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Flamenco Beach Dissolves Under the Big North Swell
22-Mar-2008, Dewey, Culebra, Puerto Rico

CURRENT LOCATION: Anchored in Ensenada Honda, off the town of Dewey, on the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico

18 18.245' N, 065 17.867' W

When the grains of sand on a beach are as fine as sugar, I suppose that one should not be surprised to find that they have dissolved and melted away. Yet the sight was incredibly shocking to behold.

It was Nydia and Jesse's first time to Flamenco Beach, but Sheryl and I noticed it as soon as we stepped onto the sand. Half of the beach was missing! The recent swell from the north had taken its toll on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

According to an offshore weather buoy about 160 nautical miles due north of us (Station 41043), the swell hit its peak around noon on Thursday, reaching as high as 16 feet. That is over twice the height of 'normal' waves in this area. Although the swell is now down from that measure, the breakers rolling into Flamenco Bay were still stronger than any we have seen on previous visits.

Sheryl and I hit the water immediately, and played in the surf for a considerable time. I tried to do a little body surfing, but the waves were just too powerful. When I got curled with the wave, it felt like I might break in half. I soon swam out beyond the breakers where Sheryl was, and gently rode up and down with the big waves.

After a day at the beach, our guests were kind enough to invite us back to their hotel room to take advantage of their continuous supply of hot water. After over four months of limited-water luke-warm showers, we have now had two 'real' showers in under a week. Having guests visit is AWESOME!

Seriously, though, it has been a pleasure to share time with Nydia and Jesse. They enjoyed the beach, kayaking, and snorkeling, but in Jesse's own words, "Just sitting and talking last night in the cockpit of your boat was the best part of the visit."

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Perhaps our next guests will break new ground and actually stay with us here aboard Prudence (to date, we have never slept more than 2 aboard our boat). What, more guests, you ask? Nothing is confirmed yet, but we may have more folks coming to Culebra. You'll just have to stay tuned to find out, dear Reader.

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