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Old 05-11-2012, 07:19   #31
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Re: Recommended Anchorages Around Vieques and Culebra ?

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Anything specific you are looking for?
We are still in the preliminary phase of looking at this trip. The only cruising we've done off of Lake Erie is the 1 week in the BVI each of the last 5 years. That's simple.

The big fear for me...... anchoring. I've never spent a night at anchor.....a few lunches, but come sundown we're always on a ball. So as I started reading threads about loose untrustworthy mooring balls and poor holding etc etc my anxiety level started to rise. Now I've got myself a bit spooked about the whole thing. Just looking to convince myself his is doable without too much concern.
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Old 05-11-2012, 15:39   #32
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Re: Recommended Anchorages Around Vieques and Culebra ?

I think it is doable. I suffer from some anchor anxiety also. I felt the moorings were in good order and had no problems. They were free and uncrowded. We spent two nights at anchor in areas that did not have moorings and had no difficulty getting the anchor to hold. If you are worried about the moorings, you can always snorkel the mooring for prop damage after attaching.

Differences from BVIs:
Less crowded
Less restaurant options
More of a genuine carib feeling
stronger winds (and waves)

Another option to consider is St Martin. It would be a change from the BVIs but would still be about 50% moorings and 50% anchoring.

I felt the trip was worth the extra anxiety but that is a personal choice. I don't know anything about your crew but my wife doesn't get real excited when the waves kick up. The SVIs are more exposed than the BVIs and that was more of an issue than the anchoring.
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Old 05-11-2012, 16:16   #33
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Re: Recommended Anchorages Around Vieques and Culebra ?

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I think it is doable. I suffer from some anchor anxiety also. I felt the moorings were in good order and had no problems. They were free and uncrowded. We spent two nights at anchor in areas that did not have moorings and had no difficulty getting the anchor to hold. If you are worried about the moorings, you can always snorkel the mooring for prop damage after attaching.

Differences from BVIs:
Less crowded
Less restaurant options
More of a genuine carib feeling
stronger winds (and waves)

Another option to consider is St Martin. It would be a change from the BVIs but would still be about 50% moorings and 50% anchoring.

I felt the trip was worth the extra anxiety but that is a personal choice. I don't know anything about your crew but my wife doesn't get real excited when the waves kick up. The SVIs are more exposed than the BVIs and that was more of an issue than the anchoring.
Thanks for that. Mrs_dergon is actually the better sailor of the pair. If someone is going to get mal de mar, it's me. Sounds doable though.

We have friends staying on Vieques this winter for a while so we want to tie sailing and visiting together.

ps- I see you're in Ohio, eh simfr.....great!
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Old 05-11-2012, 16:28   #34
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Re: Recommended Anchorages Around Vieques and Culebra ?

I think the biggest difference you will notice is not having a restaurant/bar within dinghy reach of every anchorage. Unless it has changed, there were more moorings on Culebra than Vieques. Have a good time. We didn't feel overly "exposed" in any of the anchorages we used.
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Old 08-11-2012, 16:56   #35
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Re: Recommended Anchorages Around Vieques and Culebra ?

Thanks again. Not to drag this thread too far off topic, but I've got about a decade before mrs_dergon and I plan at least a part-time cruising life. I need core competencies
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Old 25-10-2013, 01:39   #36
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Re: Recommended Anchorages Around Vieques and Culebra ?

Sorry to bump this thread but now I'm really curious about Culebra.

I might be in Fajardo by myself waiting for my crew to arrive for a couple of
days and after looking at the photos of the island I think I'm hooked.

My main concern is anchoring since I'll be by myself, are there free moorings
that I can tie to that I can trust will hold my fat boat day and night or are they
known to drag? I have the following for anchors
35# Bruce primary anchor with 100' 5/16'' chain
23# Danforth anchor with 150' 5/8'' nylon rode

But I much rather use a mooring since I'll be by myself!!

Can anyone tell me if that is the case?!

Thanks
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Old 25-10-2013, 05:10   #37
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Re: Recommended Anchorages Around Vieques and Culebra ?

Anchoring is excellent in Ensenda Honda near Dewey. Free moorings at Ensenada Dakity--the water is clear so you can dive on them to assure yourself they're in good shape. Check the area out on Google Earth. You can see where the boats are anchored or moored.
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Old 25-10-2013, 05:27   #38
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Re: Recommended Anchorages Around Vieques and Culebra ?

We took a free park service mooring on the western shore of the Island at Bahia Tamarindo. It was an easy dinghy through the littlle channel over to Ensenada Honda.

