January 2017 – After our time in the work yard, we were ready for some plain old fun. You know, what we gave it all up for? So we headed out to enjoy a pleasant sail to Vieques. What a beautiful place! Honestly, it has been one of my favorite destinations. Sooooo low key.
If you have heard of Vieques, but can’t remember why, it may be that you have heard, at some time, that the American military used it for shelling practice in the past. (Oooooo! Look at this beautiful island! Let’s blow it up!!!) There are (true) rumors of hazards including unexploded ordnance in the harbors – more on that coming in part two – so it is not very developed and gave us that “all to ourselves” feeling we love so much.
The first landfall we made there was at “Green Beach” and it was just gorgeous. The color and quality of the light on the lush green vegetation on the golden shore was amazing. We spent some time walking ashore, but we had to be careful in the water due to there being thousands of baby urchins.
We walked around the corner to the beach at Boca Quebrada. We knew right away we would anchor there next. So lovely! The green beach anchorage did turn out to be a little rolly due to the wind direction, so we moved there the next morning.
While at Boca Quebrada, Alan found this dinosaur shaped coral!
We tried the snorkeling near our boat and on our way to the beach and weren’t all that impressed, but then something caught my eye and I made a diversion, and just a few yards away it was like a new world! Beautiful snorkeling, with mysterious large machinery growing coral and providing homes for fish and octopi nearby. Unfortunately, our camera battery died before I could get a picture of this contraption, or I’d ask you guys to help me figure out what this thing was. Maybe a boiler system from a large ship? Who knows? It has been there a long time; it is covered with gold and purple coral.
Overnight, the wind turned uncharacteristically south, and that put us anchored on a lee shore and bouncing up and down, knowing there was major coral and rocks just downwind of us. Not good! So, once again, we took nature’s suggestion and left!
Next up was Esperanza. As we approached the harbor, the harbor master radioed and said there was too much swell in that harbor to safely anchor, and suggested the Sun Bay anchorage around the way. We’re not complete morons, so we took his advice. It turned out to be quite nice, and an easy walk into Esperanza from Sun Bay. We enjoyed the town a lot.
We ate a little lunch at a place called Belly Button’s, not bad! There is a lovely malecon (boardwalk), sweet little pocket gardens everywhere with funky art installations, and some great graffiti, which we enjoyed on the way to a small grocery store. We stocked up on a couple of things and then went back to Sun Bay.
We enjoyed a nice meal at a restaurant right off the beach there, as well as a great pina colada! The place is called Arena Mar, the owner was friendly and the food and service were perfect. While eating, we also got to watch some of the wild Paso Fino horses grazing nearby.
Next night,we took an expedition to the bio-luminescent bay call Puerto Mosquito. Fortunately, mosquitoes were not the primary feature! As it got dark, the water positively came alive with bio-luminescence. We could observe all manner of things swimming in the water below us, even more so than in La Parguera. We didn’t swim in this one, because of an incident there with a little shark recently, but that did not detract from the magic. I can’t get a decent photo of this phenomena, so you will need to come see it for yourself!
One more sunset because it’s just so lovely! Enjoy!