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Voyage of Traveler / Blog » Traveler Postcard From Puerto Rico

Voyage of Traveler / Blog

March 2, 2010

Traveler Postcard From Puerto Rico

Filed under: Year 3: July09 - July10 Greece to Newport Beach, CA, Caribbean — mrlawlerjr @ 9:33 pm

Buenos Dias,

We had a great week in Puerto Rico.  My sister Melissa, her husband Charlie and their 15-year old daughter Eliza were with us for the first two islands, Culebra and Vieques, then they flew home from San Juan.

These two islands, Culebra and Vieques, are located some ten miles east of the main island of Puerto Rico.  They are called the Spanish Virgin Islands, but are part of Puerto Rico.

We anchored in Dewey, the main harbor for Culebra, dinghied around to check out the place, and decided to eat dinner ashore at Mamacita’s, which is really the only restaurant on the island.  It was a lively yachty crowd, great service and fabulous food!  Thanks, Charlie! Kellie and Brian went for a walk about to work off dinner, and returned to what then thought was the dinghy dock. They weren’t sure if it was the right dock, so they walked further to investigate and just as they realized it was a private home, they heard the demonic growl of a guard dog. Startled, they turned to run away, Kellie was a few steps ahead of Brian, they heard the scratching of the dog’s claws on the cement as he was getting up to attack and before they could get away the dog was right next to Brian. Brian, knowing he didn’t have a chance of outrunning the beast, stopped and faced the dog, put his hands up and said, “It’s OK it’s OK!!” and the dog stopped its charge and decided not to tear them apart…  The next morning we went to Flamingo Playa, voted as one of the top ten beaches in the Caribbean (we agree!), for some fun body surfing.

We weighted anchor and motor-sailed south to Vieques (about the size of Catalina).  On the way we saw a pod of 6-8 humpbacks and followed them for a half hour.  Very cool.  Then we anchored for the night at Mosquito Bay, better known as Bioluminescent Bay.  It has the highest concentration of phosphorescence anywhere in the world, and we had the place to ourselves.  We all (7 of us) piled into the dinghy to ride around the lagoon and see the amazing sight of the water light up.  The bioluminescent organisms glow eerily when disturbed by a paddle, the propeller or just your hand in the water.  With the weight of seven people, the dinghy goes slowly, but it was a thrill to all be together and see this natural nocturnal phenomenon.  Then we then took turns, two at a time, for a high-speed dinghy ride around the same flat calm water of the lagoon.  Wow!  It was spectacular!

But it wasn’t all good in Mosquito Bay.  Just as the sun was setting, Kellie and Brian were snorkeling back to Traveler when they were freakishly attacked by a fish.  The fish was possibly a mora (also known as a pilot fish or a sucker fish, which attaches itself to a larger fish, usually sharks.  It was not that big, maybe only 14 inches, but it was very aggressive. It bit Brian and kept trying to bite Kellie.  I was close by in the dinghy, sped over when I saw them screaming, and hauled them out of the water.

Early the next morning we sailed to the Port of Fajardo on the NW corner of the main island.  This is a huge yachting center, one of the largest in the Caribbean, with several marinas.  We picked one, Marina Chico (showers, wifi, cafe, good security, helpful staff: $100/night) and rented a car to take Melissa, Charlie and Eliza to the airport, and then to use the car for some island sight seeing, for the next two days.

We enjoyed the Aricebo Observatory, the world’s largest radio telescope.  “Contact” and “Goldeneye” were filmed here.

Next we saw the Rio Camuy Cave Park.  Are guide took us on an hour tour of a huge, spectacular cavern.  He said the island, mostly limestone, is covered with caves, with 2,000 known caves and of those only about 800 have been explored.

We liked Old San Juan, especially the Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, a US National Historic Monument and a World Heritage Site.

But the greatest natural wonder, and biggest tourist attraction, is the rain forest: El Yunque.  We caught it on a perfect day: sunny, warm, no insects, and two days after a good rain so the waterfalls were cranking, but the hiking trails were dry, and gorgeous!

Living the Dream,
Michael
with Team Traveler (Kellie, Brian and Yansen)

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