We had heard good and bad things about Vieques, mostly mischief and petty theft and were going to play it by ear. We made the town of Esperanza and sailed into the bay just east based on the recommendations of Juano and some other cruisers. We could see the town but basically the beach was deserted except for some campers and another cruising sailboat. We opted for the western side and had to put the anchor down pretty quickly as the dusk was now turning to dark. There was no moon but the stars were magnificent.
We grilled on the back and had a nice dinner in the cockpit. Clean up turned into something entirely different! If you have read Kaylee’s journal you know that when Danielle started cleaning dishes on the stern she swished the spoons in the water and unleashed a stream of beautiful bioluminescence! There was no stopping them as Danielle and Kaylee stripped down and skinny dipped with the dinoflaginates (I know all my biological oriented friends wonder how an engineer knows what a dinoflaginate is!). It was great as they made “snow angels” in the water and were covered in the glowing planktons!
Both Kaylee and Danielle had a great time and I especially appreciated Kaylee’s commentary on the “coolest” thing she had ever done! I would say they were in the water for 45 minutes and the conditions were perfect as the moonless sky made for an extremely dark night that really allowed these little critters to glow!
The next day was overcast and windy but we were in the lee as we coasted up the southern coastline of Vieques. As soon as we turned the corner however we were rewarded with 15 kts on a beam reach. We seldom get anything but beating into the wind so when we turned the corner we raced to Culebra at 7 kts with sails wide open and no heel! Two hours later we sailed into the narrow channel into the center of Culebra check it out. Our first thought was to get way up in the bay near Dewey and there were a lot of boats up there but the bay was very rolly and did not look inviting. We made our way to the mouth where a very shallow reef was blocking the waves. We jumped on a ball and were pleasantly surprized at how flat it was. We had a 15 kt breeze with almost no rocking and a great view to the open ocean. The best possible sleeping conditions!
We enjoyed snorkeling and just hanging out two days then dropped the ball and did a 2 hour jump to Cubrelita, a little cay just east of Culebra. A number of people had told us that this was a highlight in the Culebra archipelago and they were right. We shared the beautiful anchorage with a couple of boats and spent the 2 days snorkeling and hiking.
Time rolls on and it was time to leave for St. Thomas. The USVI and BVI's had always been one of the main milestones of our trip. There was more "east" to travel but we felt a bit of relief that we were finally getting to the Virgins and our days would be much more related to where we wanted to go and do rather than then constant and overaching pressure that weather put on us as we made our way from the Bahamas to here. I know Danielle and I relaxed as we prepared for arrival in the Virgins.