Spanish Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico

April 22 – 25

At our request, Addison suggested some fun things to do on our trip – tour the bioluminescent bay on the mainland of Puerto Rico, visit the island of Vieques, and go whale watching.  It just so happened the bioluminescent bay in Vieques is considered even better than the one on the mainland, so we chose to skip the mainland (unless we are held up by weather or something). It’s a bit late in the whale migration season, but hopefully we’ll catch some stragglers.

Conditions, timing, etc. suggested we motor to Vieques from St John.  Now you ole salty dogs, I hear the tsk-tsk about sailing everywhere.  Athenea is a motorsailing vessel, she has two big engines, and we ain’t afraid to use them.  We got pooped a lot on the 5 hour cruise from St John’s, which means a following sea.  Hey, I’d rather be pooped than pounded any day.

We anchored in the ideal spot at the entrance to bioluminescent Puerto Mosquito bay in Vieques.

svi vieques mosquito bay bio

The full moon was not ideal for viewing the lights, however, the clouds kindly sheltered the way for us.  We motored through the entrance and then rowed, sometimes in circles depending on who was manning the oars, into the heart of the bay.  We were surprised by a caution sign about the Manatees (???)  We didn’t see any! Any movement in the water from the oars, creatures in the water, or a hand trailing along in the water created bursts of light. It fell upon me to fall (backward roll out of the dinghy) into water to create the ultimate eruption of bioluminescent.  It was a very short swim/snorkel as the waters were quite murky and dark.  Unfortunately, GoPro failed to capture the moment.

After several attempts, Frank successfully checked us into Puerto Rice via phone using the new Small Vessel Reporting System.  Really handy being able to check in to US locations from remote bays.

The short trip up from Vieques to Culebra was rainy, however the boys were able to raise the sails for most of the trip.

svi vieques culebra passage

We anchored in Ensenada Honda near the airport and Dewey town.  We took the dinghy around bay for look see,

svi culebra judy statue

svi culebra bridge

and had dinner at the Dinghy Dock restaurants with tarpons.

svi culebra dinghy dock restaurant

svi culebra tarpon

Surprisingly, the data over T-Mobile was good enough for streaming, probably the best connection we’re had so far, and in a small place such as this.

Back at the boat, we treated Addison to a blind rum tasting, with the dark chocolate winning the round.

svi culebra rum tasting

And we spent the rest of the evening watching the pink moon from the bow of the boat, continuing to contemplate the various rums.

svi culebra moon


svi culebra frank nets

While Frank biked over to the nearby airport to check us out of Puerto Rico, Addison and I caught the taxi/bus to Flamingo Bay for snorkeling.


We started at one end of the bay, and quickly abandoned it for the opposite end, since we saw the day charter boats were on the other end and our end was only so so.  The area is well kept with showers, changing rooms, picnic tables, camping area, etc.  There was an iguana and lots of turtles in the backwater.


After a quick walk through town, since it’s a very small town, we joined back up with Frank for lunch.  Chef Addison cooked up a feast for dinner of shrimp and rice – he really had to improvise as I had pretty much nothing he was looking for.

svi culebra sign

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