Vieques – Part 2

Beautiful, just beautiful…

January 2017 – Continuing on along the south coast of Vieques, we decided to stop in at Isla Chiva (Blue Beach). This area is a day use park but, in the evening, it empties out. We found ourselves alone there overnight. The beach is gorgeous, and there are picnic shelters.

Dinner

As usual, we decided to get into the water. We didn’t see too much of note near the anchorage, so we decided to go on the outside of the reef and check it out. The waves were fairly stirred up, so visibility wasn’t great, but I did manage to spot two nice sized conch. Dinner!

Have we showed you any large urchins? The one in this picture is basketball sized. Not an unusual specimen, either. They get much bigger than I thought!

Big Urchin

The next day we took the dinghy around the small island in the anchorage to see what else we could see snorkeling. Again, visibility wasn’t great. But we did have some excitement! Alan had the camera in his pocket and it fell into the water while we were going full speed in the dinghy. There are no reference points in the water, you know! So, we anchored near as we could figure to where it fell out and started a search grid. Through some miracle, Alan found it! Whew. Apparently, an eagle ray was checking it out, and that drew Alan’s attention. Of course no pics of the ray, lol.

Now, parts of Vieques are “off limits” theoretically. Sort of. Sometimes. It’s unclear, ok? And there is no internet or phone signal of any kind on the Eastern half of Vieques to check. But we know people who have enjoyed these anchorages, so we felt ok about trying. Best. Decision. Ever.

Bahia Salinas del Sur is the quintessential island paradise anchorage. We had it to ourselves. There was decent snorkeling. There were swaying coconut palms on white sandy shore. Beautiful.

Crazy Large Coconuts

The coconut trees must have been irradiated at some point, because the coconuts were freaky large. Much bigger than our heads! Look for yourself!

The snorkeling was good for fish and coral, and even more interesting because we did see large “shells” in the water. Not the shellfish kind. The area where we anchored looked very clear of such hazards, but around the peninsula where we were snorkeling, we saw several remnants of past war games.

Overnight, there was a large glow worm spawn taking place, which meant sparkling, shining green patches in the dark water all around us. I woke up around two am to check it out again, and it was just amazing: large glowing areas all around us.

Angel Fish
Blue Tangs
Fish and Urchins
“Shell”

We had planned more exploration for the next day, but it was not to be. Bright and early, a fellow came alongside and let us know that the Navy was to be “working” there, and we had to go. Like, go NOW. Not sure of the details, but we can take a hint if it hits us over the head. As we left, the guy in the little boat followed us until he was sure we were not coming back.

The wind was perfect to sail to Culebra anyway. So we did.

Vieques – Part 1

Green Beach Sunset

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. Read more

Crooked Island

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Bird Island Light from a distance.

A quick note first – hurricane Matthew just blew past Crooked Island. Our thoughts are with the people there, and in the rest of the Bahamas. With all our hearts, we hope no harm came to them.

We left Rum Cay determined to sail – not motor – to our next destination. We couldn’t be sure, until we got away from the island, exactly what the wind would be doing. To accommodate the uncertainty, we set a number of potential destinations in our chart plotter, and decided we’d make the eastern-most one that the wind would allow. Clarencetown, Long Island if the wind was south of east, Crooked Island, Plana Cays, or Mayaguana if we had a little more luck and the wind was pure east or north of east.

It turned out that we could not have been luckier if we had tried, because we ended up at Crooked Island, which we would have otherwise passed by, and it was just amazing. Not just the island itself, which would have been enough, but the beautiful people we met there, both on land and on another boat.

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