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HELLO FROM CULEBRA April 3, 2014

Posted by sailingnightwatch in Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.
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This is our second island in the Spanish Virgin Islands. The first was Palominos. It is a small island with beaches, mooring balls and a commercial beach with restruants, bars and other concessions. One of the concessions is a pony ride for the kids…. The resorts on Puerto Rico have ferry boats running back and forth all day long. Did some snorkeling on both sides of a small island a 100 yard away. The shallow water on the north side of the island is covered with broke up coral. It is nice to have those little booty shoes to walk on stuff like that. The south side had a lot of broke up coral, but not covering the bottom.

Well, we did Gillian’s Island in about 1 hour max. What a bust. It is a mangrove island. That means it is hardly above sea level and covered with Mangroves. They have ferry rides from the main land to the island constantly. You bring your picnic lunch and find a place among the mangroves to eat and take a dip in the little lagoons that surround the island. We did not snorkel, but some of our boat buddies did and said the snorkeling was great. We went in the dinghy to a resort on the main land and got a wifi weather forecast from our weather guru. It said our weather window was closing as we drank our beer. Back in the dinghy and back to the boat to get to Ponce that afternoon.

Ponce is an industrial town with an active port. I grew up in the Gary Indiana area. It reminded me of that industrial area. I did not realize that the south shore of Puerto Rico was so heavily industrialized. A lot of petro/chem industry, large ports, and other assorted large factories. Lots of bad smells and thoughts of “what am I breathing”.

We went shopping at a real mall, large 2 story mall with every store you had ever heard of. Also went to an electronics store that would rival any, anywhere. From there to a real Walmart for groceries and other items. Large cities do have some advantages.

The anchorage had a large yacht club on one side, the port on one side and 3-4 bars in a row on one side. They played Puertor Rican music till 4 am every night. Very loud. Like the battle of the bands, all at once. The only good thing was that I like their music. We could have had rappers all night. We were waiting a weather window or would have moved on sooner.

Four days and then off to Salinas at 4 am. Salinas is the total opposite place. Had one large marina and a small town. The marina had a bar and grill, and there was a bakery in town. We left Salinas at 2 am trying to beat the afternoon sea breeze that blows from the east in the mid 20’s. The strategy worked. Not only did we get to where we had intended to go, but the weather turned out to be better then forecast and we ended up at the island with a pony ride. We gained a travel day.

Next Tuesday we get company that is flying into St Thomas, USVI. It is only 15 miles, but a bad 15 with currents and on the nose trade winds, but our weather window is closing tomorrow. Culebra looks like a nice place to be stuck through the weekend.

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