Back in the USA

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Sometimes sailing is very hard work. This is not one of those times.

We are safely anchored in Mayaguez Bay on the western shore of Puerto Rico. Our trip was a bit slower than we expected, but wasn’t hard. We picked a great break in the weather that left the tradewinds blowing gently. That made had an easy sail out of one that would have been difficult if we had left during the prevailing winter conditions.

Mayaguez is the largest city on the west side of PR, and is not normally a tourist destination. It is the official Port of Entry for the West Coast of Puerto Rico so boats entering or leaving the USA have to stop here to clear Customs.

Mayaguez is the home to a large tuna cannery, off of which we are currently anchored. One source claims that 60% of the canned tuna in the USA comes from here.  At the moment, you wouldn’t know it, no boat traffic and no real activity.

It has been many years since I have been to Puerto Rico, and then it was quick business travel, so most of my impressions are really first impressions.  The first surprise was right in front of us when we landed the dinghy to go to the Customs House.  A horse.  Tied to a tree.  Just sitting there like a car in a parking lot.  Turns out they are everywhere in town, and not for show.  It is a bit odd to my eyes to see a horse trotting though traffic, but not here.  They are used for routine transport around town.  The ones we saw out and about were ridden bareback, just to get to wherever the rider was going.

The town is not prosperous in growing and vibrant kind of way, but is clean and well cared for despite the structures that have been abandoned as the world passed them by.

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The graceful Frigatebirds soared above the bay.

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The tuna cannery in Mayaguez. Not the most scenic part of town!

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Karen loved some of the beautiful balcony gardens.

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Buoy #8 is obviously well loved by the local bird population.

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The “Dr. Suess” tree. Almost no leaves of its own, it is covered with the fuzzy little pom-poms of blooming air plants.

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