CURRENT LOCATION: Tied to a mooring ball near Cayo Pirata, in Ensenada Honda, Culebra, Puerto Rico
18 18.400' N, 065 17.842' W
From our last entry, you would think that we would be unaware of the fact that today is the first day in May. However, the beginning of each month is somewhat momentous for us. First, today marks our 6-month anniversary since setting off cruising. Second, and more importantly, on the first of each month we start a new budget.
Before setting off to cruise, we tried to sketch out what it would cost us to live this lifestyle. I am happy to say that, over the past 6 months we have found ourselves to be right on target. Of course, some months exceed our expected expenditures and others came in under budget. In the long run it has all balanced out to fall within our targeted range. At this pace, we should have funds to keep us afloat for another 4 to 5 years.
In the waning days of April, the routine here aboard Prudence
has been pretty much as you have come to expect, dear Reader. Our activities have involved explorations of more parts of the islands and the waters surrounding Culebra.
The other day we hiked the road up to a high point on the island where we had been told that there was a helipad and a great view. It was a hot and sunny day when we walked out past the airport and began our ascent. We located the helipad, but a collection of large boulders nearby actually gave us the best view on high. Perched precariously atop, we could see Resaca Beach, Flamenco Beach, Cayo Norte, and even over to Cayo Luis Peņa.
Visibility rapidly decreased as a squall moved in from the Virgin Islands, and we hiked back to Dewey in the rain. While in Dewey, we purchased a diver down flag, to be used in our next day's adventure.
Much of our snorkeling along the west side of the island has suggested that deeper water might result in the sighting of more large-order sea life. For example, out some distance from one of the points is where Sheryl saw the spotted eagle rays
. Unfortunately, this area between Culebra and Cayo Luis Peņa also sees a fair amount of boat traffic. So, our plan was to try 'drift diving' under the kayaks.
We paddled through the canal and into the region of the Marine Reserve. Once there, we donned our snorkel gear, lifted our new diver down flag, and splashed into the water. Since Sheryl is responsible for photography, I took responsibility for the kayaks. I tied both kayaks together and ran a 30-foot line to my wrist. We safely snorkeled in that region down and around the floating kayaks.
The good news is that the clarity of the water was absolutely incredible. In depths ranging from 50 to 70 feet, we could snorkel on the surface and see the bottom with incredible clarity. The bad news is that the sea life spottings were a bit on the thin side. We saw a few turtles, a couple of southern rays, and one huge barracuda. However, we had been hoping for more.
Once we drifted/swam over to the east side of Cayo Luis Peņa, we rested and had lunch on the beach. After a bit of time for sea glass collection, we were back in the kayaks and headed around the north side of the island. We paddled around to the southwest corner, tied to a mooring ball, and found some very good snorkeling grounds.
As you can see from the lead photo, the water clarity was ideal and the afternoon lighting made the colorful fish and coral stand out in a vivid technicolor display. I especially like the Blue Chromis seen in the lead photo for this blog posting.
In addition, we saw a large Spotted Drum, captured below. Obviously, the designer of this fish liked both stripes and spots and simply could not decide between the two.
The long paddle to windward, back to the big boat in Ensenada Honda, left us fairly fatigued. Therefore, today is likely to be a DOR (day of rest). Until next time, dear Reader.