Friday, March 30, 2012

South Side Marina, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

South Side Marina
Youch.  The Turks & Caicos have changed their Customs & Immigration fees since we were here last year.  Instead of $15 to enter the country it is now $50 and then $300 for a 'cruising permit' if you stay more than 7 days.   They hit you again for another $50 upon checkout!  I'm told that if the weather is raging and you are on the 7th day, trying to check out, they give you a bit of leeway so as to not send you out in the storm....But...that is not written anywhere....  The island needs more money (who doesn’t!) but this has potential to backlash.   This is a small area of islands that one could decide to simply cruise straight through, going on to Dominican Republic or northward to the Bahamas.  That translates into no money spent here in these islands.  In my opinion, there is not much here anyway except diving...and there is diving up and down the Caribbean chain....

Boaters sharing cooking the meal for all
Here we sit,  at South Side Marina, awaiting another weather window so we can depart for the Bahamas - another long passage to get into that island chain - but feeling very much ‘at home’.  

This is the greatest marina EVER.  Small, tucked in off the south side of Providenciales, near Sapodillo Bay, nothing fancy, but oh, the friends one makes here.  Bob and his small staff go well Above and Beyond for boaters.  Regular runs to the grocery store, any other shopping need?  Just ask and hop in the car!  Need to go to the airport?  Right away -- 6:00 AM departure?  No Problem.  Hop in the car with Bob or Charlyn at the wheel.  

Making new friends at Happy Hour 
We LOVE the 5:00 PM Happy Hour every day under the gazebo where all boaters and Bob and Charlyn mix and mingle, sharing BYOB and a dish.  On Thursday’s Bob hosts a BBQ - BYOB and your own meat and a dish to share.  Bob provides the ice cream dessert.  These evenings go well into the night, with boaters sharing funny stories, helpful tips on where to anchor, where to go, what to do,  and later seen helping each other out with an always present “boat task”.   
We made new friends last year here that we’re still keeping in touch with and crossing wakes with from time to time as we cruise.  This year, a new batch of boaters from all around the world expands our circle of friendship.  Gathered around the table in the gazebo,  or out to lunch as a group at the Conch Shack, (Thanks to Bob & Charlyn for setting it up and transporting us there!) chatting away, mostly in English, were sailors from Portugal, Belgium, the UK, Australia, Poland, along with us and two other couples from the USA.....All three American couples arrived in DeFever trawlers!
Izzy & Jeff  --  DeFever Izzy R
Mo & Pollie  -- DeFever Motivator
Another reminder the world is small. 
IzzyR, a DeFever 49 from California, pulled in on Tuesday, shortly after we did, with Izzy, Jeff and friendly dog, Ben, aboard.    Buddy boating with them was Motivator, with Pollie and Mo  from Washington, DC at the helm of their DeFever 49. 

We’d met Jeff & Izzy  last year in Staniel Cay, Exumas and boom - here we meet again!  Via email and each other’s blogs, we’d kept in touch over the year.  They’d told us months ago they decided to cruise to Grenada after reading our blog.  Humm, does that mean that they thought, “Well, if THOSE TWO can do it, so can we!”  Grin 

It was quite a sight to see the three large DeFever trawlers at the dock!  We were the only Americans and the only power boaters...wonder what message that sent to the foreigners?
Brrr.  The couple from Belgium’s story of sinking quickly off the coast of Portugal a few years ago was a scary tale and a reminder of how quickly life can change.  In a STEEL hulled sailboat, at night, they hit what was believed to be a large container or container platform that had fallen off of a freighter....a much more common occurrence than one would think!  BOOM!  JOLT!  Quickly running below, they found themselves already almost knee deep in water!  Immediately sending out MayDay, MayDay calls, giving their position in the black of the cold night they donned their survival drysuits with the claw like fingers on them.  Lumbering about, like two Telly Tubbies, they tucked passports & what little cash they had on hand into their survival suits, turned on every light in the boat and then heaved the life raft into the ocean.  Climbing into that life raft was a very sobering moment they said.  Watching the sailboat sink below the water, lights ablaze was astounding they also said.  The Sea Gods were kind.  A Russian freighter heard their MayDay and chugged to their position, plucking them from the ocean and taking them to Portugal.    Their tale of clambering up a net thrown over the side of the enormous freighter, still in the black of night, was terrifying.  Wearing those survival suits, with the claw like fingers and bulky boots, they finally each made it to the top of the freighter.  One slip, one miss of the net and it is doubtful they would have survived the fall into the water -- and under the hull of the freighter.  Andy and I were thankful we heard that story AFTER we’d completed our 54 hours, 2 nights at sea....
Rum Punch @ The Conch Shack

