Sail Caribe's slips at Puerto del Rey in Fajardo are a hive of activity as four boats prepare to get under way. Our Hunter 45, Great White, is dwarfed by the three Lagoon catamarans.
A hectic half hour stowing the provisions we've picked up in Fajardo, and we're ready to go.
And we're sailing at last! If you live in the northeast, you'll know how great it feels to be on a boat in February!
First stop is Palominos, a small island just a few miles from the base. Two long tacks and we’re there—a perfect intro to the week ahead. We pick up a mooring and contemplate a lazy afternoon.
The archetypal tropic island!
Watersports time. We’ve pumped up our inflatable kayaks and it’s time to explore.
All the powerboats in the anchorage departed by late afternoon, leaving just us and a couple of other sailboats.
Next morning we set off for Culebra—after a swim, of course. This smaller Hunter gave us a good excuse to shake off the competitive cobwebs.
A lunch stop at Luis Pena, a small island off Culebra, gives the kids a chance to stretch their arms again.
After spending the night on a mooring in Dakity Harbor, at the tip of Culebra’s Ensenada Honda, we motor up to the main town, Dewey, and anchor.
A beach and exploring day is in order, so we catch a cab to Playa Flamenco, one of the world’s loveliest beaches. It’s guarded by this rusting tank, a relic from Culebra’s time as a military playground.
And who could resist this colorful menu, from one of the food stalls at the beach?
Dewey is a sleepy town, not at all concerned with mass tourism.
We breakfasted at the Dinghy Dock, where you can step off your tender and grab the nearest table.
Water was running low, so we made a few trips to the Dinghy Dock to top up our tanks. At 25 cents a gallon, it was money well spent.
Then it was a quick motorsail around the bottom of the island to Culebrita, a small, uninhabited islet—uninhabited aside from goats and lizards. I climbed up to the abandoned lighthouse to enjoy this view.
Here I’m looking north. Great White is the boat on the left. Only two other bnoats overnighted here.
Next day we enjoy a spanking sail to Vieques, close-reaching for 10 miles until we turn the corner.
We pick up a mooring in a deserted Ensenada Chiva, about four miles from the eastern tip of Vieques. It’s still blowing 15-18 knots, but the kayaks get an outing anyway.
Next morning we arrive in Esperanza, the only town on the island’s south coast. What a bustling metropolis—not.
First stop is the first ice cream stall.
The pride of the town is this long, nicely maintained walkway along the beachfront.
There were ten boats in the anchorage—that’s crowded by Vieques standards.
As the sun set, so the breeze dies at last, and we head for the bright lights of town and a kayak tour of the bioluminescent bay nearby.
We’re up early next morning, as we have 15 miles to go and want to be back at the base before noon. Luckily, we’re not short of wind. We are sad to be leaving—it has been a fun week, and we’d all happily come back to the Spanish Virgins in the not too distant future.