On to Puerto Rico!
After a very short month in the Ragged Islands, we were ready to continue on to Puerto Rico. March weather patterns can make it difficult to make the 690 mile trip, but there are a number of places along the way that a cruiser can duck in to get out of rough weather, including several options in the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, and Dominican Republic.
Watching the weather patterns carefully, we saw an opportunity and left the protection of Hog Cay at 5:30 PM on March 5, 2020. Forty hours later, we were just south of the Turks & Caicos when weather changes heading our way encouraged us to make an unscheduled stop in South Caicos, which is coincidentally just about 1/2 the way to Puerto Rico.
We spent a pleasant, four days anchored at South Caicos which is famous for spectacular scuba diving. Though the weather kept the dive boats in harbor, we spent some time ashore and found the small town to be friendly and clean, but it didn’t really offer much of interest to us, so we were anxious to move on.
After 4 days waiting on weather, we pulled anchor to make the final 370 mile run to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Our path took us across the west side of the Silver Banks which is a shallow(ish) area that Humpbacks come to calve. We’re told that it is not unusual to find several large dive boats anchored along the banks, bringing tourists from all over the world to observe the whales. We didn’t see an tour boats, but we did see a single commercial fishing boat working the area and we saw plenty of whales!
The weather cooperated with us and we had a wonderful 45 hour ride to Puerto Rico, arriving at 9:30 AM on March 13.