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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

S/V AMF 21, Sailing the Spanish Virgin Islands while Grooving to the Tunes of UB40 and Bob Marley...

Yeah Mon!! ... Steady winds, calm seas, blue skys, cold beer and reggae music! ... life couldn't hardly get any better than that.

Isla Palominos was invariably my sailing destination back in the day when I sailed my AMF 21... and I don't recall ever tiring of listening to UB40 and Bob Marley while throwing down a few Heinekens back then.

Eastern Coast of Puerto Rico and offshore islands, (aka: Spanish Virgin Islands)

View of Isla Palominos off on the distant horizon...

S/V AMF 21, A Magical Moment from Days Gone By, Marina Puerto Chico, Fajardo Puerto Rico

There was a time when the prospect of going sailing was a cause of uncontained joy... yet somehow I've yet to rediscover that feeling aboard my current boat.

I can well remember the feeling of quiet elation while marveling at the beauty and serenity of daybreak.

Marina Puerto Chico
Fajardo, Puerto Rico, 1995.

An Unfortunate Incident Out at Sea...

While perusing through my Picasa Web photo albums the other day I happened to come across a photo that reminded me that mishaps at sea can and do happen.

And although the image shown above was taken from aboard a cruise ship, it was by no means one that your average tourist might cheerfully snap while frolicking about up on deck.... and I can distinctly recall taking this picture with a small measure of trepidation for the picture was of the scene of a tragic accident the previous night.

Sometime during the previous night, with the sailing vessel cruising on autopilot, the captain had fallen overboard while still tethered to the boat. It wasn't until daybreak that his crew mate, who had been blissfully asleep below in a berth all night long, noticed the captain's lifeless body trailing behind the boat.

It goes without saying that activities aboard the cruise ship later that day seemed somewhat subdued.

(location: approximately 80 miles north of the Dominican Republic coastline.)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

S/V AMF 21'... Marina Puerto Chico, Fajardo Puerto Rico

My AMF 21' stripped down for an anticipated hurricane... and no it ain't an image of my present boat, S/V Blondie-Dog but this is nevertheless my blog and I do reserve the right to post whatever suits me. :)

A year later this same marina was obliterated with boats all piled on top of one another onshore courtesy of Hurricane Georges...a scene displayed on the front page of the New York Times. I had sold my boat by then having relocated back to Texas just months earlier.

The non-descript open aired building structure on the shoreline is a fish market of sorts where all varieties of fresh fish could be purchased. On more than a few occasions when I wasn't out sailing, I'd stop there for some tasty deep fried fritters, "empanadillas, pastelillos and bacalaitos" and sip on a few Heinekens, (okay..maybe more than just a few...)

I would always marvel at the dexterity with which the fishermen could fillet their catch... cold beer seldom ever tasted any better than this...

Fajardo, Puerto Rico

S/V AMF 21... as in I never got around to giving my boat a name. Well heck, the boat didn't even have a motor of any kind nor did I even have a handheld radio aboard.

Isla Palominos, Puerto Rico

Sailing the Spanish Virgin Islands back in the day...

Aerial view of Fajardo Basin and of Marina Puerto Chico where I once docked my AMF 21 sailboat.