For those of you just joining me, I am American born and have been living in Puerto Rico for the past two years. Recently, I have packed up with a couple other adventurous souls and we have began a routine of weekly land pirate treasure hunts. I was given access to the old Bumble Bee Tuna Factory which is now being used as a base camp for a company charting and recycling underwater telecommunications cables and housing a deep sea marine research facility. The factory sits next door to the old Starkiss Tuna Packing Plant, which is even more decrepit and creepy looking, which means even more enticing! Puerto Rico used to supply a large amount of the canned tuna for the U.S. until saving the dolphins became and issue and the three major packing plants were all shut down around 1990.
The photographs that follow are images that I took while wandering around in awe like a starry eyed land pirate collecting greasy, rusty treasures.
- View from below of the conveyor belts that once packed Bumble Bee Tuna cans
- The Boneyard where I collected scrap metal for art projects. The telecommunications recycling company has also done an amazing job of salvaging almost every item needed to make themselves an functional office space from the items found in here.
- A company once interested in turning the warehouse into a cheese making facility left behind lots of expensive equipment that other businesses are currently in the process of bidding on
- Meet Joshua & David, my trusty fellow island adventurers! Joshua is a marine biologist who works for David on the diving and research end of the companies business. Both of these fellas were a wealth of knowledge and so much fun to gallivant through this dark and cavernous factory with!
- Behind this fence is the neighboring Starkiss plant, stay tuned because I have gotten permission to explore that location also once we can acquire some keys!
- The bathrooms and locker rooms look as if the factory workers just up and left only weeks ago. The entire plant was abandoned of its workers back in 1990, but there is still an oddly creepy, occupied feeling here.
- These cement block/stands once held tuna packing tubs. They will soon be used for deep sea marine experimentation tanks. You can see small spaces at the base of each cement block where all the wiring to keep the tanks running will be laid, with a decline at the back end with drainage in the event that any mishaps should arise. This space could not have been designed more perfectly for Joshua’s needs.
- Samples of the old telecommunication cables that are being charted and brought back to shore for recycling
- Standing up along the conveyor belt line. We were even able to hand pull the main cable and slowly chug the belt along!
- My days land pirate booty! Square war nails, old gears and grates for assemblage art projects
I came home greasy, sore from lugging scrap metal, and still wide eyed from all I had seen and gotten to experience that day. We all had such a great time exploring we made plans to take an Isla Adventure Squad expedition once a week! Next stop we will be hunting down an abandoned prison down along the South West side of the island, near Cabo Rojo….Stay Tuned!
Do you know of other abandoned locations and cool things to hunt down in Puerto Rico? Comment below!