Category Archives: Rincon

Projects Around the Property

Posted by Cassie

There is always something to do around here. With four acres of land, two small casitas and a couple of bird coops we are always busy maintaining and trying to move forward with new goals. We try to do as much as we can ourselves with occasional outside help. Here are a few of the projects we have been working on recently.

ChainsawBritton sawing what I think is a fallen Indian bay leaf tree

Chopping up downed trees
Hurricane Maria brought down a lot of trees everywhere and our property was no exception. One of the many things we did right when we built the jungle cabin was to bury the electric line even though it was 500 feet away from the main. Otherwise, we would have been struggling like the electric company to get the poles up and the trees off the lines. We still had (and have) a mess to contend with however. The problem is that there is nowhere to bring all this wood. So we have a huge pile of wood debris in the quebrada.

It does open up our jungle area to a little more light and we have plans to plant more heliconias and gingers here as we expand our flower business. Britton mainly runs the chainsaw because I am a little afraid of the kickback when I’ve used it. I lopper some of the smaller brush around until we have an area that we can replant. We have a whole section of property (about 3/4 acre) by the Magic Mango and Camino de Pobres that we haven’t even touched and is still impossible to cross without scrambling over huge fallen trees that jut every which way.

Flower Truck Load
Truck loaded with flowers to bring to the market

Flowers and plants
This is one of the more enjoyable tasks around the farm. We go out and find plants -either dig-ups or at nurseries- and then the next day or so we plant them. When we plant a tree it’s really a tough decision because we know that some of them can grow to be huge and we’d rather not transplant too much. With the other plants that grow from rhizomes like bananas, eleplant ears, heliconias and gingers we’re not so picky because they are easily transplanted.

Cassie and bambooThis bamboo is bigger than me and weighed more too!

MonsteraI love monsteras and they look great in the flower bouquets too

Some plants are very difficult to find and/or transplant like the giant bamboo we recently planted. This probably deserves a post of its own because it took 2 days of digging and a full day of moving and transplanting. I love how the plants and flowers transform the place. The jungle is beautiful on its own, but the broad-leafed plants bring a certain classic paradise look that I just love.

Cabin in the woods
Our cabin in the jungle

The jungle treetop cabin
While there is always something to do with a structure, I would say that the inside of the jungle cabin is now complete. We finished the kitchen and our final touch this past month was to have screen doors installed. Now it is so fresh and breezy that I almost always have to have a blanket on at night! We have more plans for the area around it such as finishing the lower area as well as adding some railing.

Trim for doors
Trimming the screen doors

Mango cabana
Cabana at the top of the property

The concrete cabana got hit worse by the hurricane than our jungle wooden cabin because it has the ocean view and therefore the winds are stronger. It lost all of its upper railing on the rooftop and the front of the house got blasted like a water pressure treatment for 24+ hours. So we have some projects for it especially as we are now renting it out to guests. We are planning on repainting the outside areas that got blasted as well as the interior.

We also just recently finished sealing the roof again. This is a product called Crossco that is basically a plastic paint that prevents water from slowly seeping through the concrete into the house. Britton also refortified the small bridge crossing since it doesn’t have the other cabana rails as support for it anymore/currently. And I have a couple of ideas for interior decor.

Powerwashing then resealing the roof of the cabana

Cabana Roof Sealing roof
Before and after sealing

Of course there is always more, but these have been the current projects around the property. It’s hard work but keeps us busy and I love seeing the ever-changing beauty of this magical place.

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Holy Mackerel! Makaira Fishing Trip in Rincon

Posted by Cassie

Kirk Fish 2
Kirk and a bonita fish

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.

Rincon Sunrise
Rincon Sunrise

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!

Cassie fishing boat

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.

Britton Randy
Britton and Randy

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.

Cassie boat 2
Sun and sea!

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.

Hurricane Damage
Whole buildings collapsed into the sea

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.

Josy tossing net Josy Toss
Josy’s got mad skills!

Dumping the fish into the holding tank

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).

Cassie Fishing
Richie and me fishing

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!

Britton Holy Mackeral
Britton’s mackerel

Soon thereafter Kirk and Richie both pulled in some fish.

Richie Fish
Richie and his fish

Pepe and Kirk
Pepe (the great captain!) and Kirk with another mackerel

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.

