Saturday, November 27, 2010

Luis Pena - an island off the island (Wed. Nov. 24)

Our night in Ensenada Honda was spent safely tucked behind the reef which kept the anchorage flat, but the whistling winds at 4am were a bit unsettling.  However, by sun-up (and crew-up) the winds had settled to a calm 18 knots.

Our plan for the day was to visit the little island of Luis Pena (just off the west coast of Culebra) and then make a decision on whether we would push on to Vieques or spend the day snorkelling and relaxing.  As we came around the north shore of Luis Pena the swell was still running up on the beautiful beach so we carried on to the western shore where we found one mooring ball (with no occupant) and we settled in.  The western shoreline is almost entirely rugged boulders or coral lump beach, but there was one little sand beach that made a great landing place for the kayak.  The offshore coral reef was home to fan, brain and staghorn coral which in turn played host to schools of blue tangs, sergeant majors, wrasses and numerous other life forms we don’t know by name.  It was amazing to think we had the whole bay to ourselves and in fact never did see another boat approach the bay.  Numerous others passed on by but we had the bay to ourselves for the entire day (other than these two birds that sat on this rock for hours!)

Kayaking, exploring ashore, and snorkelling filled in the afternoon and we made the decision it would be much more prudent to head to Vieques in the morning with loads of time to make landfall; destination Green Bay at the far western end of the island.

Looking westwards we watched the sun set over the mainland of Puerto Rico with the haze of Vieques visible to the south.

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