Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Along Calle Ocho not far from the renowned Domino Park is a quaint Cuban diner named "El Exquisito". This charming, no frills little diner serves basic Cuban fare all at a very reasonable price.
I can assure you that the food is varied and positively delicious. Not only that but the sizable portions are always sufficient to feed a hungry sailor. So yeah man... I know where to go when I've got an appetite. It sure beats the heck out of feeding my face another burger and fries.
Pictured above was the Sunday daily special of "Arroz con Pollo". Included along with the dish were black beans, "platanos maduros" and a bowl of "Caldo de Pollo". After indulging in that delectable plate of food I treated myself to a desert. It's not often that I eat deserts but that "Flan de Pudin" was as decadent as it gets.
Monday, May 23, 2011
There was a time when I lived for weekends and was passionate about sailing at every opportunity. I'd eagerly head on out to the marina first thing in the morning along with a few Heinekens in tow. Before long I'd be joyfully sailing out of the marina en route to Isla Palominos.
Invariably either Bob Marley or UB40 would be blaring out of my portable cassette player. It made for a perfect day. So yeah, that's what floated my boat... (pun intended)
Nevertheless S/V Blondie-Dog can be found more often than not tied off to her mooring ball in Dinner Key Harbor. I've simply yet to rediscover the exhilaration of sailing. Perhaps it's because I'm but a day-sailor at heart and not a cruiser and cruising is more about work than play... at least from my perspective.
Biscayne Bay is indeed as beautiful as it gets but somehow doesn't seem to have the same allure as the Spanish Virgin Islands.
In any event, among my more memorable experiences sailing the east coast of Puerto Rico, was being surprised by a low flying airplane and then seeing the thing land on the water and then rev up its engine and make its way up onto a small offshore island.
That water landing ranked right up there with the time I saw a periscope protruding out of the water and then suddenly seeing a US Naval submarine surface as it made its way into the Roosevelt Roads US Naval Base harbor. This event caught me by surprise and was a little bit unnerving since I wasn't sailing in restricted waters as far as I know of...
Nevertheless I suppose my most memorable experience while sailing was when a massive USAF C-5A transport jet flew low overhead while sharply banking just beyond Isla Palominos and later flying back to the base. This ten to fifteen minute flight evidently was a military training mission and happened but a week or so before the US intervention in Yugoslavia.
The only memorable event, if I can call it that while tied off to a mooring ball here in Dinner Key Harbor happened the other day when a Goodyear blimp flew low overhead while on its way back to South Beach. That bloated air balloon happened to be advertising an upcoming concert somewhere in Miami.
Perhaps another event was the filming of two scantily clad barely-legals prancing and posing aboard a nearby sailing vessel when I first arrived here in the harbor. Yeah, that briefly caught my attention. It's also entirely possible that those two barely-legals were auditioning for a role in an upcoming movie that was in the makings.
"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present." ~Babatunde Olatunji
Daybreak for whatever compelling reason never fails to remind me that there is a new day to be seized... unfortunately for me, I always seem to forget all this by the time I've finished my first cup of coffee only to later realize that I've loitered most of the day away...
S/V Blondie-Dog does indeed have a V-berth for sleeping but I often prefer sleeping in the cabin of the boat. It can be somewhat cumbersome climbing in and out of the tight confines of the V-Berth in the middle of the night when one happens to have a full bladder.
But while thinking about it, I suppose that there's something to be said for snoozing in the comfort of a swaying hammock strung up between two coconut trees on a pristine beach somewhere.
Hhmmm... me wonders whether a hammock can be found somewheres in the D.R. ....