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Old 20-08-2016, 13:51   #1
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Sailing USVI to Spanish VI

Planning a trip in December, want to sail St John to Vieques and the Spanish VI. Previously did St Maarten to BVI, which was fine but return trip was a long, long haul. Would like to keep sailing days down to 7 hours or less.

So in a 45" cat how is the trip out and back to the Spanish Islands.

Many thanks for any help or advice.
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Old 21-08-2016, 05:44   #2
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Re: Sailing USVI to Spanish VI

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, MHoran.
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Old 21-08-2016, 06:26   #3
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Re: Sailing USVI to Spanish VI

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Originally Posted by MHoran View Post
Planning a trip in December, want to sail St John to Vieques and the Spanish VI. Previously did St Maarten to BVI, which was fine but return trip was a long, long haul. Would like to keep sailing days down to 7 hours or less.

So in a 45" cat how is the trip out and back to the Spanish Islands.

Many thanks for any help or advice.
About 4 1/2 hrs there, and six back. This would be from Great Cruz bay to Esparanza.
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Old 21-08-2016, 07:11   #4
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Re: Sailing USVI to Spanish VI

Keep your eyes peeled for whales. I saw one breach in the Virgin Passage. Thrilling!

BTW, we enjoyed the anchorages on Culebra and Culebrita more than Vieques. Just a thought.
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Old 21-08-2016, 07:44   #5
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Re: Sailing USVI to Spanish VI

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Keep your eyes peeled for whales. I saw one breach in the Virgin Passage. Thrilling!

BTW, we enjoyed the anchorages on Culebra and Culebrita more than Vieques. Just a thought.
I agree that Culebra is a much better island experience than is Vieques. Other than bio bay, Vieques offers nothing IMO. Culebra is more friendly ..
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Old 21-08-2016, 09:38   #6
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Re: Sailing USVI to Spanish VI

Easy downwind run to Vieques. Vieques has a bad crime reputation, but Isla de Chivas on the south side, just west of Ensenada Honda, is located in a US Fish & Game Park. The park gates open at sunrise and closes at sunset, making it safer for boats on the free moorings or anchored. This park has close to a mile of white sand beach, beautiful clear water and lots of trails for walking. It also rarely gets as crowded as the rest of the Spanish Virgins on weekends. Going back to the USVI, well, it's upwind all the way.....not bad should take from 4 -5 hours of sailing.

A word of warning about Puerto Rico, the Spanish Virgins and your dinghy. All motorized vessels are allowed to be beached to load and unload passengers only. Otherwise, your dinghy w/motor must be anchored out, off the beach. This is a Puerto Rican law, that the Fish and Game rangers will enforce.
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Old 21-08-2016, 10:04   #7
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Re: Sailing USVI to Spanish VI

We really enjoyed Vieques, spent very pleasant time in Ensenada Sun Bay, Bahia de la Chiva, and most especially the serenity in the eastern corner of Ensenada Honda. This is a wilderness experience, if you are into night life and fancy restaurants, no hope.

Culebra is great, the cruising community in Ensenada Honda is well established and welcoming. Definitely more developed than Vieques, which is good or bad depending on your preference.

The trip from the Spanish Virgins to USVI was mostly motorsailing, but not bad at all.
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Old 21-08-2016, 16:05   #8
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Sailing USVI to Spanish VI

I tend to agree with Justa rebel comments. I've made at least 10 trips to Vieques. A few on my own boat with friends to see the bio bay. The majority of the trips were as skipper on charter boats. The Malacon in Esperanza is nice but the recurring issues with theft never let me feel comfortable around the populated areas. I doubt I would ever return there on my own vessel.

Culebra is the opposite. I try to get there any chance I can whether it's on my personal vessel or on charter. The people are so welcoming and there are many places to anchor if solitude is desired. We love to rent a golf cart and wander around the Island stopping frequently to stay hydrated. If conditions are right, we spend most of our time in Tortuga Bay on Culebrita. The people couldn't be friendlier or more welcoming.

Travel times stated are accurate enough. Stopping in Brewers Bay on St Thomas is a really nice spot to break up the return trip if it's really rough. Watch the weather and schedule your return to the east accordingly. I've been in horrendous conditions delivering a 40' from Puerto Rico to St Thomas motors ailing at three knots with waves breaking over bows onto the cabin top. Cut your trip short if the forecast is for big seas or strong east winds.


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