Friday, March 9, 2012

Culebra and the little cousin......Culebreta

Sorry for the lack of posts this week(s?) time seems to be going quickly!

We spent a few days pin-balling through some of the Spanish Virgin Islands.  The Spanish VI’s seem to have slipped through the cracks, not touristy at all like St. Thomas or St. John, and no infrastructure like Puerto Rico, but they feel really remote. There are approximately 25 islands altogether, although most are uninhabited. Some are privately owned and we heard that the Bacardi Family (rum) owns an island complete with a pack of dogs to ward off stray visitors. But, we are in the Caribbean, and the lines between truth and exciting fiction tend to get a bit fuzzy, so it probably means they have a lap poodle and the rest makes for good stories.

After leaving St. Thomas the day after we dropped Rachel’s sister and niece off, we headed out early the next morning, well, early-ish toward an island called Culebreta. It’s a little island off the bigger island of Culebra. We had a bay almost entirely to ourselves, only 2 other boats, and it was gorgeous. There was a small roll wrapping around from the north, in though the mouth of the bay, but besides that, it was an idyllic bay. There was a huge long beach with sugar sand, a few scattered palm trees, and exactly zero people on it.  Picture “Cast Away,” and you’d be pretty close.  

Once ashore, we spent a few hours flying a kite we bought in St. Thomas for a whole $1.79, figuring it wouldn’t last too long. It didn’t. But all the kids got a chance to fly it and we got our money’s worth. The beach is a sea turtle preserve, and there are signs on the beach reminding you the beach is only ‘open’ from sunrise to sunset, to give the turtles a better chance to climb up and lay their eggs in season. The next morning, we saw turtle tracks all over the beach, so they must be busy!

Also, in the center of the island, is an old run-down lighthouse with a huge residence attached. So we took an early morning hike (Rachel, Erik, Emma, Levi, and Zoe) while Maggie relaxed on the beach with Miles and Lily. The view from the top was stunning, and REALLY windy. We could see Mehari bobbing alone in the bay to one side and the string of the rest of the islands off to the other side……..incredible.

After there, we headed over to Culebra, the ‘main’ island, but still really remote.  We found a calm anchorage tucked into some mangroves, and tried to get a bit of water from the town of Dewey. Dewey is the main town and ironically, also the name of the little town we were from in northern Arizona. We can’t believe it’s been just over 4 years since we’ve left Arizona, and as our time on the sea seems to be coming to a close over the next few months, we are all getting excited for the next adventure.

See you from Vieques!

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