New friends sharing lunch at The Conch Shack

More fun times, telling stories and pouring over charts together with suggestions freely given of where to go and what to see and who to contact by those that had already ‘been there/done that’. 
Departing the Turks & Caicos .  Ah, THE MOST beautiful water ever!  Note the coral heads!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Two Nights at Sea: Puerto Rico to the Turks & Caicos

We spent our last night putting into our new dinghy replacement items for those things that had been stolen, such as life jackets, anchor, etc.  I double checked the contents of our ever present Ditch Bag.  For you non-boaters, this brightly colored bag is full of life saving items and can be grabbed in a second if one is forced to abandon ship....a frightful thought. 

Our stuffed Ditch Bat
I spent some time exchanging out water bottles, checking all batteries in the various things that take batteries, such as our hand held GPS, the strobe lights on our life jackets to be certain all are in working order and that spares have not expired.  In the ditch bag is our  EPIRB, the personal locator beacon that when activated, sends up a signal to the satellites in the sky, providing our ID# and our position - new invention that has saved thousands of lives at sea.  Also included is a first aid kit, spare glasses  & RX sunglasses for me (I am legally blind without glasses!) 50 block sunscreen; space heating blankets; rain ponchos, knife, all kinds of USCG flares that hopefully would attract a LOT of attention, copies of our boat information, insurance info, passports, medical info and contact info...a horrific thought.  Other stuff is in there, such as some cash.  This time, given 2 nights at sea (Sunday thru Tuesday afternoon), I’ve pulled our dive suits out (hypothermia is an issue no matter where one is) placing them next to the ditch bag.   Everything has been placed on the flybridge, ready to be grabbed -
I feel like a Girl Scout....Be Prepared.  Our SPOT is set to signal our position every six hours.  The kids have our float plan and instructions to contact South Side Marina and the Authorities if they have not heard from us by Tuesday afternoon.  Andy keeps shaking his head....too much of a reminder that he Does Not Like Large Open Bodies of Ocean.

Pulling out at 6:22 AM, we topped off our tanks (1,100 gallons in total via the 4 tanks on board) for the 400+ mile trip to the Turks & Caicos from Puerto Rico.  Note to Boaters:  This marina has good fuel prices $4.19 a gallon - when others are over $5 and is a high volume marina. (News flash:   Fuel in Turks & Caicos is $6.36 a gallon due to their high taxation!)
Ugh, a rainy day, with following seas surfing us along all day after we left Puerto del Ray Marina in Farjado til we dropped the hook off Isla Caja de Muertos, known as Coffin Island in English.  This island, resembling a coffin (duh!) from the air, was once home to a small rum manufacturing plant, producing only a case or two a month - but, legend has it that the rum was fabulous - better than DonQ, Puerto Rico’s national drink.  An uneventful night & an early to bed (no problem after a long long day at sea) in preparation for another early start in the morning.
Puerto Rico on the right up to Turks & Caicos, top left
Pulling anchor at barely first light, we headed off for what would become a 54 hour, non-stop cruise to Provinciales, Turks & Caicos.  Do the math - that is two nights underway at sea, another first for us!   Andy is a bit apprehensive as he needs more sleep than I and he’s worried he’ll be ‘fuzzy’ at the wrong moment.  We are, however, in agreement that we’ll save potentially a couple of weeks of cruising by drawing a line straight form Puerto Rico to the Turks & Caicos, bypassing the Dominica Republic and missing the most treacherous part of the dreaded Mona Passage.  
A welcome sunrise
For you non-boaters, it is not the distance that creates the longer passage of time, but weather.  One seems to always get a few days of good weather -- a “weather window” followed by another long batch of days where the winds and seas are far higher than one wants to travel in safely or comfortably.  Therefore, to cruise around the coast of the DR is to have to hop from marina to marina or anchorage to anchorage (No good anchorages around the DR that are safe from wind, waves.) and thereby get ‘stuck’ for a few days due to weather not conducive to safe cruising.  Couple that with the fact that we’d still have to do one overnight passage anyway, and the decision became easy...Go For It...One Shot Across the North Atlantic Ocean from Puerto Rico to Turks & Caicos.  
Squalls followed us
Hum, what happened to our good weather forecast?!  We rocked, we rolled, we tried to dodge rain squalls to no avail.  Every time we’d watch our boat position via the radar - in the middle of the squall -- and CHANGE position in an attempt to get out of the squall, the dang squall would just follow us as though stuck to our antennas.   As the night darkened the sky, with the tiny sliver of moon disappearing, we rocked & rolled in the dark. 
A bit nervous, as we could not see the waves coming at us, we held on....every so often in a pattern of one, two, three, four, five, SIX -- Bang The Big One, would hit us.  Disconcerting not to see it coming.   I do have one long, black bruise on my leg for missing the count, getting out of my helm chair at the wrong moment, being thrown into the table and then falling onto the port seating area.  Ouch.  Without the fancy expensive stabilizers we added just for our cruise through the Caribbean and the long ocean passages, I can’t image how bad this night might have been!      
Andy napping
In spite of our fancy, expensive stabilizers, Andy again turned Puke Green.  (Remember my earlier blog in 2010 regarding our ‘discussions’ as to whether or not to purchase these at $50,000....My argument was “Do you KNOW how many sea sick pills you could purchase for $50,000!!)  He finally agreed to put on a seasick patch - “It’s too late to put it on.”  “No, it is not - we have another 46 hours at sea.” 

