Rough seas suck. Pounding into the wind, waves and swell is not fun. Feeling like you’re in a washing machine is not fun either. Why do many of us sailors do it? Why do we put ourselves through crappy passages?
Well, I suppose it’s because we know that the positives outweigh the negatives. We know that within days or hours we’ll be safely anchored or in a marina enjoying a new destination – eating new foods, taking in new sights and essentially getting out to see and experience the world.
Is there anything, however, that can make a passage better?
Heck yes! There’s two things that make a passage easier. The first is good food on the passage. That means making sure you have a yummy home cooked enjoyable meal. Some of my favorites are chili con carne, pasta bake, shepherds pie or soft tacos. I also make sure to have loads of snacks and sweets on hand. Some sailors even go to the extent to make a ‘passage pie’ to eat!
Aside from having good food (prepared before the passage) the other thing that makes life so much better is knowing that you’re going to arrive somewhere calm, beautiful and relaxing.
That ‘somewhere’ might be a nice marina with good facilities or it could be a deserted beach with no swell and perfect blue waters.
When crossing the Mona Passage, an overnight journey that we recently made, I knew it wasn’t going to be nice. We had to beat into the wind and waves using our engine most of the way. The Mona Passage is the waterway between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. It’s notoriously not nice.
However…we had things all sorted out. Our food was prepared and our destination spot was chosen. Although we never paid a visit to Marina Pescaderia before, we were certain it would be a welcoming destination.
Marina Pescarderia was not great…
It was fantastic. In comparison to a supposed top-notch marina like the Charleston Harbor Marina (read and watch my review of that dump here: Charleston Harbor Marina Review) it was on the other end of the spectrum. No – it didn’t have pools and fancy restaurants but it had solid and safe docks, clean and well kept facilities, a restaurant/bar that didn’t cost a fortune and the best customer service we’ve ever experienced.
So, allow me to tell you a bit about Marina Pescaderia…
Marina Pescaderia is one finest and most convenient locations in the west region of Puerto Rico. It’s located on Puerto Real Bay, Cabo Rojo.
As mentioned above the customer service provided by Jose and his staff was 10 out of 10. Previous to our arrival we sent packages to the marina that Jose kept safe for us. Since Puerto Rico is part of the United States getting Amazon deliveries is easy. Getting packages easily does not happen easily within the rest of the Caribbean (or the Bahamas)!
Jose met us at the dock as we entered our slip. He helped us get all the lines on and then sat and chatted with us for a while. Instantly, my husband and I knew he was a genuine, kind and caring man.
Jose also helped us to source a technician to help us with our engine, a few rigging issues and a driver to take us to the airport and back. We also rented a care a couple times and all we had to do is walk to the end of the jetty and our car was waiting for us. Unbelievably it was often waiting for us with the air-conditioning already turned on!
Some marinas are ugly. This is not one of those. There’s a beautiful bay to look out at with loads of pelicans diving, manatee’s popping up for air and a variety of fish swimming by.
Comfort of Mooring
Our boat barely moved in our slip. We had the best night sleep at Marina Pescaderia.
In the early morning you can hear roosters crow and birds chirp. During the evening there’s a bit of music from the local restaurants and bars but it’s turned off rather early. There’s a little noise from the road but overall it’s quite peaceful.
General Atmosphere on the Pontoon
All the static live aboards we met up at the bar were friendly and chatty. They meet every Monday at the bar taking advantage of the empty area. The bar is closed on Monday’s. We shared a jetty with a few other live aboard cruisers making their way south. It didn’t take long before we all decided to meet on one boat for drinks and pizza.
Facilities on the Jetty
There’s water, electricity and wifi on the pontoons. Everything worked for us. You can also get Diesel and gasoline in addition to a pump out.
Facilities on Land
Once you leave the dock and head to towards the facilities, you’ll find a washing machine and dryer that works great, spacious bathrooms with fantastically pressured warm showers, a restaurant with ample seating area, fish market (that can be a wee bit stinky!), the marina office and a mini market, a marine electronics store and a fishing tackle and bait shop. You’ll also find the marina office with Jose the owner/manager.
Outside the marina there’s a small town with residential homes, a few bars and fish restaurants, some grocery stores, and an absolutely incredible bakery (make sure to order any one of their amazing submarine type sandwiches and stop by for breakfast too – the value for money is incredible).
Within twenty minutes, you have access to anything and everything you can imagine. There’s a Sam’s Club, Walmart, Home Depot, pharmacies, banks and more. If you like American fast food chains, you’ll find them all in Puerto Rico! And if you need something from West Marine, a marine chandlery, you tell Jose what you need and he’ll get it delivered for you. Marina Pescaderia is a West Marine Certified dealer. The closest West Marine is in San Juan if you want to drive to it – a 2 1/2 hour drive. Having all the great American stores makes Puerto Rico a logical place to provision before heading southeast along the Caribbean.
They’re great. The water is high pressure. The stalls are very spacious. It’s a very nice shower after a turbulent passage.
Repairs, maintenance and servicing
Upon arrival Jose will provide you with a 10-page guide on marina facilities, vessel technicians and mechanics and things to do in the surrounding and greater area.
We had some electrics on our alternator repaired in addition to a few rigging issues fixed. Everyone that Jose recommended to us responded quickly and did a great job.
Well…I have to say that it’s not a fancy marina. But then again, you’re not paying a fancy price. At $1/foot/night we felt that we got value for our money. We felt very safe, comfortable and at ease. The staff and other boaters were kind and helpful. It was an enjoyable stop and we’ll certainly return in the future.
To get more information about marina Pescaderia visit the website here: https://www.marinapescaderia.com/