CURRENT LOCATION: Tied to a mooring ball off of Tortuga Beach, Culebrita, Puerto Rico
18 19.141' N, 065 13.721' W
From mooring ball to mooring ball, the trip took less than two hours, and we have gone from Paradise to pure Heaven. En route to Culebrita, the engine got its longest workout in over 7 weeks. The winds were light, but we did get a little boost from the genoa after we got out of Ensenada Honda and rounded Punta Vaca.
From the southeastern corner of Culebra, we could see both our destination, Culebrita, and the island of St. Thomas (in the US Virgin Islands). The fact that the Virgin Islands are less than 12 nautical miles away reminds us that our next season of sailing will truly be one of island hopping.
Although we kept the engine on, light southeasterly winds continued to help us until we were between Cayo Norte, Cayos Geniquí, and Culebrita. From there we headed straight into the wind toward the anchorage at Tortuga Beach. Monday marked the end of a 3-day holiday weekend in Puerto Rico, and our timing was just about perfect. As we motored in and grabbed an available mooring ball, a parade of motor yachts passed our port side going the opposite direction. In fact, there was still such traffic in the anchorage that I had to wait about a half-hour before I felt comfortable jumping in the water to dive and inspect our mooring line.
The beautiful sands of Tortuga Beach are right off of our bow. Tortuga is Spanish for turtle, and the moniker is an appropriate one. Sheryl and I spent the waning hours of daylight watching turtle heads peek up above the water for air. They appear only for a moment, catch two or three breaths, and then disappear back below the surface.
This morning, I was out of the v-berth at first light. The gentle roll here in the anchorage affects Sheryl and I differently. The motion disturbs my sleep while it seems to enhance hers. In addition, the planes are not taking off directly overhead, and the seagulls are just a bit more quiet here.
Once Sheryl emerges from the v-berth, we will have to talk over breakfast about what to do with our day. There is a lighthouse to explore, tidal pools known as 'the Jacuzzis,' and plenty of potential snorkeling opportunities. We could even hang around the boat, armed with snorkel gear, and keep an eye out for the ever-so-frequent opportunities to swim with the turtles. Yes, it's Heaven, dear Reader, we're in Heaven.