Let’s see, what have we got to be thankful for today? Bright sun, an incredible sail, home on a wonderful boat - it doesn’t get much better than this!
Typical of days under sail, the passage to Vieques could not be done in a straight line. We headed out into open water before turning almost directly south which brought us across the Vieques Sound to Isabel Segunda, the main town on the island lying at about the half-way point on the north shore. Turning right, we headed towards the western end of the island, through the Roosevelt Roads passage, around the Arenas Reef and then headed south to Green Bay. We were able to sale the entire way, most of it with the wind behind the beam until the last tack when we entered the anchorage on a close reach. For the most part the winds have been lessening through the week and we didn’t see much over 20 knots through the day,averaging about 18 with seas running confused at 4-6’.
Picture yourself on a deserted Caribbean beach; what do you see? Miles of white sand overhung with palm trees and sea-grape, coral and shells washed ashore, warm turquoise waters lapping at your feet? Well, that almost describes the perfection of Green Beach. We dinghied up to the reef end and wound our way back alternating between the beach and the road which provides access for the occasional day-tripper. This beach was only cleared of ordinance in the last few years since the U.S. military left in 2006 and stopped using Vieques for target practice. There are remnants of an old rusted water-tank (not an army tank as I originally thought possible) but otherwise we didn’t really see much evidence of their previous existence.
Puerto Rico loomed to the north and as the sun set, the sparkle of city lights lit it up like a jewel necklace around the highest point at the east end of this huge island. Green Beach marks the western-most point that we have sailed to and tomorrow we head round the southern coast of Vieques to discover the bio-luminescent bays of Puerto Mosquito Cove or Puerto Ferro.