We arrived safely, after nearly missing our flight while trying to drive through the rain to Ontario. We had arrived 3 minutes before the check-in counter closed. Stephen and Patty Schnall happened to be on the same flight. In San Juan, we got our rental car and headed to Fajardo—not too bad of a drive.
Wednesday morning, Chad and I got up early and went to the pier in Las Croabas. We met a guide who took us out to sea on his little boat. We did some snorkeling. It was amazing, but the visibility wasn’t the greatest, since the winds were quite strong. In the afternoon, Stephen and Patty joined Chad and me for a trip to El Yunque. We had a nice time there—especially on the hike down to La Mira Falls. It was beautiful.
The next day, we headed to the courses. The comprehensive review course was good. Afterwards, Chad and the Schnalls went with me to Las Croabas to kayak through the bioluminescent Laguna Grande. It was absolutely awesome. The winds were quite strong, but the mangroves sheltered us very well. It was nice to see water sparkle when disturbed. Apparently, tonight is only an average night, the locals said. We all really enjoyed our time. Kayaking back to the launch site was stressful, especially through the high winds.
Chad presented his paper on Friday. He did a nice job, and no one asked any questions. Afterwards, we got to go to Palomino Island on the last ferry out. We had a nice time to unwind on the island. We then caught the last ferry back. This evening’s Art Explosion dinner was interesting—the artist painted large portraits in less than ten minutes each.
Sabbath was great. We first toured the caves of Rio Camuy just south of Arecibo. The caves were really nice. Afterwards, we found the church in Lares. The preacher talked about the Sanctuary, the Sabbath, the Four Creatures, and the Throne of God. For lunch, Carmen and Lucy invited us to their home, and the food and hospitality were excellent. In the afternoon, we drove toward Utuado and then past Lagos Dos Bocas. The view from the highway was beautiful.
Then, we visited Old San Juan. We spent time doing the walking tour. Highlights included El Morro and the Castle of San Cristobal. The architecture and design and construction were spectacular. We returned uneventfully, with great paper presentations and excellent sightseeing.