Puerto Rico has been a great stop, but now we are pushing to get everything done before heading out tomorrow. While doing laundry, we learned that Why Knot IV made it to Puerto Del Rey. Awesome! Too bad we are leaving. Well, we got together for drinks and caught up on each other’s news. They plan to spend a few days there, then hope to catch up with us again in the Virgin Islands. It was great to see them and we hope to buddy boat again with them soon.
We only had about 15 miles to cross to get to Culebra (Spanish Virgin Islands), but we hit the wind head on as usual and the waves were unforgiving. About 4 miles offshore of the western end, Mile High Dream hailed us on the VHF. They invited us to Punto Tamarindo for possibly one last visit before completely parting ways. How could we resist? We changed course, dropped anchor, dressed for snorkeling, and dinghied over. Greg and his crew had just snorkeled and informed us of the best spots to see. We chatted for a couple hours and wished each other well on our respective journeys. Greg had to return to Puerto Del Rey to pick up his niece and we had to continue east. This was a sad parting, because it is unlikely our paths will cross again. But you never know. They were right about the snorkeling. Even though the coral was bleached, new coral, sea plants, and the biggest sea fans I have ever seen were growing over the top, bringing new life to the area. When the sun shined on it, the colors just glowed. It was very beautiful. Unfortunately, the sun didn’t shine when I took any of my pictures. It did come out briefly while I was shooting video, so I’ll try to share it if we ever get good enough Internet.
We arrived in Culebra Bay in the late afternoon. I fixed dinner and we spent the evening on the boat. We decided to rent a car in the morning to tour the island. In Fajardo, we rented a Nissan Sentra. In Culebra, we rented a snazzy golf cart with almost enough horsepower to make it up the hills. It reminded me of the GoCars in San Francisco, when Devan had to get out and push because the little car couldn’t make it up the hills. Okay, we didn’t have to push, but the snails had time to get out of the way!
Dave and I needed to eat breakfast, so I turned to trusty ol’ Yelp. We found Vibra Verde was open and received 4 stars average in reviews. Nice! We walk up to a window and watch a lady chew her gun with her mouth open for 5 minutes or so before she decides maybe she ought to take our order. We ordered huevos fritos con jamon y papas (fried eggs with ham and potatoes). We received fried eggs with thin processed lunchmeat slices and French fries. We left hungry. Four stars? Really? Oh well, let the touring begin.
Vibra Verde is on the main street, at the end of which is the ferry dock. This could be considered downtown, I suppose. The best sight there was a wooden sculpture of a man throwing rocks at the boats in the anchorage. I loved him and wanted to put him on the back of our boat. Of course, he is probably every bit as big as our boat, but that’s beside the point. Nothing much was going on, so we sped (haha) out of town and into the countryside.
We drove to two different beaches – one was nearly deserted and the other was packed and reminded me of California beaches in the summer.
The nearly deserted beach closed at night to protect the sea turtles arriving to lay their eggs. This is the closest I’ve gotten to seeing it, but we would have to come back at night – not likely to happen. Hopefully someday somewhere.
Almost painfully, we crawled to the top of the hill — only backfiring once – and were rewarded with a view of the surrounding islands. It is amazing that breathtaking views like these are becoming ordinary to us. Right from the start with the Bahamas, we have seen such beauty, such clear blue water and picturesque beaches and islands, that we are in danger of taking them for granted.
Some of the private estates on the island are gated and set back from the roads, someone’s personal slice of paradise. We saw this cute little building outside the gates of one and, had it been in Alaska, I would have assumed it was an outhouse. Here, I imagine it is a supply shed or something, so I refrained from leaving any DNA behind, for which Dave was grateful.
A little ways down the road, I spotted something that looked like a boardwalk or nature viewing area. The walkway overlooked an inlet through the mangrove, offering another beautiful sight.
I noticed a few spiders on their intricate webs and tried playing around with the camera to zoom in on them. I could not stop the camera from taking over the focus and looking right past them no matter what setting I tried. I really need to take time out to read the manual. In the meantime, I could get it to focus on this pipefish swimming nearby with the sun making the blues and yellows sparkle.
After dropping off our hotrod, we walked by this gem, not your typical food truck. I bet it was delicious, but after seeing the pig’s face, I couldn’t get myself to try it.
Dave and I had purchased some coffee and chocolates for family members back home, so we stopped by the post office to send a package to California. This is the first time we tried mailing something home from an island and we weren’t sure what to expect. Unbelievably, it arrived in two business days in a Priority box for a flat rate of $12.65. At home the same box would cost $9.95, but $2.70 more to send from an island? Not bad at all. It usually took longer than two business days to send a priority package from Northern California to Southern California! I’m impressed.
Two places had the potential to be hot spots: Mamacita’s, which offered live music on the weekends, and the Dinghy Dock, which appears to be a bar by (ex)cruisers for cruisers. We wanted to hear live music and tried to go to Mamacita’s, but the place was dead and there was no band even though it was past time for them to start.
So we went to the Dinghy Dock Bar instead, which was busy but not exciting. We gave up and returned to the boat and found out it was only Thursday, after thinking all day long that it was Friday. Thursday may be the new Friday in New York, but it definitely is not in Culebra.