Josy fillet
Josy prepared the fish there on the boat

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!

Sardine Silly cassieHey I did catch a fish! haha
Cassie Kirk Fishing
Me and Kirk on a majestic tropical morning

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.

Fish DinnerWe enjoyed the best, freshest fish dinner with friends!

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Happy New Year (and Good Riddance 2017)

Posted by Cassie

2018 B C

Wow! 2017 is finally gone. It was an exciting and thrilling year with quite the rollercoaster ride. I don’t think I would want to do another 2017, but I certainly have learned a lot through it. We are setting new intentions and looking toward the future. We wish you all a happy new year 2018 as well.

Queen of the elves
Christmas season may be over, but it doesn’t always look like it

Cassie rock en donde crecen las palmas
Taking hikes in January in a bathing suit never gets old

C B Cofresi
We stopped by Villa Cofresi on New Year’s Eve

Beach days

Choco couchAnd more fun on the road

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After Irma

Posted by Cassie

All is good in the hood as they say.

Banana trees
Many banana and plantain plants folded over in the wind

We have weathered the storm and come out just about as good as you could hope. Not only was there not any damage to our immediate area, but even the water and electric came back on within 5 days for most people. There are a few people who are still without some utilities, but everything is slowly booting back up.

Group foto
Hanging with friends Priscilla and Ivette in La Parguera

On Monday, Labor Day, we went down to La Parguera to meet up and compartir with some friends. It was eerily vacated as people prepared for what was to come. For us, it was good to get away from the news and the worrying.

All day Tuesday we spent hauling our stuff from the wooden cabin to the concrete cabana. We definitely over-prepared, but when the news says that the largest storm ever is coming straight for you, even I, the don’t-worry-be-happy girl, started to be slightly concerned.

A branch on one of our avocado trees fell so we had to gather the aguacates. Did someone say guacamole?!

Come Wednesday, the power goes off around 12noon. It seemed to be a precautionary measure as there was still hardly any wind or impact of Irma. That was the last time we had contact with the outside world until Saturday when we went to Home Depot and were able to use their free wi-fi (as an aside it’s actually kind of nice to sit and use internet in there on their patio displays -hah).

The worst of the storm passed in the middle of the night Wednesday into Thursday. We could hear major wind gusts but not much else. There was very little rain and we commented that we’ve been through a lot worse in Greeley where our house would receive the full force of wind from the west. And in the town I grew up in near Wyoming, the joke is that a metal chain is a wind sock. So I was underwhelmed to say the least. Not trying to taunt you, though, Irma!

When you come from a windy area, you expect a bit more

The next morning we went to check out the damage. The worst of it was right at the bridge where a medium-sized tree uprooted, got tangled in another tree and landed on the bridge. It caused no structural damage. We just had to chainsaw it out of the way. I think we caused more damage breaking dishes and glass jars hauling our stuff over to the cabana and back than Irma did to our property, not to mention that Britton was pretty hung over. Yes, we definitely can cause more damage to ourselves than any storm.

It was hot and boring without internet or electricity to run the fans for 3 days. We did end up hooking up and using the 400 gallons of water, so we were thankful for that. We took the opportunity to spend a lot of time reorganizing our stuff that we moved over and cleaning the cabin. After a few days I tired of eating canned foods and junk food. We were happy on Saturday to go into Mayaguez for a few parts and a nice meal at Pollo Tropical. A lot of other people had the same idea too it seemed.

Tree down on bridge
Trees on the bridge to the cabin

Someone mentioned they would like to see pictures of the places we visited before the storm. I assume this means the gas stations, banks and grocery stores. There really isn’t much difference now from then. You wouldn’t even think a major hurricane nicked us because there is hardly even any plant debris on the sides of the road. Occasionally you can hear a generator still running, but overall almost everything is returning to normal. We even went out to Sunday Funday in Aguada and had a fresh coconut water/whiskey drink.

Coconut drink
Sunday in Aguada…everything looks pretty good!

I am not sure if this hurricane prepared us for something larger or made us less because we didn’t see much destruction. Either way, I am glad nothing much came of it for us. I was very sad to hear that St Maarten/Martin received a lot of damage because we were just there on our cruise! And I hope the other islands and Florida are able to recover swiftly.

Even the chickens, turkeys and Kitty are all fine!

Here’s a short video during and after Irma at our property.


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