Isla Caja de Muertos (The Coffin Island)
19 March 2014 | Isla Caja de Muertos, Puerto Rico
We got up at 4:00am as planned and were underway before 4:30am. I realized that we don't really see anything along the shore when we travel in the dark. That is too bad, I do enjoy watching the coast line. I did see a couple of huge electronic billboards along the road. I had seen them in the Dominican Republic from the water too.
The wind was not very strong and on our nose so leaving early worked out well. We had our main sail up but just to stabilize the boat a bit better. Our engine is doing a lot of work lately and our batteries are very happy, they are always at 100%. We pulled into Ponce by about 7:00am. The two boats we have been traveling with the past few days had left our last anchorage at 3:30am so they were already anchored there. We saw immediately that there were a couple things wrong with Ponce. First of all the water you have to anchor in is thirty feet deep, a bit deep for very comfortable anchoring. Second there wasn't much room left in there. We knew that it wasn't easy to get to the town where all the shopping is. You need to take a taxi to get anywhere. We also had decided that we were going to rent a car when we get to Salinas and that was when it would be more practical to shop in Ponce. We turned around and went back out the channel. Our next destination was only an hour away, no reason why we couldn't just go there today.
So we are now anchored next to Isla Caja de Muertos, which translates into Box of Death Island - or Coffin Island. It was named that because it kind of looks like a shrouded body from a distance. It is a state park with trails and a lighthouse. There is also a cave on the island. You know that Bill's eyes light up whenever he hears the word cave - we had to stop here. There is a dock here for the boat that brings the tourists over but this time of year it only runs on weekends. The dock was too high to tie our dinghy to, or to successfully climb onto, so we had to beach the dinghy. That didn't go great but we managed to get it secured and we hit the trails.
There are thousands of cactus plants on this island. I can attest to the fact that they are sharp - one got stuck in my finger. Some of them are also very tall as you can see in the picture above. Granted, I am not very tall, but trust me the cacti are. The lighthouse and cave were about a mile or so up the trail that was nice and flat until we got to the turnoff for them. We found the cave with some help from a guide on a tour boat that was on one of the beaches. It was very dry and not a very big or pretty cave. We literally slid all the way down to the bottom on our butts. I wasn't sure we were going to be able to come back up. Luckily there were lots of hand holds on the rocks on the way up and we were able to get back up without much trouble. We sure got dirty though!
The lighthouse was very nice. It was built in the late 1800Â's. It is supposed to be a working lighthouse but it didn't really look like it could be to us. We are anchored right next to it now so we will definitely look outside when it gets dark to check it out.
Tomorrow we go to Salinas. We are planning on taking a vacation and seeing some of Puerto Rico from a car instead of a boat. We are both looking forward to it!