Tag Archives: Steps Beach

Beach Breaks

Posted by Cassie

We are in the midst of moving over to the cabin!! (More on that soon!) Yay! But it has been a stressful period too. So we have been trying to take some time out to reset at the beach as well.

At the Marina in Rincón

At Steps Beach in Rincón

Britton at Steps before going snorkeling

Mermaid magic underwater

But it was out and about that we found a shark!

On the Steps at Steps Beach

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Just a Tuesday: Hula Hooping, Pig Visit and Fiery Sky

Posted by Cassie

Tuesday we had a pretty open day. We went and visited a friend and then headed down to the Rincón balneario where some other friends were playing with poi and hula hoops. I’ve always thought I was good at hula hooping, that is until I moved here and saw what real hooping can look like. I can do basic waist hooping, neck, legs, arms, but I have a hard time with any transitions between them.

Larger hoops are good for basic moves. In the background you can see Frances playing with the staff

I practiced a few transitions and I think I got the move from waist up to arms and down back around the waist. It’s so fun! I need a hula hoop at home though so that I can practice more. My friend Frances is the guru of hooping around here. I also learned some basic poi moves. Poi is basically fire dancing and very hypnotizing if you see someone do it. Lauryn has done poi and fire dancing choreography professionally so it was really cool to hang out with them. For the poi play, we didn’t light them up yet, but rather just played with practice tools like sand socks and the staff. My arms are sore! I am not so much into “working out” but I love moving my body and dancing. This was perfect!

Beachside Poi and hooping!

As we were going home, the sky lit up amazingly. Rincón is a special place because you are surrounded by water, almost like an island unto itself. Then add the special charms of beautiful sunsets, a rural small town feel and the hippie vibe (come on we were hula hooping and fire dancing on a Tuesday at 3pm with the friendly homeless people of the balneario) and you begin to see why people love it so.

Silver lining clouds

A nearly empty Steps Beach. I love September!

The clouds and sky were just amazingly lit! I felt like we were in a movie set!

When we arrived home we were greeted by a huge sow and her eleven little piglets! It was so funny!

Mama piggy and her babes

A perfect day in our special corner of the world!

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Fun out and About: Rincón, Mayaguez and Boquerón

Posted by Cassie

We’ve been getting much further with the cabin. We now have the drywall installed and are working on the flooring. So close to moving in! But we’ve also been taking some time to go out and have a little fun! Staying close to home we spent a nice afternoon with some friends at Steps Beach. It was a bit rainy, but the water was warmer than the air! We slid around on the slimy mossy rocks, snorkeled and dove for pebbles and just lazed in the water and on the beach.

Silly girls!

My view as I floated around

I also found a great sturdy vine and I just had to climb and swing from it. I think I am becoming more and more monkey living on this island!

Hey, hey I’m a monkey!

Before our band practice I also had a chance to have a little chat with the horse that is pastured where we park. We’ve been watching him grow from a foal to a young horse and it’s pretty cool.

Horse talk

We go into what we call “town” about once a week now for materials for the cabin. Usually that means Mayaguez, but sometimes it’s to Aguadilla. This time when we went to Mayaguez we stopped at the area near the water that they use for the “ferry.”

El Faro del Abuelo
We stopped at this hole in the wall across the street from the water -Grandpa’s Lighthouse

The ferry according to some guy there in this case isn’t a lancha but rather a small cruise ship that goes to “Santo Domingo.” And I don’t mean Santo Domingo the capital city, but rather the word you may hear here more often than not for the Dominican Republic as a whole. But apparently this nice cruise ship is being repaired in Africa….The things you learn just hanging out.

Mayaguez Sunset
View of the water in Mayaguez near the “ferry” area

Climbing trees crop
The monkey strikes again: I took the opportunity to climb a sea grape tree

Boat Cassie Boricua
And check out some of the cool defunct boats

Next we went searching for a little nightlife. It was not the weekend yet, so we weren’t sure where to go. We ended up down in Boquerón! I don’t think Britton and I had been in Boquerón since our honeymoon. It’s such a fun and lively place. I loved all the live music and all the restaurants that are right on the water. We even danced a little salsa! So fun!

Britton and Cassie Dancing
Dancing in the street!

Britton and Cassie Boat
In Boquerón, most of the bars and restaurants back right up to the water!

Cassie and Pirate
Argh! Buy me a mojito, matey! I’m hooked!

Boqueron Galloways 11 years laterWe ate at a restaurant on the water that we could feed tarpon from the table. We went to this on our honeymoon! Crazy!

Whether we stay home in Rincón or venture out a little further, I am still just so delighted with this fun-loving island!

Here’s a quick video of our time in and around Boquerón.

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Snorkeling in Rincón

Posted by Cassie

Hanging out at Steps Beach before snorkeling

One of our very favorite water activities here in Puerto Rico and Rincón specifically is snorkeling. It is inexpensive -all you need is a snorkeling mask and some fins. I often go out without fins because it is less of a hassle, but if I were to go out for a long session I would wear them as they help tremendously in propulsion underwater. It’s fairly easy to learn how to do too. Pretty much as long as you can swim in the ocean, you can snorkel. It takes a little bit to get your bearings, but once you’ve done it a few times it’s super simple. And it’s also something you can do basically all year round. It is sort of like the  yin to the yang of surfing. They are both an ode to the sea, but in different ways.

Surfing needs waves. Snorkeling needs flat waters. Surfing is floating just above the waterline, snorkeling is just below it. Surfing needs plenty of space to move, snorkeling can be done just floating in one area if desired. Surfing is about focused power and snorkeling is about focused gentleness. Surfing is mainly about the action, snorkeling is mainly about the observation. Surfing is fast and snorkeling is slow. To me, that we have both world class surfing and snorkeling in Rincón is a perfect expression of these two complementary sides of life.

Our favorite place to snorkel is at the Tres Palmas Reserve that is right off Steps Beach. It’s a little of a challenge for some people to enter because it doesn’t have a sandy bottom, but once in, a magical underwater world opens up. It has one of the best Elkhorn coral formations in the world! And with that comes lots of fish and sea turtles too! This has been a long process of conservation and it has really paid off. It is just bustling with life as you can see in the above video. We float around completely immersed in this other world almost like spacemen with minimal gravity on another planet. And then we enjoy learning about and identifying the various strange life forms we see.

Close up of an Elkhorn coral

We have snorkeled some other places in Rincón, but Tres Palmas is by far the best. Over in Corcega or Almendros the waters are super clear with long sandy beaches, but there’s not nearly as many fish. The Marina can have some good snorkeling as it’s directly connected to Tres, but there are too many boats going in and out and that scares the fish away. At the balneario, there are sandy bottoms so it’s easy to enter, but pretty much only little fish like sardines.

On the other side of the point at Sandy Beach we have seen sea snakes (or maybe eels?) and a few other cool things, but it often has too many waves to have good clarity for regular snorkeling. Overall, though I always enjoy snorkeling pretty much anywhere because by simply putting on a small piece of transparent plastic we suddenly have a little window into a part of the world that is rarely visible. It’s pretty incredible and I am so grateful to live in a place with this wondrous space just under our noses.


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