Fun for Everyone
April/28/2010, Isla Culebrita, The Spanish Virgin Islands
We have enjoyed a full day on this little island.
Walking along this spectacular beach and swimming in the water is almost enough to complete the day, but we've also hiked up to the lighthouse and on the way down, found another path to follow. It lead to the other side of the island and our private beach where we skinny dipped and cooled off.
When the water is so crystal clear and it is hard to ignore that "Lion's Paw" needed a good scrub (again). We both jumped into the water with mask & snorkel, fins, gloves and scrapers. Memories of "Barnacle Bill" from Lake Erie come to mind... I wonder if that name referred to the owner "Bill" or to the state of his boat? It is truly amazing to dive underneath the hull to scrape off barnacles and green algae growth from the hull, keel, intakes, bow thruster and prop. The best part about "working" in the islands, is that it's fun. Your in the water after all and it's warm and clear. You stop every now and then to watch the fish & rays swim by. You challenge yourself to stay underwater longer and longer, trying to improve your lung capacity, so that the next time you go snorkeling you can dive deeper or stay down longer; and the next challenge is to avoid scraping yourself along the side as you ascend from underneath the huge hull, which in your mind could be the 'belly of a whale' and you 'a pilot fish'.
At the end of the day, you're exhausted but satisfied that you've earned another day in this Caribbean paradise.
We have found Paradise
April/27/2010, Isla Culebrita, The Spanish Virgin Islands
It took us only 1-1/2 hours from Dewey, on a lazy sail.. we were actually more interested in fishing.... to arrive here this morning.
We caught nothing today but as we rounded the corner and approached our new anchorage, we gazed upon one of the nicest beaches we've ever seen. We happily noticed that there wasn't a spec of garbage anywhere! I wish Janice was here to collect her sand sample. It is so white and clean.
We also have crystal clear waters, very similar to the Bahamas, surrounding us; so the first event is to jump in. We followed a small sea turtle as he wandered through the bay and I got my first picture of a smaller version of the turtle I saw when we entered the anchorage in Allan's Cay (that one must have been at least 5 ft wide).
Around 4pm, we joined the crew from "Vanilla" and walked Vicky, the dog along the crystal white sand beach that lay before us.
We cut the guys hair, and took another swim. Then we walked the beach to discover that the path on one side led to the "baths" similar to the ones in the BVI's. We discovered that the "baths" are very, very salty and one could easily float with effort. We just had to be cautious of the numerous sea urchins that lined the walls. We shared the experience with another couple whom were on their way back to the USA to be closer to their family. They had spent the least 7 years exploring the Mediterranean and had their boat shipped back to the Virgin's.
After returning to the beach, we noticed that our dinghy was heading out to sea. Steve and I had a nice jog along the beach. We usually put out a dinghy anchor but on this beach, but we were not allowed to anchor because it is a sea turtles nesting ground. We didn't pull the dinghy up high enough on the beach to prevent it from slipping away. We (Sylvain, Lise and I) sat in the water and watched Steve swim out to retrieve the dinghy. It was a good work out for his shoulders. Soon joined by Steve, we spent another hour or so lying about with just our heads out of the water. As is was about 5 pm, we decided to head back to the boat for dinner.
And that's one day in paradise.
The Friendly Little Town of Dewey
April/25/2010, Culebra, The Spanish Virgin Islands
One of the many views from Lion's Paw
Today is Sunday and we are just chill'n.
The island of Culebra and her surrounding islets encompass over 7,000 acres of which over 2,800 are designated as a part of the U.S. National Refuge System. Hence there is little development and the land and water are a sanctuary for indigenous plants and animals. In 1936 the U.S. Navy began using some 2,000 acres for Culebra for bombing exercises until 1975.
How Fresh is that Tuna ?
Tonight we had tuna sashimi (hors d'oeuvre) and tuna fillets that were pink inside (quickly seared) for dinner. Sylvain became "The Man" when he caught his tuna. Um! My mouth is watering as I write this.
Great knife.. Thanks Heather
April/24/2010, Aft Deck
Steve is now the teacher after learning from other sailors and our book "The Cruisers handbook of Fishing".
April/24/2010, Culebra, The Spanish Virgin Islands
We are now anchored in front of the friendly little town of Dewey, Ensenada Honda, Culebra, The Spanish Virgin Islands. It is beautiful and quiet and we are sharing the bay with at least a hundred boats. Everyone must be breathless too!
Bahia Salina Del Sur
April/23/2010, Isla de Vieques
Leaving Isla de Vieques for Isla de Culebra
There was a lovely beach at Bahia Salina del Sur, but I sadly spent the day in bed with a migraine...however Steve and the crew on "Vanilla" really had a wonderful day of snorkeling. The coral was dead but there was more fish then either Steve or Sylvain had ever seen. Vicky (the dog) loved the beach. We were warned not to walk further inland from the beach or to pick up any man-made objects (unexploded ordinates). You see for the last couple of decades Vieques has been quite the hot topic in Puerto Rico, thanks to the US military. The U.S. Navy used the area for aerial and naval bombardment until 2003 when the bombing on Vieques ceased.
For us cruisers, it means that a whole lot of beautiful anchorages have just opened up in the Spanish Virgin Islands... lets hope there are no unexploded ordinance where we drop our anchor...