Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Leif - Palominito Island, Puerto Rico - July 1991 - Age 16

In July 1991, we were invited to go on a day trip by private boat to the island called Palominito off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico. It was a lovely yacht and we had a beautiful day swimming and picnicking. This yacht even had a hand-held shower the you could wash the salt water off with before you got back into the boat, and a nice set of steps to make it easier to get back aboard. The water was the gorgeous Caribbean turquoise, and quite warm.

Leif was at his physical best, slender, muscular, and tanned. This photo is of him using the shower before getting aboard. I wish I had better photos of that day.

We made other trips to Palominito; Peter W. and Leif went SCUBA diving there. We also went to the islands of Culebra and Vieques in the same general area off the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico.

There was one trip we took with an army captain when we rented a sailboat and sailed out to Vieques. It was a lovely day, but unfortunately, no one was a really good sailor, and coming back into port we managed to run the keel aground on a reef. How embarrassing!

Leif enjoyed being around the water, the beach, boats, and diving. That same summer when he was 16, we sent him on a teen sail adventure in the British Virgin Islands, ActionQuest, which he loved. I wrote about that some time ago.

I think it was memories of how much he had enjoyed Puerto Rico that were part of the reason Leif wanted to move to Florida so much. Unfortunately, he didn't have the companionship he needed here to make going to the beach enjoyable, and didn't have the money to go out on boats or SCUBA diving, so he made little use of the wonderful beaches here.

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