He slept much of the night (thanks Patch) while I, the Night Owl, kept watch.   I did, however, clip my little tiny kitchen timer to my shirt - setting it every 20 minutes.  It would “beep beep beep beep” on schedule, waking me up should I inadvertently doze off.  

Former photo - not this trip
Photo taken prior to our crossing - not our headings
Huh... On Watch.   That means Watch the Instruments - making certain our autopilot holds the course we set, making certain no engine overheats or some other part decides to malfunction.  

It also means keeping your eye on the radar and on the seas, meaning Watch the Ocean for Something Coming Your Way.  Other boats, tankers & the like are running with lights on, as are we.    It's those Things That Go Bump In The Night with NO lights that worry us.  We could be sunk - literally and figuratively - if we hit a container off a ship or some other such object bobbing around in the ocean waters!  With two nights at sea, we saw only ONE tanker and did alter course, getting out of his path....Saw and Heard Nothing the entire 54 hours!  Amazing.  A sober reminder of how small the world is....we were certainly a dot in the vast blue ocean.
Caught a fish & ate him for dinner as we cruised
Life aboard over this 54 hour passage settled into a routine - much like any other passage.  With no hint of seasickness, I’m able to go below, piddle around, cook a meal, clean up, take a shower, read, whatever.  I did, however, prepare meals in advance. Homemade beef stew, hot and hearty was easily served in bowls.  The  meal planned for Night #2 was left in the refrig when we hauled in some kind of fish, having finally hooked one as we cruised.  Why is it that the fish I catch are NEVER in my fish ID book?  I whacked it up in the cockpit of Finally Fun, again chumming the water behind us as I cleaned it.  Whatever it was, it was good, with tender white flesh.  

I finally got to see bioluminescence,  watching the tiny bits of microscopic plankton (called dinoflagellates) , disturbed by our hull cutting through the water, light up & sparkle as it flipped and flopped over our bow and stern waves during the dark of night.  Beautiful.  The sight kept me occupied for hours.  
We listened to a book on tape -- would you believe this book, "11/22/63"  by Stephen King has 30 discs!  This is a long long story about time travel and the Kennedy assassination and is all tangled up with numerous side stories.   In our two days (we didn’t listen at night as one would be napping), we only made it to Tape #14!  I told Andy we needed some more long long passages so we could finish ‘the book’.   He’d didn’t even crack a smile.  Sometimes I think he'd like to hammer me!  grin.
Bob's dog standing watch on the roof as we pulled in
Pulling into SouthSide Marina, we were warmly greeted by Bob, the owner, who remembered us from last year.  We stayed awake til the 5:00 PM Happy Hour in his gazabo, meeting the other boaters and sharing food and stories.  Ah, a great group of folks, as always.  Asleep by 9:00 PM, we snored til 8:30 AM the next day, awakening refreshed.  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Small World - Still in Puerto Rico

Our unplanned stop in Puerto Rico this week had a couple of bright spots and provided yet another reminder that the world is indeed small.
Parrots in the Marina
Who should pull into the slip beside us here in the Puerto del Ray Marina in Farjardo but Second Hand Rose with Lou and Lydia aboard.  Lou was the boater who heard our plea for help via the VHF the night the dink was stolen in Vieques and came to our rescue that night and provided our transportation to/from the Police yet again the next day!  We’ve enjoyed their company here in the Marina and the great conversations that ensue when one makes a new friend!

