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.
|Little did we know this was one of our last rides aboard our dinghy!|
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.