Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fixing A Boat In Paradise ... Sigh

We were so excited when we set off Friday morning with both engines running and Culebrita in our sights, but after about a half hour, right on cue, the starboard engine once again cut out. The port engine stoicly marched on so we pulled around the south shore of Culebra and up into the Ensenada Honda anchorage, just next to friends on Blue Blaze and Freedom.

Near the airport in Ensenada Honda we have swapped ferry traffic for airborne traffic.
Another day of trouble-shooting ensued and in the end Henry changed out our old prefilter for a new Racor filter that will clean out any water or grunge from our fuel, and then triumphantly found a split in the fuel line near a clamp. This may have been the cause of our most recent problems since the engine most definitely won't run with air in the line. We put Mowzer to bed once again with the plan to try to get to Culebrita. It's only five miles away, how elusive can it be??

Saturday morning found us up an on our way nice and early and hallelujah, we made it to Culebrita...with both engines running all the way! I know we're a sailboat, but engines are still essential for tight spaces and anchoring, at least for us they are.

Leaving Culebra, boats anchor behind the reef at the Dakity anchorage.
Now time to do some exploring, but first a swim since we are now back in he Virgins with lovely clear water.

10' below the anchor set is easy to see.
Our first reef snorkel in a while.
We've been to Culebrita a few times before and always enjoyed the hike up the hill to the old Spanish lighthouse, and across the island to Tortuga (Turtle) Beach and the bubbly pools, or as they are signed on he island "The Baths". I guess they are trying to piggy back on the famous BVI Baths, but we will always think of them as the bubbly pools.

We set off to hike "down the garden path", through the sea grapes pressing in on all sides.
At Treasure Beach, Henry pondered the passage to St. Thomas, just 15 miles to the east.
Culebrita's resident goats: we could smell them along the way, now we see them.
The tip of the lighthouse, next climb is up that hill.
A closer view of the top of the tower.
Sadly, the climb up the tower is now closed. It was pretty rickety but I wonder what someone did or complained about to get it closed. Too bad.
Still love the colours of the old brick and paint, and their busy propping it all up and making it seem very civilized.
Now, back down the hill to the beach - sure, there's a beach down there somewhere.
Lots of lizards and birds scampered off through the bugs out of our way. The hermit crabs just curl up in their shells. This one was particularly pretty.
Tortuga beach, with a bit of wave action, just too much to consider anchoring in the bay.
At the north end of Culebrita the waves hit a huge crevice in the rock and the water then flows down through a series of pools to the bay on the other side of the island. Some days you can sit in the pools like a gentle jacuzzi, and on others like today, you risk being pummeled on the rocks like laundry on a wash board.
Wave action into the top pool.
Henry found a calm spot to ponder his surroundings...
While I went off to smell the frangipani.
So, we fixed the boat (fingers crossed) and we're definitely in paradise so I guess the adage is true.


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