An iconic location in Rincon is no more. The Landing used to be a happening bar/restaurant in its heyday but since we’ve lived here it has been nothing but an abandoned property in Puntas with lots of graffiti and broken glass. It had been listed for sale in the $2 million range for quite a while and someone apparently finally bought it. It is bittersweet because it really was an eyesore, but at the same time, something of nostalgia for the community. From what we gather, a private single residence will be built in its place. Goodbye to the Landing.
We went out to Art Walk last Thursday and ran into our friend Kirk. He said he was planning on going out on a fishing charter and had a few extra spots. Would we like to go? Ummm, yah! Britton has been out fishing with Makaira one other time, but I had never been.
Since we had made drunk plans, we weren’t sure if Kirk would remember that he had invited us. When we arrived at 6am in the Rincon Marina he wasn’t there, but the fishing boat was waiting for him and us and shortly thereafter he arrived.
It was a beautiful morning. I rarely wake up in time to see the sunrise, but I have to say they are nearly as spectacular as the sunsets here. If you are morning person, sunrises in PR are gorgeous!
A chilly winter morning (~70 degrees haha)
I was a little nervous that I would get sea sick, but I remembered what I have learned about sea-sickness and that is mainly to keep your eye on land or at least the horizon and never look down for long.
We trolled with lures for about an hour and this boat can move! It was really fun having the wind blowing through my hair, jumping the waves and occasionally getting sprayed with water. However, we never got a bite on any of the lines. Trolling is for the really big fish like swordfish or sailfish.
So we cruised on back near the shore on the southern side of Rincon and Anasco and could see the devastation from the hurricane on that side. It was different to see it from the sea as opposed to land. You can really appreciate the fury of Maria there.
Near the shore the shipmate Josy worked his magic with the nets and pulled in quite a few sardines that we would then use as live bait.
Now we were ready to do some fishing! Pepe and Josy helped to bait all the poles and threw out a few of the sardines to draw up some fish (as well as to attract the sea gulls).
I broke my rule of looking down when the fishing line would get wrapped up a little around the rod, and I began to feel a little queasy. I asked Britton to take over my pole and only about 10 minutes later he was reeling one in! It was awesome! A large king mackerel! Holy mackerel!
Soon thereafter Kirk and Richie both pulled in some fish.
Josy filleted the mackerel for us. They say that although the bonita is a type of tuna, it’s better as cat food than as human food…so we didn’t take that back.
Although I didn’t personally reel in a fish, I had a wonderful time and was stoked that I didn’t get sick at all! I must be getting my sea legs! I always enjoy seeing the Rincon peninsula from the sea because it just so beautiful!
Kirk still doesn’t have power at his place, not even a generator so he encouraged us to take all the fish we could since he has no refrigeration. We made plans to meet up with our friend Dawn who said she would cook up the mackerel that evening.
Hibiscus Flowers and ocean beyond at our house
For us, things are starting to normalize a little. The crisis has passed. I know that a lot of people are still awaiting electricity and a few still don’t even have water, but overall there’s more righted than upturned. We have been enjoying the cool winter weather of December in Puerto Rico. It’s one of the best times of year.
The air is fresh, the sky and seas are clear, and this year, as a special treat, the roads are clear as well because there are virtually no tourists around. We have had some amazing experiences recently, another sign of tide turning for the better. Here are a few I will share with you.
We have been hanging out with our friends Bill, Jenn, Linda and Keith a lot more recently. We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at the Rincon Lighthouse. A new little kiosk has opened and plays music and serves drinks. It has added a lot to the best park on the west coast. We watched the sunset and the surfers at Dome’s as we laughed and talked about the tribulations and tremendous moments in this tropical life.
We spent time at Keith and Linda’s guesthouse, Casa D’Palma. You should check it out, it’s awesome!
We also had the opportunity to go out on Bill and Jenn’s sailboat for the first time. I’ve been on a few sea vessels, but never a sailboat, so it was a great first for me! We left early afternoon for the Cabo Rojo harbor and motor-sailed until sunset. It was beautiful watching the flying fish and we were mesmerized by all the overturned and crashed boats. I am sure Bill was worrying a lot for his boat during the hurricane! It felt so good to relax and enjoy life again after such a long time struggling just to eat, drink and survive.
We have continued to make progress on the property clearing more paths and hang-out and campfire spots (we certainly have more than enough wood now!).
We have also been enjoying the nightlife a little. We’ve gone out to the Art Walk and while it is not very busy due to the abysmal tourist season, hey, at least there is parking now!
Hurricane Maria’s fury has passed, but the scars are still seen and may last forever. Interspersed with intense moments of beauty we still see the remnants of the trauma.
But probably the single most magical moment I have experienced recently was a harbinger of hope and love that flew into our life. I was sitting up on top of the cabana reading a book as Britton worked on the Mustang (there is always something to do on that car-haha). Suddenly I heard a little flutter and looked up from my book. A pretty little bird landed on the chair next to me. I said, “Hi, pretty bird” and he jumped onto my shoulder and then snuggled up right under my chin. I couldn’t believe it! He was trembling and hungry and must have had quite a journey to find me. I asked about and found out that he is a love-bird. A rosy-faced lovebird that would need a friend like me to help him survive. Just call me Snow White, making friends with the lovely fauna of the forest! I just can’t wait to meet the 7 dwarves.
Sometimes it is difficult to describe just how dichotomous life can be here. On one hand, it has been the hardest thing we have ever done in our entire life, and on the other it is the most fantastical fairy tale you could conjure. I suppose that is the way an enchanted isle would have to be.
Summer and Brandom’s stay was pretty short, so we tried to pack in all the stops we could. It’s hard when people come to visit because they are in vacation mode and we are not used to partying every night. Every other, maybe… (haha). But we had a lot of fun even if we are now completely exhausted!
We often go to Gozalandia with guests because it is just simply spectacular and close. This was probably our favorite trip because it was hot out and though there were more people, it was a Wednesday so it wasn’t too crowded. We each swung from the rope swing a few times and even jumped from the skull face. It was a great time.
Me swinging off the rope
Summer wanted to go to Villa Cofresí in Rincón again to share with Brandon the famed pirata drink out of a coconut and watch the sunset before heading over to the Art Walk.
During the day I caught them a little iguana to hold. The darn thing kept snapping at me and trying to eat my diamond! But at least I haven’t lost my iguana catching skills!
Cassie the Iguana-catcher extraordinaire!
On their final night here we went out with our friend Patrik in his nice Mercedes. Hanging out with Patrik is like being in real-life Grand Theft Auto. He is Swedish and very loud and intense, but a great guy. It was a lot of fun.
They even got to see the Rincón Lighthouse, but of course! Overall, I think Brandon got a good dose of the Rincón/west coast vibe.