The mooring was well maintained. (Although we had light weather so didn't test it for drag)

We had the entire anchorage to ourselves overnight 2 nights in a row.

____


We also were able to arrange a private ball on Vieques for a few nights at Esperanza. I'd have to dig for the contact's phone number, but if you want it PM me and I'll look. It was $25/night.
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Old 25-10-2013, 05:53   #39
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Re: Recommended Anchorages Around Vieques and Culebra ?

Either approach should work fine. We found the anchoring very good during our visits but the moorings were all reliable. I dove on them and may have been lucky but found each of them to be in good condition. I would still recommend checking them out. The only problem we had was that the fuel ferry was out of service at the time. This put the price of fuel at a premium. Might be wise to secure your fuel tank if you don't already. We had fairly strong winds and didn't drag. If you have the opportunity to visit Culebra and Vieques, I wouldn't miss it.
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Old 25-10-2013, 07:01   #40
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Re: Recommended Anchorages Around Vieques and Culebra ?

We were in Culebra and Culebrita in 2011 and I would second the advice to not trust the moorings. Dive and inspect. Maybe even toss out the anchor as a backup. But there are some beautiful places that shouldn't be missed. If you like isolated beaches this is the place to go. (I hope they are still isolated in 2013) We've got some beach pics I'll try to dig up.
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Old 25-10-2013, 07:10   #41
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I agree with the great replies above, and have a few additional thoughts. (Kept my boat in Fajardo for two years, so I got to know Culebra and Vieques quite well). At Culebra, the free Park moorings are in a great location, as you can snorkel right from your boat into some of the best fish watching reef in the VI's, in my experience. Also agree that it is an easy dinghy ride through the canal for groceries and a couple of classic Carib. watering holes. I even swam ashore and hiked to town a few times. If you have time, hail a cab for a ride over to Playa Flamenco, a beautiful and long sugar sand beach, considered one of the best in the world by some. The down side is that the ferries pass close by, and they throw a pretty good wake in the morning. Also, you will be a bit exposed to the SW, so if any heavy weather is around, recommend going around to the very secure Bahia Honda, where the bottom is like cement, and you are protected from anything less than a hurricane, and often will be ok even them.

Vieques is also a beautiful place to hang out, and much less developed in the aftermath of the Navy's heavy-handed stewardship. Do not try to anchor in the bay off Esperanza, as the bottom is impenetrable grass. If you can get a good mooring there, there is great snorkeling around the small island (Cayo de Afuerza), and a fun, noisy bar scene at the waterfront nearby.
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Old 25-10-2013, 08:28   #42
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Re: Recommended Anchorages Around Vieques and Culebra ?

Wow, great replies guys!! Thank you very much

Since it might just be me I was thinking about an area where I felt secure and would be able to sleep at night not worried about dragging anchor, I MUCH rather moore!! : )
So I was thinking Dakity for at least one night and then move
in closer to town by the bars, etc across on that inside bay (the other side of the ferry terminal, airport side) if I can snag a mooring

How's the sailing from Fajardo, I think the wind will be blowing from the southeast?? So if I want a nice reach my best bet would be to head out toward the northern part of Culebra and then motor south to the entry to the
Ensenada Honda?? How tricky is the entry? Looking at google there look to be a good amount of reefs? Are they easy to spot? Basically just follow the dark water until the mouth of the bay where the water is clear and you can see bottom?

Sorry for all the questions, I will get a chart once I'm there I'm just trying to mentally picture it all! Very excited!!

Thank you for all the replies guys
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Old 25-10-2013, 08:53   #43
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It is much easier to drop an anchor solo than pick up a mooring. For me, anyway.

The former requires sufficient accuracy to drop the anchor in such a way as to avoid swinging into another boat, while the latter requires accuracy to within the length of your boat hook.

How long is your boat hook?
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Old 25-10-2013, 09:02   #44
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Re: Recommended Anchorages Around Vieques and Culebra ?

Its your average length pole. I actually think for me it would be easier to do either
but I would trust more the mooring then my anchoring skills!! : )
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Old 25-10-2013, 09:17   #45
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Re: Recommended Anchorages Around Vieques and Culebra ?

Navigation is not difficult in ensanada honda in good light. I seem to recall that there was a good range marker to help. A previous post mentioned using the mooring with an anchor for back-up. This seems like twice the work and double the risk to me. After a couple of unexpected shifts in the wind, you could end up with quite a tangle. Moor and check its quality - I suspect it will be fine or drop anchor. Your bigger problem will be forcing yourself to leave and head back to Fajardo.
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