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Old 22-10-2009, 22:29   #16
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You must live somewhere fabulous! I thought they were absolutely stunning, 360 degrees over to the Virgins, back to mainland PR and the superb little bay on the north side. Plus the really interesting abandoned wreck of the lighthouse - I guess we all have different things we like.
No, I just didn't appreciate being on vacation and have ripped and torn flesh when I arrived back.

This was duplicated by friends of ours about a year ago. I warned them, they went anyway - in shorts and t shirts. I was right...

Seriously, feel free to do this, just make sure you are dressed for the brush. It's like Texas - EVERYTHING has thorns.
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Old 24-10-2009, 09:44   #17
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I also vote for Culibrita. I personally enjoyed the hike up to the lighthouse and from the west, found it no problem with shorts and sandals.

View from half way up west trail Culebra is seen on image left:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3078/...acf78d.jpg?v=0

View of lighthouse buildings:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3041/...8f4b3d.jpg?v=0
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Old 28-10-2009, 13:46   #18
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Culebra & Vieques Anchorages

Michelle,

I have been to Culebra and Vieques about a dozen times in the last 2 years, and most of the notes above are relaible, but a couple of notes based on my observations and lots of conversations with locals:

1. Culebrita is almost always rolly at night, so you should generally plan only on day stops, then head over to Dakkity for a comfortable overnight anchorage. If you do grab a mooring at Culebrita, or any of the DPS moorings, for that matter, be wary. The locals always throw an anchor out for insurance, and I see lots of DPS moorings disappearing between my visits.

2. The holding in Ensenada Honda is notoriously bad, due to the dense growth on the bottom. Everyone I know, including me, has dragged there when the wind shifts at all Southerly. If you dive your anchor, you probably will see the problem with getting a good bite in there. A couple of moorings have been placed that are reliable there and in Sun Bay, and more are being planned. Be sure to ask the locals which moorings to trust.

As to Vieques restaurants, there is one up on the hill to the west of Ensenada Honda that I can recommend, if you are looking for a special setting with excellent food. It's in a resort called The Inn at the Blue Horizon, and I think the restaurant's called The Blue Macau. It's a bit upscale for us humble sailing folk, but the sunsets there are beautiful. If you can get a cab ride up there, at least stop for a Sundowner at their amazing bar.

If you're looking for simpler fare, grab some pizza at The Vieques Yacht Club (formerly Pirate's Plaza). It's the bright pink place right accross from the crumbling pier where you tie your dinghy, and it's not as fancy as it might sound. Nice people, though, and the owner is an affable and knowledgeable sailor.

John
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Old 28-10-2009, 15:33   #19
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We were in Sun Bay and went to Bahia Mosquito with a company from Esperanza that hauled sit-on kayaks and us in and out. It was an unexpected highlight of the trip. Hurry though you could already see some lights from houses being built to the north of the bay.
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Old 12-11-2009, 18:27   #20
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Thanks John, this is great info! We'll be following your advice and suggestions.
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Old 08-12-2009, 21:33   #21
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We're off for our sail in a few days and very appreciative for everyone's suggestions and advice. I'll send an update afterwards if there are any big changes to note.

Michelle
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Old 24-12-2009, 13:35   #22
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We're back from an amazing trip! Our original plan was to go the normal clockwise loop but with winds initially from ENE and then forecast to switch to SE later in the week, we set off for Vieques from Fajardo. Our first night was at Punta Arenas on the west side of Vieques.

The following day we had an amazing sail to Esperanza and found good holding closer to the shore. Over the next 24 hours we tried out both Duffy's and Lazy Jacks (E.Y.C.). The bio-bay was unforgettable! We moved down to Sun Bay for our third night.

