Visit to Vieques


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Published: May 28th 2014
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We pretty much crashed for a week upon returning to Whisper after a month in the states. Once we were well rested and provisioned, we took advantage of light easterly winds and motored back to Culebra. Spent a few days in Dewey, the main town on Culebra, then sailed south to Vieques.

Although its name means “small island” in Arawak, it’s the largest of the Spanish Virgin Islands. Like many of the Caribbean islands, Vieques has been home to indigenous people, Spanish, English, French, Dutch and various pirates. The US took over the island in 1898 and, in 1941, the Navy purchased two thirds of the island to be used for live training exercises, ship to shore gunfire, air to ground bombing and amphibious landings. In 1999, a civilian employee was killed and four others injured when two 500-lb bombs were dropped too close to a security post. Residents had already been protesting the Navy’s presence and the 1999 accident tipped the scales in their favor. The Navy ceased operations in 2003, but cleanup operations continue and the former base is now designated a fish and wildlife refuge.

We didn’t see many fish or wildlife in our first anchorage at Ensenada Honda which is considered a good hurricane hole. We carefully steered around a few reefs to a huge anchorage surrounded by mangroves. We spent three nights there and were the only boat for two of those nights. The water was quite milky due to little life forms. No snorkeling here, couldn’t even see the bottom of the boat! But we did get to see some bioluminescence in the water after dark. And I spotted some colorful sea stars and spooked what I think was a leatherback turtle.

The next day we planned to stop at Bahia de la Chiva, just to the west of Ensenada Honda. Unfortunately, it was a bit exposed to the southeast swell, so we moved on to Esperanza, the main town on the south shore of Vieques. Esperanza is a charming place with several decent restaurants, gift shops, a museum run by the Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust, and a small grocery. We stayed two nights, and when ashore, took in the view from the beachfront walkway called “the Malecon”.

We are currently anchored at Green Beach on the west side of the island. Soon after arrival, we enjoyed a swim in warm, clear water. Once again, we’re the only boat floating at anchor in a tropical paradise. To the east, palm lined beaches with Mount Pirata in the background. To the west, Puerto Rico and gorgeous sunsets. It doesn’t get much better than this!


Additional photos below
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WhisperWhisper
Whisper

All alone, Ensenada Honda
Dinghy DockDinghy Dock
Dinghy Dock

Esperanza
WhisperWhisper
Whisper

from Duffy's Restaurant
Mt. PirataMt. Pirata
Mt. Pirata

View from Whisper anchored at Green Beach


Tot: 0.806s; Tpl: 0.054s; cc: 8; qc: 51; dbt: 0.0354s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 3; ; mem: 1.4mb