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An article written by our staff and featured in The Charter Connection

THE SPANISH VIRGIN ISLANDS.
by Jackie
October
2005

So often we hear charterers say they want to find something different.
 
The Spanish Virgin Islands of Culebra and Vieques, just hours to the west of St. Thomas, offer unspoiled beauty in an environment of National Conservation.  You will be escaping the crowds of the US and British Virgins while enjoying a culture of friendly Spanish people, delicious food, quiet anchorages and a feeling you are somewhere that no one else knows about.  The diving and snorkeling is highly rated because of the pristine waters, rare species of turtles and other marine life under conservation protection.
 
Culebra is so laid back you may find yourself not wanting to leave to Vieques (as I did on my first trip).  Ensenda Honda, the main harbor and the tiny town of Dewey is fun and colorful to explore by foot or in your dinghy. Putter through the canal to the western side of the island and go to Mama Cistas for a Spanish lunch, dinner or drinks.  A stop at the Dinghy Bar is a must. There's lots of local color and it's fun  to watch the happenings in the harbor.  Either a long walk or a short cab ride will take you to Flemenco Bay on the north side.  Named one of the best beaches in the world, it is long and winding with spectacular aqua surf and white powder sand.  Plan to linger for hours.  Dakity Harbor or Bahia de Almadovare are minutes from the main harbor and are well protected by reef edges allowing for a safe anchorage and more swimming and snorkeling. 

A few miles away is uninhabited Culebrita where the turtles are plentiful and diving or snorkeling amongst them is thrilling.  There's a sandy beach and hiking to the top by the lighthouse will give you a view of St. Thomas to the east and Puerto Rico to the west.
 
Directly to the west of Culebra is Louis Pena, another small uninhabited island.  The small anchorage on the southwest side has a beach with beautiful shells.  Watch the sunset over the rain forest of El Yunque on Puerto Rico. In the morning you will be entertained by families of goats frolicking along the rocks and beach.
 
If you choose to head to Vieques, the passage is about 15 miles. You should head for Ensenda Sun Bay and lounge on its beautiful semi-circular beach.  Also special here is Mosquito Bay (also called Puerto Real), which is one of the worlds few bioluminescent bays.  Take your dinghy or sign up for a trip that will take you there at night, when the phosphorescent bay dazzles with glitter.  Either swimming or snorkeling there at night ( a full moon is best) is etheral.  Vieques can be busy on the weekends as the local people love to take their boats out and visit the beaches.  They can be lively but it is a family affair for them and it is fun to watch them enjoying themselves.
 
If this sounds like a place you are interested in, we would be happy to talk about it in more detail.  Personally, it is one of my all time favorites and my friends all thought it was the most relaxing cruise we had ever been on.

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  Ed Hamilton & Company
24B US Route 1, Edgecomb, ME 04556

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