Sam & Olga aboard Finally Fun last year
This unplanned stop gave me the opportunity to call Olga, my friend from Novartis with the news, “We are here!  We are in San Juan in a rental car!”  Ah, a great reunion at their home, with Sam cooking dinner for us.  Over wine, we caught up on the past year, chatted with their girls and about the upcoming wedding plans for May.  

Sam, Master Chef!!

John & Kathy at one of the parties in Grenada
The unplanned stop also gave us a chance to catch up with John & Kathy, aboard Oceania, friends from our days at Port Louis Marina in Grenada.  Sharing their rental car, we headed off to dinner at a special restaurant Kathy had heard about.  Same frustrations we’ve always experienced in Puerto Rico.....  GPS and printed Map in Hand translated into hours spent driving in circles trying to find the place.  This time, however, after going thru the same traffic light once East, once West, once North and once South, all to no avail, we found two Policemen on motorcycles.  Asking directions, with yet another tourist pulling over to ask his How To Get To... question, the police threw up their hands.  It was obvious we didn’t understand a thing they were telling us.  The cops said, “Follow Us”.  We had a police escort to the restaurant with the other tourist trailing behind, waiting to get to his place of confusion!!!!!  Super - we laughed all the way.  Wonder if anyone thought we were important!!   I guess not - we never got a table any quicker..
Such a treat!  We spotted a family of manatee residing in the marina.  One has a baby, always tucked UNDER her body as she swims along.  Once in a while, as they all do, Baby took off on his or her own.  Mama swam immediately over, tucking Baby back under!!!  A great sight to see, but failed to have my camera out in time!  

Manatee drinking from fresh water hose

So ugly, she's Beautiful

She drank forever it seemed!

One more time, our little Go Phone rang.   Another call (LOVE being able to have a cell phone now that we are in USA waters), this time from from Jenn & Greg with little 6 year old Quinn in hand.  Our friends off Mirasol were just down the coast in the next marina!   Another fun afternoon aboard Finally Fun as we caught up with each other’s news!  The conversations extended into the evening at our marina restaurant before they headed back to their marina to tuck in little Quinn.  
It never ceases to amaze me how many friends we’ve made along the waterways over our four years and how often after that our paths cross again and again.  With the internet via emails and via FaceBook, we keep in touch.  Sometimes the world is so small we hear a call coming over our VHF radio, “This is xxxx”.  Not hailing us, but hailing a marina or whatever.   A voice from our past yet again, in the water, somewhere nearby.  A quick call to them via our VHF, a quick change in direction or schedule and boom, another fun evening of rapport, of gossip, of information exchanged on Where to Go and How to Go or How to Fix......
The cruising lifestyle is one of ever friendly cruisers, of firm friendships made, of one stopping to help another in need and never feeling lonely, ever.  This is quite the social environment, comprised of folks from all around the world, with a common love of the sea, of adventure and a thirst for knowledge about it all and about their fellow cruisers. 
I shall so very much miss all this when we decide someday to become land based, or life’s events decide that FOR US!  I absolutely DREAD the thought of purchasing a house somewhere, making a mistake, finding ourselves in a neighborhood of folks going about their routines and not reaching out to the newcomer!  That was our experience during our 12 years in Atlanta - an experience I’d never had before from neighborhoods.....Makes me want to kinda live aboard forever rather than risk boredom....and folks focused only on themselves. 
So pretty So LOUD

After a false start yesterday - we actually checked OUT of the marina but before casting off the lines, got delayed helping a delightful  French (yes!  helping a French couple - after all the fun poked at the French) family who pulled in next to us.  In the interim, the weather turned squally so we decided to stay put for another night.  
Sharon's idea of dress shoes
We used our ‘extra’ gift of time wisely, hitching a ride to West Marine one more time.   West Marine is the addictive shopping spree of choice for us and all other boaters -- beats shopping for clothes or shoes!!
Ah, I’m going to have such a tough time adapting to life on land....     

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dinghy Shopping in Puerto Rico

Take two frustrated cruisers; put them into a rental car with a terrible map and a GPS that doesn’t register any address put into least not the way we kept trying to input.

Keep stirring the mix with a language foreign to the frustrated boaters, including how to figure out an address....”Is this word a street or a town??”

