Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Our First Mini Vacation on Orion

April 1-April 4, 2010 Sailing Salinas-Coffin Island-Salinas
With our main sail repaired it was anchors away on Thursday morning...destination Coffin Island. Although we put up the sails, there was hardly any wind to speak of, so we motor-sailed most of the way. Funny how the weather pattern has been these past few weeks. During the week it blows and blows with almost constant 20 knot winds during the day, but when the weekend arrives the winds die down! No complaints from these sailors though...we enjoy our journeys on Orion even if we have to crank up the Diesel once in a while. Coffin Island is so worth it anyways...our own little paradise just a few hours away :o)

When we arrived at Coffin Island our friends Richard and Mercedes were there already, having arrived the day before on Andariego together with their dog Copper. As usual we had a great time together at the beach. The weather was perfect, the sun, the sea and the sand outstanding, and the company we all decided to stay at Coffin Island for Easter and not sail on to Guanica as we had originally planned. I mean...why spoil a good thing? So we had sundowners on Orion with Richard and Mercedes and promised to join them for sundowners on Andariego the next day. Life at its best! 

We spent Friday at the beach. Rick and I went for a long walk along a new trail which goes all the way to the public beach and the Ferry Dock on the west side of the island. We brought our sneakers for the occasion, because there are many thorns along the trail...something we painfully found out previously when we were wearing crocs.  In the afternoon we dinghied over to Andariego for a sundowner and Richard and Mercedes invited us to stay for dinner...salmon and vegetables wrapped in alu foil and grilled on the BBQ. Yummie. Whilst enjoying crackers and cheese with the sundowners we saw two sail boats approaching...our good friends Bob and Joan on Kiss Me Goodbye and Nacho and Elvira on Zorimar. How fun! They joined us on Andariego, bringing more appetizers and sundowners. We all shared Richard and Mercedes wonderful salmon dinner and had a great time together until late. In the meantime the sea had become a little bit wild and choppy and waves were building up, tossing our boats here and there within the confinement of their anchor chains. The wind came from the west...quite unusual for Coffin Island. We managed to get back to Orion, dropping off Bob and Joan at Kiss Me Goodbye along the way. Everybody settled for the night on their own boat...and it was a turbulent night indeed! The wind was howling from the west at 20-25 knots...a night to remember. As usual, the Captain and I fell asleep without problems, feeling quite secure and snuggly on Orion, our new home.

As quickly as the winds came up at night they ceased in the morning. Not a trace of wind to be felt during the day...the sea was as flat as a mirror, as clear as glass, and as blue as an emerald...go figure!!! We all met at the beach that Saturday morning and afternoon for more relaxation and fun. The evening displayed the same story as the night before...winds suddenly started blowing from the west and the north, leaving the sea choppy and turbulent. Nevertheless we spent another enjoyable night being rocked to sleep on Orion.

On Sunday morning the sea was calm and flat again as if nothing ever happened during the night! Nacho and Elvira departed for Ponce on Zorimar. Richard, Mercedes, their dog Copper, Bob, Joan, Rick and I met at the beach...walking shoes in hand. We changed and started our trek along the trail. We got a lot of exercise this weekend for sure! Copper, being a puppy still, was all over the place with excitement...he never got tired and is such a good sport! Way to go Copper!
Our 18 year old cat Whiskers is also a good sport and needs special mentioning here. She enjoys her new life on Orion and is very happy to be with us. She never complains and we can leave her on board when we go swimming or walking, knowing that she will curl up and go to sleep on some sunny spot on Orion.

After walking we spent time relaxing on the beach and in the water. Later in the afternoon we all departed. Andariego and Kiss me Goodbye for Ponce and Orion for Salinas. Our first mini vacation! We didn't sail to distant shores, but we surely enjoyed spending time with our dear friends in the relaxing and comforting surroundings of Coffin Island, our treasured little paradise.