Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sail Caribe and the Spanish Virgin Islands

Well i have not posted much in the last week because I have been on vacation. My family rented a boat from Sail Caribe in Puerto Rico and sailed the Spanish virgin islands. We were aboard a Jeanneau 409 which is a nice boat with three cabins and two heads. The best things about this boat were that it sailed very well and the fridge and freezer were fantastic. I know gushing about a fridge sounds weird but a good fridge makes a much nicer trip.
First night in Puerto del Ray.
   We did the thing where we slept aboard the night before the charter. This was nice as we got to go grocery shopping and get everything ready the night before. I recommend Thrifty car rental if you are getting a car at the airport as they have a drop off literally two doors away from Sail Caribe. Maria at Sail Caribe checked us in and got us to the boat. It is a lovely and humongous marina. Truly walking around the docks and just looking at all the boats is a pleasure in itself. Among thousands of other boats one of the ships from Pirates of the Caribbean was located there.
  Ziggy did our checkout. The thing where they go over the boat and operation and make sure they can trust you with the boat. Ziggy was very thorough and great but took a very long time. However it was much more focused on boat then nitpicking and thus much better then most other checkouts. A quick docking at the fuel dock later and then we are in business sailing over to Culebra.
 It was a nice sail about 10 knots breeze and easy navigation. We anchored at
ensenada honda( no relationship to the cars). Anchoring was easy. I love it when anchors hold right away. We ended up staying there two nights due to concerns over the wind being out of non typical directions and not wanting my mom to get seasick. We swam and beached and had a fantastic time. We rented a golfcart to go over to the flamenco beach. I would not do this again as it meant spending more time messing with renting the golf cart then at the beach. I would just cab over. Cheaper and less hassle. Flamenco beach was lovely and I found a great sand dollar however later in the trip my mother smashed it accidentally so it did not make it home. If you go look for a new one for me.
The next anchorage was Culebrita. This was a very pretty anchorage you could dingy in and walk a path up to a admittedly run down lighthouse but it was a nice walk and the cacti and views were fantastic. As we were grilling dinner that night aboard we saw several sea turtles swim by our boat. After dinner when it got dark we saw some glow in the dark something floating by. This was a bit of a rolling anchorage and a tougher place to anchor as the shore line goes from very deep to very shallow very quickly and you want to anchor where there is room to swing when you have enough scope out but not in too deep water.
We moored at a private mooring owned by a nice woman named Christina in Esperanza. She charges 25 dollars a day and the mooring was recommended by the Sail Caribe folks. Truly one of the easiest moorings to pick up ever as she made it very obvious by tying pool noodles to her painters and very easy by having two painters not one. For those of you who do not moor typically a mooring is a concrete block  or other large secure heavy thing at the bottom with then lines that go up to a main ball from there one or rarely two painters these are lines that you pull from the mooring ball to the boat to attach your boat to the mooring. Having two makes it easy to attach it to both sides post and starboard of the bow of the boat. We had had a long sail from Culebrita to Vieques and spent two nights at this mooring. The thing I disliked the most about Esperanza is the dingy dock. Although I had no difficulty my parents and aunt had a ton of difficulty getting from the dingy to the dock at the dingy dock to the point that we ended up beaching the dingy letting them off and then  my going to the dingy dock. If Esperanza would simply add a place to step up from their dingy dock it would be much much improved as a location for boaters. During the first night we went to a place called Tradewinds for dinner. It was all the way to the left on the main street from the dingy dock. The conch  salad was fantastic and they have a rum drink that was triple rum triple juice that was on the happy hour menu that was dangerously tasty. The next day we went to sun beach via dingy and swam and relaxed. Then after dinner we went to the bio luminescent bay called mosquito bay for a kayak tour which was fantastic. See my other special post. But totally worth it do that.
The next day we sailed to Palomino Island. The majority belonged to some fancy resort but there were several great free mooring balls and it was a lovely location. Perfect for trying to be back early the next day due to flights. The surf was up but the mooring balls were a lot more protected then you might have expected and it made a last stop of just tropical lovely.

No comments:

Post a Comment