And keep up the scenario for hours and hours in traffic and no street signs. 

Stop for directions from the warm and friendly locals.   Smile. Get back into the car.    “I don’t know what the hell he said.”   

Increase the frustration level.
Grocery shopping in our dinghy

OMG. If we didn’t need a dinghy so badly, we would have given up!

To you non-cruisers, our dinghy is our mode of transportation 90% of the time. We usually anchor out as marinas are few and far between AND cost a bunch of money AND are never as pretty as an anchorage. 

Therefore, the only way to get to shore for mundane tasks such as shopping or to sight see, is to get into the dinghy and head in. We are careful and always LOCK our dinghy with a heavy chain and padlock -- even locking it to the boat at night if we leave it in the water (rather than pull it up on top of the boat via a davit). We can’t believe we got robbed. Ugh.

Thank Goodness we are in “USA” here at the Marina Puerto del Ray in Farjado, Puerto Rico. The little Go Phone works and wifi is available. Hours spent on the computer and on the phone, trying to locate a 12” AB inflatable and a Mercury 4 stroke, 15 HP engine to replace ours, was a trial of perseverance and patience.     Half the places in the books and computer listings are no longer in business. 

There is no “For English Press 1”.

There has not been a Mercury dealer in PR for about a year and there are NO 15 HP Mercury engines on the island, period. We’re getting a Yamaha, but it is more expensive.

Luck prevailed or either the Gods in the Sky decided we’d had all we could take. We finally found a 12’ AB Inflatable Dink that had been sitting in a store for a year. We checked it out & grabbed it. No other brand of dinghy was the same length/beam and most likely would not have fit properly on our aft deck roof mountings, creating another expensive problem in moving the mountings around....drilling holes in the roof..

Island time prevails. Sitting and waiting for delivery of the dinghy was OK. The engine delivery, however, was like waiting for the Police in Viequez....15 more minutes. Hours later......

We clearly are not departing Puerto Rico tomorrow as planned as the two items are not both here nor put together nor tested in the water.

Ugh...The weather window is good for now to get to the Turks & Caicos - a 2 night overnight trip....

The frustrated boaters are mixing cocktails.....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

ROBBED in Viequez, Spanish Virgin Islands

Our trip to this beautiful island was RUINED when a thief or thieves stole our dinghy off the beach in Ensenada Sun Bay.   The lock had been busted and the heavy chain we'd wrapped around a log was gone. 

Our hole dug out for the chain
 Our secondary line,  the painter, was cut, lying across the log.  We were stranded on the beach after dark with a sick feeling. 

Cut painter line
Found the busted lock in the sand at the water's edge

We had beached the dinghy and walked over to the Bioluminescent Bay to swim in it after dark.  That is another disappointment - the place is totally commercial.  We could not access the Bay via our boat or dink, so we thought we could walk there & swim.  Impossible.  One needs to pay $40 pp to take a kayak or electric boat.  We could find no place to access the water except at the commercial loading area....not to be.   After checking out the place, we caught a ride with one of the tour buses back to the beach.  We were barely an hour AND there is a security guard patrolling that beach. 
Beautiful Ensanada Sun Bay
At the last moment, I'd gone back into the locked boat to retrieve our portable VHF as we were departing - thank goodness!  At about 10:00 PM, one boater at anchor in the Bay finally responded to our numerous calls for help via the VHF,  and gave us a dingy ride to our boat.  We thought we’d be sleeping on the beach that night!   Finally Fun out in the anchorage, too far to swim.
Island Time Reigns. Each time we called the local police station, we were always informed, “Be right there”. Two hours later...... After the initial response and oral reporting, we made arrangements to meet the Police again on the beach at 8:00 AM the next morning to fill out all the paperwork. Yup....almost two hour wait again. We are so grateful to Lou, aboard the S/V Second Hand Rose, who’d come to our rescue that evening AND took us to and from shore again the next morning!
Little did we know this was one of our last rides aboard our dinghy!
Upon reporting the theft, we were informed that dinghy theft is a common occurrence in the area, both in the day and night. We were also told to not leave our boat unattended and to be careful. They told us they have a big drug problem on the Island, in spite of efforts underway via ICE and DEA. Great, how about posting some signs...yeah, I know...bad publicity.

I was stunned when we arrived in Puerto Rico to attempt to purchase a new dinghy. Numerous people, including the marina staff, have all said, “Yes, we know...there is a big problem on Vieques with lots of stealing going on. Most folks don’t go there anymore from here.” Too bad this information is not published where we can find it!!! We would not, obviously, have gone there.

