more than ten feet apart, so I'm not sure how they make any money - but it paints a quaint picture for the old photo album.

So here we are. Curt and I will wait, with neither land nor sea to keep us entertained. We listen to the weather reports each morning, and assess the opportunity for a decent window. From David Jones' report, we know other boats are waiting too. A boat called Eight Bells checked-in and said they're headed here to Boqueron to wait for weather to sail across the Mona. When did David think they might be able to go? So now we wait to see Eight Bells show up while we are waiting for weather, as there isn't much else to do.

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