(There’s the makings of a rap song in there somewhere.)

Estamos en Puerto Rico, aka America!! Como esta?

Puerto Rico es La Isla de Encanto (Island of Enchantment)! I’m picking up Spanish a little at a time. We have been trying to speak Spanish all the time to get more fluent. I was very proud of myself for ordering pizza to be delivered (there’s a Domino’s here and we have teenagers on board). I had to get John to tell me where we are so I could tell them where to deliver it, but I did it…oh, and after a while the guy on the phone went to get another guy that told me to speak English because he understood. But still, I did it.

Puerto Rico is very much American, but most people speak Spanish. Very few taxi drivers speak English, but John’s Spanish is good enough to get us where we need to go.

P.R is a stark contrast to D.R. Here in Puerto Rico the roads are really paved and there are trash cans everywhere, and it’s very clean. It’s a very beautiful island with mountains and coastlines. You can drive around the entire island in a day.

When we checked in with customs, the agent that came on board had lived in Houston before (near where I lived). His name is Jose Cruz (like the famous Houston baseball player). He’s a very nice man. John gave him our card with his cell phone number on it, so he called John up the next day and brought us some crackers that are only made in his home town (muy delicioso). He also invited us to join him in a trip to San Juan (the capital). We couldn’t go because we really needed to reprovision, find a new auto pilot belt, and take care of some other business. Then he offered to take our family up to his farm in the mountains later this week. We are going tomorrow. He owns 83 acres in the mountains and grows mangos, bananas, oranges… I can’t wait! Fresh fruit.

It’s so amazing how everywhere we go God hooks us up with someone that befriends us. Jose is like family now.

When we arrived here, there was a music/arts & crafts festival going on at the La Guancha (which is a seaside park and boardwalk). We mosied on over and bought some of their wares. It went on all weekend and we could hear the live music from our boat out at anchor. The food is so yummy here! Where we dock our dinghy, there is an open air restaurant and a sardine stand (the sardines aren’t for people, though). There are tons of tarpon that hang out around the dock, so people buy sardines for a $1 and feed them to the tarpon and the pelicans. The pelicans are so tame that you can pet some of them. We also saw two moray eels up under the rocks. There are markers in the harbor here that say it’s a manatee area, but we haven’t seen any yet (the “I haven’t seen whales yet” saga continues. sigh).

Jose told us about the best Mexican food restaurant in town, so we took a taxi with Kalida into town to check it out. It was the best Mexican food I’ve ever eaten. We had soup, fajitas, and Kimi had enchiladas. Then there was dessert!! It consisted of two large flour tortillas fried with cinnamon, sugar and vanilla, with ice cream in between which had bananas and strawberries in it. It was sooo yummy! Right before we got the check the gestapo mariachi band arrived. We called them the gestapo because they stood in front of the door—you couldn’t leave without interrupting them!

Our friends on board Toucan arrived today. We are very glad to see them. We were afraid we had lost contact with them for good. We’re looking forward to touring around with them. They are very adventurous. There is also another boat here that has an American family of 5 on board from Chicago. Their children are extremely outgoing–I think our kids are shocked by it, but their kids are about the same ages as ours.

Next stop is Salinas, Puerto RIco, and then from there we will most likely spend some time in the Spanish Virgin Islands (Culebra). After that, we don’t know. We lost our mizzen board on the way here, so John is looking into the repair. We don’t want to spend cruising time with the boat hauled out, so we’re trying to see if we can carry on without it, or at least while a new one is made. It will all work out somehow.

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