Spanish Virgin Islands : Culebra & Vieques

Spanish Virgin Islands : Culebra Island
As we got closer to the island – even from a few miles away … we could just tell the vibe is so totally different from the Caribbean, BVI or USVI … the architecture and the vegetation on the island as well as the “little small holdings” with a few horses makes you think – this belongs to Spanish culture for sure!
Saying that … the Spanish Virgin Islands falls under the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico … So – although there are very little American influences … these island groups are a special territory of the United States. So we have our yacht has now a cruising licence for all American Waters! A big deal! Trust me….it makes life easier to get in and out of US waters!
Stepping ashore confirmed our previous suspicions that the culture has completely changed from the previous islands. The people are European (Spanish looking) with hardly any African influences around. … unlike the other islands that are still bearing the consequences of slave-trading from earlier days.
The language is Spanish and although you get the odd American working in bars and shops – they speak Spanish and you don’t lose out on that special feel of the island. Al we need to do to get the feel of it all is to switch on the radio and listen to the ling, and beautiful Spanish music!
Tourism is on a much smaller scale … no big cruise ships means that you can still feel part of the island … without standing out as a tourist! If people start talking Spanish to you while you buy your veggies or bread … then you know…. You are fading into the islands people! Most of the shops tenders can speak (a broken) English – so you are not totally stuck (with your little pocket dictionary as the only assistant)!
Ensenada Honda is where the main town of the Island Culebra is Pueblo – and is just picturesque colourful … every home or shop has beautifully chosen colour schemes (unlike in Grenada where any colours just have to do!). It gives you that real happy island home feel! The flair with which they arrange and use pot plants, lanterns or artwork outside and inside places to emphasise special features has been done in very European style… just love it!.. I think we are slowly getting the feel of a culture shift…
What will mark this as a special stop for me is the clear waters (again! … but this time it really looks like a glass of water with fish in it!), the architecture and vibrancy of the colours of the buildings and the feeling that you are just part of them… if you can keep your camera in your pocket…they would not know if you are living here or visiting!(needless to say … I struggled with the camera bit…) …. By now we are both very tanned but I do think there is still a tag too much blond for me to claim to melt in! It is great to hear and feel the Spanish influence….

Colourful houses everywhere on the island
Colourful houses everywhere on the island

We had to pop in at the Dinghy Dock Bar (seems like every harbour, town or bay has one! HaHa!) … Captain J reckoned that is where all the sailors will be and he needed some advice on anchorages and things to do at the next island (Vieques) – we have absolutely no literature or any information on it …and no internet access either! So firsthand knowledge it will be…over a beer or two…
Dingy Dock Bar in Ensenada Honda
Dingy Dock Bar in Ensenada Honda

We rented a Jeep to do a half day tour around the small island …ready with a picnic basket we found the most amazing beach with old shacks that is totally neglected and certainly no habitants there any more … so we use the table for our lunch and had the best view!
Lunch at this lovely bay was for free... no one in site either!
Cannot wait to see Puerto Rico and the next stop at Vieques Island… Mosquito Bay … with more dazzling lights in the water at night! Apparently – that is what that bay is known for!!! … dyno-flagellates ….So!!! Bring it on!
We overnight at the bay just around the corner of Punta Soldado (no name again!) and was the only boat there… with a tiny little beach … while we were getting ready for our sunset rituals… we noticed a group of young Spanish guys and two girls… sitting on the rocks with each a drink watching the sunset …and serenading in the most beautiful harmonised voices until the sun has set. Such a great end to our day!

Slideshow of Culebra Island:
You will need Adobe Flash downloaded to see the picture slide show underneath every post I made!

Ensenada Honda at Vieques Island

Vieques Island

The next Spanish Virgin Island before we get to Puerto Rico. We had to overnight in the suggested Ensenada Honda bay of this Island – I will have to find out but it sounds like the name means an estuary of enclosure ? The previous island had a town with the same name?
The entrance was very dicey … a very narrow entrance with coral bommies left and right… we made it in and was struck by the vastness of this huge mangrove surrounded bay – almost like a perfect hurricane hole! We were the only yacht there!! The wind has died down completely and with that the silence of nature was as thick as cream! Photo’s can never do justice to desolation, vastness and the silence and peacefulness of a place… so if it did not portray it… imagine it… just glassy still waters in a huge enclosures where you cannot see any signs of human life… no houses or lights or boats …absolutely nothing! A few birds as the canoe slices through the slick surface with mangrove swamps making little alleys every few hundred meters! … The sunset was another mind blowing experience – we both agree that you almost feel like whispering … as if you will disrupt the perfect balance between the sunset, perfectly quiet water and the silence … almost eerily quiet!
The only thing that did drive us inside…was the no-see-hims (yachties word for miggies…lol) … luckily they seemed to disappear about 2 hours after sunset!
We are now in the bay with the magic underwater night lights! Waiting patiently for the sun to set – the water way to green and milky to snorkel … so I am making use of the opportunity to do a bit of washing and cleaning up the boat and pre-write my blogs!

Slide show of Vieques Island

You will need Adobe Flash downloaded to see the picture slide show underneath every post I made!

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