One would think that honest folks living on the island know who is doing this and speak up, making a strong effort to rid their island of these thieves as they will be ultimately hurt by a reduction in visitors. I cite St. Vincent, further down the Caribbean as a great example. I've met so many boaters during the year we've been down here and each say the same thing...."Don't go to St. Vincent due to high number of thefts and worse." No one goes.

We, after our experience within the first few hours of our arrival, did not (a) purchase groceries (b) eat in the local Vieques restaurants (c) shop in the shops (d) take any tours to the bioluminescent bays (e) catch the local bus or take a taxi across the island to visit the town of Isabel Sequnda and repeat all of the above. Not a penny spent on the island.

We had intended to spend about a week cruising around Vieques and also cruise over to Culerbra, the neighboring island in the Spanish Virgins. No more...we’re pretty down on the place obviously. I am angry that the theft rate is high from all we've been told, yet no one ‘catches’ anyone. The island is so small I don’t understand why there isn’t a stake out or some such thing and pull these thieves in.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spanish Virgin Islands

Teaming up with Rich and Margaret aboard Dance Aweigh, we pulled out of Brewer’s Bay, St. Thomas, for the leisurely 24 mile trip to Isla De Vieques, in the Spanish Virgin Islands between the USVI and Puerto Rico.  
Coming in thru the reefs

I’m so ‘over’ the bar scene in the BVi’s, tired of crowded anchorages and the occasional marina stay, I can’t wait to play in isolation, away from the crowds.   
The Spanish Virgins ‘belong’ to Puerto Rico & were discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493.  Spain colonized Puerto Rico for centuries but after disputes over ownership, finally ceded all of the islands to the USA via the Treaty of Paris in 1898. 
Finally Fun & Dance Aweigh at anchor
Isolated with lovely pristine snow white beaches, empty anchorages, quaint towns (one or two per island) that I’m looking forward to seeing, rocky cliffs and extensive coral reefs are everywhere in these 400 square miles encompassing the islands of Vieques, Culebra and La Cordillera.   
Dragging Dance Aweigh's dinghie to the NO Trespassing beach, Bahia Salina del Sur
Amazing how the threat of bombs negatively impacts any development!  For nearly 100 years, our US Navy and NATO used the east end of Vieques for weapons training, practicing with live shells.  My out of date cruising guide makes reference to “DO NOT go inshore when visiting the beaches” due to the fear of tourists finding live bombs, coming to harm’s way.  

These islands no longer are part of any training and have been cleaned up extensively over the years.  There are, however, still some areas where anchoring is forbidden, for fear of hooking one of those perhaps still live rounds!   
Humm, sticking the umbrella in the sand made me nervous
Ah, Vieques (vee AYE case) is so unspoiled.  Our first stop, Salinas Del Sur, was a huge reminder of the all the bombings! 
Large signs every few hundred yards along the beautiful sandy beach warned us to stay off the beach due to potential danger of  live shells.  Finally Fun and Dance Aweigh were the only boats in this large anchorage, so we took advantage.  
Old parts of a boat? on the ocean bottom
Rich and I snorkeled all over the place, in high hopes of finding an old bomb.  What we did find, however, could make the basis for some good stories told over cold beers.  Rich finally determined that what we were looking at - in several different locations, were sunken ships.  Humm, did they sink because they hit an old bomb?  Were these boats target practice?  We wonder...........

Clearly been here a long time - look at the growth!

A conch crawling along the bottom of the ocean
Dinner aboard Dance Aweigh - Andy & Rich
 After rocking and rolling for two nights, we gave it up, moving onward to Ensenada Honda, another unspoiled and secluded anchorage not far away.  Lined with mangroves, we had a fun time poking about in the dingy, trying to see how far up the ‘river‘ we could get.  For all the beauty, we spotted no wildlife, except a couple of fish AND two spotted rays swimming rapidly away from us.  
Sharon in the mangroves
With a ‘schedule‘ of sorts (remember that granddaughter due at the end of May?), we pulled out, eager to see the remainder of Viequez, especially the bioluminescent bays - cited as the second largest in the world.....Don’t have any idea what #1 is.., but I want to jump in the water, in the dark of night and watch the water turn into a zillion tiny lights fizzling all over me and around me as I move about and even after I get out of the water.   
Sunset over Viequez