When one door closes another one opens. My lovely motorcycle was leaking a bit of oil and wasn’t running well at all. I knew that Vieques doesn’t have any good places to fix a motorcycle, and it seemed like Caribe cycles, south of Fajardo, was the only mechanic shop who was able to look at it without a long wait. A friend had a pickup, and we transported it to the mechanic.
He seemed to really know what he was doing and said he would be giving us a call later. The next day it seemed that one of the 4 carburetors hadn’t been working correctly and the bike was in need of a gasket. I ordered the gasket online and waited. It was going to be 4-5 days with shipping and I was ready to wait back in Vieques.
While playing on a paddle board in the marina with Lauren and Marlean, their parents motored out of the boat slip and, starting to pass us, told us to hop on! Instead of waiting for me to take the ferry, they decided, spur of the moment, to just sail there and drop me off themselves. And what an incredible day to go sailing it was.
It was so relaxing sailing along the coast and soaking in the Puerto Rican coastline. On the official ferry, you can’t stand out on any deck or see well with the permanently closed windows. With the ferry’s design you can’t see any land while sitting either. The seats are too low while the walls and windows are too high. All that to say, getting to sail was a very special and incredible treat.
It was blissfully relaxing and I hope each of you get to experience it. Being the kid that I am, I noticed the dingy being pulled behind the boat as we cut through the clear water, and was oh so tempted to jump onto it. After the captain gave me his blessing, I, in an extra pirate and adventurous sense, boarded the dingy. One thing led to another which involved trying to stand, jump, and dip your head in the water on my little boat. The girls ended up joining me and having as much fun as I did. We gazed into the blue water looking for starfish and other forgotten gold.
Two and half hours later, we had arrived at the north west tip of Vieques. Snorkeling was immediately on the agenda. Who knows what beautiful fish, treasure, or sunken ships lie under the water if you don’t look? Mr. Bowers had the absolute genius idea of pulling me on a rope with the dingy to most efficiently survey the underwater area quickly.
It was the most amazing thing I can remember doing in a long long time. With the rope attached to the dingy you didn’t have to kick your feet or swim with your hands to see what lies ahead. As you held on to the rope, it was easy to angle yourself down and fly to the bottom of the ocean floor and drag your hand in the sand. With another twist of the body, I was veering to the left avoiding the coral and other rocks directly in front of me. It was also much easier holding your breath without having to exert much energy in swimming.
I felt just like Peter Pan; with the ability to fly any direction I wanted in the vast expanse of water and beautiful fish around me. For a while I was upside down gazing at the surface, and then deciding to do a loop. There was so much exciting scenery that just kept appearing right before your eyes.
My friends invited me to stay for a Salmon dinner and one more night on the boat. I couldn’t bring myself to refuse, and a catamaran had pulled up near us as our neighbors for the night. We invited them over for some dessert and heard about Brazil and their lives.
He had on a motorcycle shirt and it was quickly discovered that they had just done a long trip around South America on a beautiful 2008 BMW GS1200. The next adventure they were on now was two year trip sailing to Australia. He said he would be happy to tell me the best roads for when I hopefully get to see South America by motorcycle.
I was expecting to hitchhike by car from the West end of Vieques to my house in Esperanza, BUT…. they were going to sun bay the next day and made it clear that it would be no problem at all for me to ride with them tomorrow. It was all set. Sailing on a catamaran would be an exciting change too. I do so love to see and experience different things.
Their boys, Lucas and Bruno loved to play and excitedly showed me the “trampoline” on the front of the catamaran. For them, they really were able to get a good bounce out of it.
The boys and I ended up dancing all over that catamaran roof and enjoyed some lovely snacks as we watched more beautiful mountains of Vieques pass by on our journey East.
More than just the ride and fun time. I was offered steak for lunch prepared with some other Brazilian dishes. I felt very spoiled, and extremely grateful. I am constantly shocked at how kind and generous people are.
When it was time for me to get dropped off, it was sad saying goodbye. Maybe I will run into them again though. Who knows? It sure would be nice to be able to repay them for their kindness someday.
It has been quite the adventure my friends. Until the next one.
P.S. The raw snail and conch eating local named Jason has a pretty amazing trick of riding his skate board on his hands. And some of the local dogs are cute. : )
P.S.S. I am still loving the interesting and different drinks that I don’t see in the states here too.