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Cruising The Spanish Virgin Islands

June 15, 2016

Brad and Cole chillin' on deck while we sail to Culebra 



Apparently these Islands are no longer called the Spanish Virgin Islands and depending on who you talk to, you may be told that they are now under Puerto Rican rule. I’m still gonna call them the Spanish Virgin Islands because I like how it sounds. They are Vieques, Culebra and Culebrita. 


 Feeling the good vibes at Vieques.


The island of Vieques came with a bit a negative feedback. We had heard on a few occasions that Vieques was not a great place to go since crime had increased and there were stories of theft. On the other hand we had read that Vieques was beautiful and also had one of the best bioluminescent bays around. We took a few extra precautions security wise and decided to go. We always hoist our dinghy at night and Brad installed some battery operated motion sensor lights in the cockpit. Funny thing was that overtime the flag would blow in the wind it would set off the light. We finally took down the flag. We made sure to leave an interior light on at night. In the end we are pleased to announce that we didn’t run into any problems and neither did any of the other cruisers that we met throughout the island. All the locals we met were friendly and welcoming.


Bio Bay did not disappoint but what did disappoint was the fact that none of the GoPro footage that we took worked out. Since you have to go to Bio Bay at night to enjoy what it offers it was not bright enough to capture the magic of the phosphorescents with the camera so we will have to keep it in our minds. Phosphorescents are also known as Dinoflgulates, these are tiny micro organisms that live in the water and when they are agitated they light up like fireflies. Bio Bay is so concentrated with these little critters that the light show is amazing! You can hardly believe what you are seeing. As you paddle through the water it’s as though there is a flashlight illuminating it. As you wiggled your fingers through it looked like a million sparkling diamonds floating in the water. Totally worth the visit.


 Approaching Bio Bay, Vieques.


Needless to say we really loved this experience and it makes a great science class for anyone doing boat schooling with their kids. If you are debating to go to Vieques we highly recommend it. You can either do your own tour or hire a guide, we went on our own. We tend to avoid doing group tours but in this case it seemed like a good idea. We were able to hear some of the things the guides were doing and they also pointed out some of the constellations in the sky. You can go on a raft or a kayak tour. The entrance to the bay has a very small anchorage with only room for one boat that was very rolly so one night was plenty and we were onto the next bay first thing in the morning. If you visit the bay with a tour you wouldn’t have to endure the role anchorage. If we are saying its rolly being in a catamaran you know its rolly! 


 Beautiful Sun Bay, Vieques


To escape the swell and find a calm anchorage we headed into Sun Bay. What a bonus! This bay was calm with a beautifully long sandy beach not to mention we came across 2 other kid boats. Jackpot! There were 10 kids in total who were instant friends, later that night all the families decided to go for pizza and we had a great time. After a few great days hanging out at the beach all 3 boats went 3 separate directions and it was onto Culebra for us.


 Culebra spotted in the distance, it was a great day to have the sails up!


The sail to Culebra was beautiful as we came around the coast of Vieques we could already see Culebra in the distance. We can really get used to these quick hops from one anchorage to another. The island of Culebra has claim to one of the worlds top 10 beaches and we made sure to check it out.


 An inviting entrance to Flamenco beach, this is looking' good!


We busted out the scooters and rode the 2kms to get there. That was an adventure in itself! Our scooters are great with inflatable tires that make it easier to go over uneven terrain and they are definitely faster than walking but hills are another story and this trek definitely had its fair share. We made it and the beach did not disappoint, it is gorgeous! I don’t know what the criteria is to make the top 10 beaches of the world list but as for Flamenco beach we agreed with this rating.


Flamenco Beach,  on Culebra. Rated one of the worlds top 10 beaches and we agree! 


The sand is white and powdery with a gentle slope to the water where there are just enough waves for every age to have fun. Cole was in heaven with his boogy board.


 Oh Yes! This beach is one of Cole's favourites! 


The bay stretches far with lots of room to claim your own piece of real estate and just behind you will find a few snack bars that even serve cold beers or rum punch. Brad became super dad on the ride back as our friend Ben from SV Salt Shaker tried to strap the boogy board to his back for easier transport.


 It's Super Dad! Carrying a boogy board to the beach can be a challenge when riding a scooter too!


Did i mention that its almost impossible to carry a boogy board with one hand while steering a scooter? Not sure how well the boogy board stayed on but we did have a few good laughs. Leave it to a couple of sailors to rig up something to make things work better. Next time we might just have to rent a jeep!



Life is for Livin'


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Want to see more of the Spanish Virgin Islands? Check out this video on our YouTube Channel and don't forget to subscribe.









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