15 May 2010 | Archipelago Culebra
Tuesday May 11
Picked up anchor and moved onto Mosquito Bay just outside the entrance to Ensenada Honda. Did some snorkeling and had friends over for supper ( pork sausage on the braai ). A perfect sunset.......
Wednesday 12th May
Around midday we moved onto Puerto Manglar , a very sheltered and calm bay with mooring buoys and this was to be our first attempt to pick up with me steering. Buoys are situated just inside the reef area and after choosing one and approaching slowly for Vossie to pick up, which he did, I stalled the engine and could not reverse to stop the boat. So............we drifted forward and touched bottom which fortunately was sand. We managed to get ourselves out of this situation and were successful on our second attempt with Bob standing by to help if necessary. Spent the afternoon going around in the dinghy looking at the very healthy mangroves and reefs and deciding on a good snorkeling site. Quite a good variety of fish and saw beautiful angel fish which are so docile and just lie there and look at you. Supper was had on Passat.
Thursday 13th May
After dropping the mooring buoy, we negotiated our way through the shallow channel and headed for Culebrita. Isla Culebrita (little Culebra, little snake) is a small island off the eastern coast of Culebra. Culebrita is a nature reserve and home of one of the oldest lighthouse in the Caribbean.
Stunning coral reefs and again mooring buoys to pick up. And again running aground in the attempt. I really need more instruction with this exercise. Eventually, with the help of our steadfast friend, Bob, we were comfortably on the mooring and spent a good night.
Friday 14th May
Set off at 9am with our snorkel gear and refreshment for our hike up to the lighthouse and then through the trails to visit the other side of the island. Very interesting site with stunning views from the top of the lighthouse. Vossie and Bob dared to climb the rusty old stairs, as boys will do, while Debbie and I remained on solid ground, as girls will do.
Construction of the Culebrita Lighthouse began on September 25, 1882, and it was completed on February 25, 1886. The Spanish Crown built the lighthouse to help secure its claim over the main island of Culebra.
It was the oldest operating lighthouse in the Caribbean until 1975 when the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard finally closed the facility. The United States Coast Guard has replaced the lighthouse with a solar powered light beacon.
Back down the hill to wander through the narrow trail to view the other side. On the way with Debbie leading she came face to face with a buck, surprising both of them. Too quick for a photo unfortunately.
The trail opened up to beach lined with palm trees and long white beach. Lovely sight. The opposite direction led to the north facing bay which was considerably rougher. After walking a little along the beach we trailed it back to our anchorage and ended up snorkeling there, which we found a little disappointing, although this area is reported to have some of the best waters for snorkeling. Spent the afternoon and evening on the boat relaxing after our fun filled morning.