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We’re on a quest to see the Virgins these days, starting with the Spanish ones. Yesterday we spent some time exploring a tiny fraction of Vieques (We only have so much time these days… the windy season is approaching, fast!). In fact, we actually stopped in two separate anchorages yesterday, just to get our fix. We started out relatively early, heading from our anchorage on the western coast to Punta Mulas, where the capital city of Vieques, Isabel II is located. Hopefully we don’t offend anyone who lives there but we didn’t get all that much out of our little walking trip around the city. To be fair, it was Easter Sunday and with the exception of a very enthusiastic crowd in a Methodist Church, there didn’t really seem to be that much happening. The anchorage was also a bit rolly, as was our previous night’s and we’d had just about enough of that!

“All at once, the clouds are parted. Light streams down in bright unbroken beams” – Rush – Jacob’s Ladder. I think of that song every time I see something like this!

We saw the 1st image in this post to the west of us on Saturday night, and the one above to the east on Sunday morning.

Note: When waves hit a boat from the front, it is easy to deal with. Boaters are all used to that. Sometimes however, waves curve around a point of land and come at you from the side instead of the direction of the wind. That is NOT comfortable. They say it is possible to create a “swell bridle” of sorts to angle your boat into the waves instead of into the wind where it will normally lie. Outside of altering the length of one leg of our normal anchor bridle, we have not made much of an attempt at that yet.

I have yet to determine why it is called “Isabel II.” Where is/was Isabel I?

The anchorage looks nice, right?

But doesn’t this big wreck behind us cast a bit of uncertainty on the place?

So, having had our little walk about town, we raised anchor and moved 10 miles more down the coast to Bahia Icacos. Once we made it through the sketchy entrance between the two reefs, we found ourselves in a nice protected anchorage. Of course, the beaches were already lined with almost a dozen powerboats (they anchor stern to the beach, placing a second anchor on the land) but that only meant we had the entire center of the bay to ourselves, being that we were the ONLY sailboat there. Of course, it only took a few raindrops and every one of the picnickers scattered, leaving us the entire bay to ourselves. 🙂

Wasn’t it nice of the big power boats to let us hang with them for a bit?

Note 2: Sadly even our beautiful private Bahia Icacos anchorage developed a bit of a nasty swell as the evening drew on.

Today we’re off to the island of Culebra or perhaps it’s little sister, Culebrita. We’ll let the weather make the choice for us this time. After that, it’s on the the US Virgins!

29 Comments

  1. They call all those stern to boats the Puerto Rican Navy. Were they playing loud music too?

  2. We are so envious of all you are seeing and all you are experiencing – while we sit in our slip in the cold north – but spring has finally arrived.

    To help you with the “Old Rock and Roll” from waves coming around a point and hitting you on the side, see: http://www.frugal-mariner.com/Rock_and_Roll.html

    You’ll find that kind of thing often in the islands as the breezes change directions through the night. Sometimes you can anticipate that and anchor accordingly. Sometimes you can’t and you get up at two AM to clamber out on deck and fix things, while trying not to wake up too much. Good Luck.

    Cap’n Larry

    • Spring time up north was my favorite season!

      Setting a swell bridle is complicated a bit because we always have a bridle out already. This means we’d need to have three lines out. I am going to play with adjusting the boat’s angle more using our normal bridle. Perhaps I’ll move one line amidships instead of cleating it on the bow.

  3. Anybody that quotes Rush in their sailing blog is a friend of mine. I’m enjoying reading about your adventures. Thanks for taking the time to post.

  4. Francisco Saínz, governor from 1843 to 1852, who founded Isabel Segunda, the “town of Vieques”, named after Queen Isabel II of Spain). Vieques was formally annexed to Puerto Rico in 1854

    Too bad you don’t have more time to explore, they have a biolumenscent bay there, not sure where exactly.

  5. Hello there and welcome to the Virgin Islands. We are very interested in WiFi even if we have to pay for it… that’s OK. Did you have access to WiFi on your boat in Vieques & Cuelbra? I’m surprised you didn’t get anything in Salinas. Will have to research that a bit.
    It is a beautiful day in St Croix. Hope yours is going well, too.

    • Wifi:

      Green beach (west coast of Vieques) = no
      Isabel II (Punta Mulas Vieques) = yes
      Bahia Icacos (Vieques) = yes
      Ensenda Honda (Culebra, right by Dewey) = yes
      Salinas = no

      All those obtained with Alfa amp. No signals with laptops built in antennas.

  6. You will no doubt have a few cocktails at the famous “dinghy dock”……While you are there, could you negotiate a purchase and sale for me….

    http://www.culebra-island.com/CulebraIsland/Realestate/CulebraIslandRealty/Houses_for_sale_new/dinghy_dock/dinghy_dock.htm

  7. It is looking more and more like we may be on the same island at the same time.

    I arrive on Tortola on the afternoon of this coming Thursday, April 28th (which is also my birthday). I leave the next afternoon on the ferry to Anegada and will be there until May 15th and then back to Tortola for 9 days.

    I’m really hoping it works out!

  8. Great underwater snorkeling picture! 😉

    Be well!

  9. Web spent a week in Vieques last January. The highlight of the week was the biolumines bay. It is on the south end of the island. You can not take the boat in. It is resticted to organized kayak trips.They allow swimming. But no suntan lotion. Go at the darkest time possible. They keep it very pristine. Said to be the best bioluminest bay in the world. Anchor off the town of Esperanza. The bay is east of there. Also they have some great beaches on the south side. (Red, blue, green and secret beach).

  10. With 11,000 to choose from, you shouldn’t have any problem in your search. 😉

  11. Hi Guys

    We have been enjoying your adventures. Lots of sun and warmth!!!!
    Here, on the other hand is only rain and cold. Only a few boats in the water so far. We have not removed our cover yet. Too much rain. Maybe this Saturday.
    Those little flies (midges) are just starting. They add that nice anti slip to your just varnished boat.
    Wish we were there with you!!!!

    Anneke & Terry

  12. So you missed the bioluminescent lake there? If you are still around, it is SO worth the tour. DO IT!

  13. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    I do like your taste in Music , Mark Wills Jacob’s ladder is just as cool 🙂 along with
    Blake Shelton’s music that we will be playing 🙂

  14. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran - Reply

    Google maps are showing some nice “coves & Beach areas on the opposite side & further down at Bahia Salina Del Sur or Laguna Matias, there are some nasty looking out crops there as well so be careful of the shallow reefs

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