The 4th of July, or America’s Independence Day, is not very celebrated in Puerto Rico. In spite of Puerto Rico being part of the U.S., Puerto Rico is very much her own in terms of culture. In all the days leading up to the 4th in Greeley we would hear and see lots of fireworks going off around town (legal or not). We didn’t hear a peep in our neighborhood in Puerto Rico. None-the-less a few people from the states thought it would be fun to celebrate the 4th Rincon style: on the beach! Add in some fireworks, a couple of frisbees, some music, a bonfire, and a potluck BBQ and we were in for a good time!
Some friends had a connection that let everyone have access to park at the Landing, an old abandoned restaurant right on the beach. We had never been on this beach though it is just an extension of Sandy Beach, really. It was a great spot for a party!
Ready for a bonfire
It was large enough that a lot of people could hang out, swim, socialize, play etc but also a little hidden away. Once the sun went down they set the fireworks off. We could also see far off in the distance the firework display at the Coast Guard Base in Aguadilla.
Sun beginning its descent
Watching fireworks beneath palm fronds
It was a great night with a great bunch of people. We love our community. People always have awesome ideas (and parties) here. Hope you all had a nice 4th as well.
The other day a friend of mine had an open spot on a fishing boat charter and asked if I wanted to go. I figured that I should take him up on it as I hadn’t ever done it before. A new experience would be fun and I know virtually nothing about ocean fishing. The boat was a 35 foot 500hp Contender, which also piqued my interest. I told them I’d go and we met up at 6am a few days later.
Fishing Boat for the Day
I brought a few burritos and drank my coffee and we waited for the other guys to show up. They told me that we were going to be using live bait. Meant nothing to me when they said it.
We left the marina and the water was super clear. We ended up going off to catch the live bait. The live bait, or sardines are caught with a drop net off the boat. It is also possible to catch these off the shore and now I know what those guys with nets are doing on the shore. Getting sardines.
Filling the Bait Boxes with Sardines
Once the bait wells were filled with sardines we set out for a destination several miles off shore called the hump. The hump is the top of an underwater mountain that comes up to about 90 feet under the surface at its height. When we got out there the water was a super dark blue color unlike I’ve seen before.
View of Desecheo from The Hump
We sat in the water and cast hooks baited with live sardines. We weren’t getting much, if any action. The boat rocked and I think once we stopped I started to get a little queasy from the waves but kept waiting for a bite. The captain decided that we should move to another spot, so we reeled in and he started the motors. Once the boat started to move my queasiness vanished.
The boat moved pretty fast at ~30 knots across the surface and the view of Puerto Rico from the water was super cool.
Land and Sea
We stopped just north of Domes. The boat started to do its rocking thing as we cast our bait out into the water again. Now I have flown in small planes quite a bit and haven’t experienced any kind of motion sickness, but the rocking did eventually get to me and I upchucked over the side of the boat. I figure this was just more chum to attract the fish right? I kept my pole in the water and did get a fish on the line shortly after. I had a good fight but eventually the fish cut the line and I was left with nothing.
Our friend Tommy did manage to catch a good sized black fin. I haven’t ever seen a fish like this before. I was kind of shocked and now understand ocean fishing a lot more. When I first took off I didn’t honestly know what to expect, at all. The whole experience was new to me.
We had a bonfire down at our house later that night and Tommy prepared sashimi that was…absolutely…..delicious. I haven’t ever had fish that fresh. I think I will definitely go fishing again only the next time I think I will have my sea legs as well as a better understanding of how it works and a better chance of reeling in something.
Huge Plate of Sashimi
We sat around the fire and sang songs while eating some great food! It turned out to be an amazing day, one that I will remember for a long time.
We continue to get a lot of work done in the yard. We have cleared close to 2 acres of overgrown weed trees and vines. It is intensely physical work and seems endless, but we are definitely making a dent and digging out from the tangled rat’s nest that results from 10-20 years of neglecting a property in the tropics. We are planning to leave a good portion of the other two acres fairly raw and use it as a jungle sanctuary hiking trail (or paintball area maybe?).
We call this Hawk Lane as the birds swoop through and it continues to open up
Britton has built the base of the chicken coop and the chickens are doing well. We’ve had a couple of fires to help us clear and some friends and neighbors have helped us and enjoyed the mesmerizing beauty of a fire with us. They called the dinners that are cooked directly on the fire “hobo dinners” which is a cute name. I think it would be fun to have a traditional Puerto Rican pig roast (lechón) some time too!
Campfire with friends
But in addition to all the work that goes on at the farm, we have also been having some fun off the compound.
We recently went to the Grand Opening of our friends’ business: Rincón Beer Co. in downtown Rincón and had a great time drinking their artisanal beer and listening to a local band called Mijo de la Palma.
I have also recently started going to yoga at the beach platform at the balneario with some friends. It is so peaceful and beautiful to stretch into a pose and look out over the water as the waves lap at the sand and the pelicans and white clouds float across a bright blue sky. We are going to try a Zumba class right near there soon as well. Meanwhile, Britton has been swimming in the sea.
Ohmmmm and Namaste
Additionally we have been meeting new friends and trying out new restaurants. The other night we had a rooftop dinner with friends and watched a gorgeous sunset. Good friends, food and fun in a great place. Esta es la vida buena. This is the good life.