Next day we set off west on a decent sail until it was time to round the corner north, and then fired up the iron spinnaker to Culebra. We stayed the night at Bahia de Almodovar and had it to ourselves - what a treat!!! In the morning we moved over to the north cove at Culebrita and settled the boat with a stern anchor. The hike up to the lighthouse proved to be worth the few scratches endured along the way. The trail was clean with awesome views. If you're heading that way, watch your step for the occasional hermit crab crossing.

Our sixth day/night was spent near Culebra (Dewey) and found decent food and drinks at Mamacitas. Update for those that visit frequently, the Dingy Dock lost their liquor license/permit. With winds from the SE, we sailed to Isla Palomino to be jarred from our quiet state of blissfulness. There had to be around 50 boats fighting for a spot! On to "Plan B", back at the marina we ordered cold beers as we watched Steelers fight for the win with Greenbay.

We chartered our bareboat through www.sailcaribe.com and highly recommend them! The boats are clean, all equipment works, new snorkel gear, and you get the owner's cell number to call 24 hours a day (he answers it too).

I'm grateful for everyone's input to this thread. Next time I'm going for two weeks!!!

- Michelle
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Old 18-10-2010, 21:55   #23
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I am also planning at PR and SVI trip. I read Street's guide but was looking for a second guide (perhaps something newer). I saw descriptions of Steve Pavlidis' guide but can't seem to locate a copy to purchase. Any suggestions on locating a copy or another guide to try? I have tried Amazon and the usual online book sellers. Otherwise I will just go with Don Street's guide if the general consensus is that it is adequately up to date. Also, any suggestions on a charter company in SVI? So far I have only located "Sail Carib".
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Old 19-10-2010, 06:01   #24
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I know Landfall Navigation has the Pavlidis guide, and probably Bluewaterweb. Street's guides are fine for sailing directions and anchorages, but not too good on the things you might want to do ashore.
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Old 19-10-2010, 06:19   #25
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Street's guides are fine for sailing directions and anchorages, but not too good on the things you might want to do ashore.
I don't know if they are even good for that. We have his guide to the Caribbean and often see sailing directions like "sail southeast until the telegraph station is abeam".

Pretty sure there hasn't been a telegraph station down in these parts in quite a while.

And what good are sailing directions only when you arrive to a port and the customs are said to be found next to the icehouse on the small fish warf - and all you see are cruise ships lined up on the commercial pier in the developed harbor.

We finally left ours at a book exchange because we found it so worthless.

Mark
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Old 19-10-2010, 06:36   #26
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I found his sketch charts and anchorage descriptions to be excellent. And his writing is pretty entertaining most of the time. The rest is out of date.
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Old 19-10-2010, 17:45   #27
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Excellent advice Hud. I will check those sites. If there are other guides to the area that anyone would suggest, let me know. Street is interesting to read but not likely to help me find a good cup of coffee ashore.
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Old 21-10-2010, 10:04   #28
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Yes, I did, Michelle. Street's descriptions of the anchorages and the tricky entrances are still valid, even though it's an old book. Steve Pavlidis has published a guide to Puerto Rico, including the Spanish Virgins, but I've not seen it.
I had both aboard when I was in the area earlier this year. Pavlidis's coverage of the SVI's is very good but Street's is also still accurate except for some of the establishments mentioned which have changed hands or gone away.


Pick up detailed charts for the areas. Know where you are heading before you depend solely on your GPS. Met one group who used their GPS on such a close in screen they didn't notice they were heading into a dead ended curve in a reef.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:18   #29
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Re: Recommended Anchorages Around Vieques and Culebra ?

Looking at a trip to the SVI this coming February.

Wanted to bump this thread to get info on current places ashore and, more importantly, if there are any more recent editions to the guides that might be more accurrate.

All info welcomed! Thanks!
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Old 04-11-2012, 15:52   #30
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Re: Recommended Anchorages Around Vieques and Culebra ?

I am not aware of any guides more recent that Pavlidis' guide to Puerto Rico. Street is still good for the sailing info but not up to date on shore side information.

We had a great time about a year and a half ago. Anything specific you are looking for?
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