Monday, June 25, 2012


From the beaches to the banos, Culebra is colorful.

Banos at Mamacitas
Seen around Flamenco Beach

We really liked Culebra when we passed through last year (see 'Weather or Not' April 2011) and decided to work in another visit to this pretty island. We've been spending time both on Culebra and Culebrita, which is a nature reserve. Beaches on both islands are sea turtle nesting grounds and we're hoping to see some little sea turtles hatching. Meanwhile we're seeing other local creatures....

Culebra gato begs to become a boat cat.

How did this iguana get here?
He swam!
Culebrita is a short sail to the east of Culebra and a very busy weekend spot. We practically had the place to ourselves until the weekend when hordes of small powerboats zipped in from Puerto Rico to enjoy the place with us. There are usually several generations of one family all together on a boat and they bring the best water toys. Kayaks, paddle boards, noodles, floaties of every conceivable color and design and even a little electric sea scooter! Yes.... I'm a little jealous of their water toys.

In addition to people watching, we did some hiking on Culebrita. We made our way to the lighthouse at the top of the hill and on down to the windward beach.

Views from and from within Culebrita's lighthouse
Our most unusual windward beach find to date.... piece of an airplane!
At the lighthouse we came across these two little boxes filled with odds and ends and this note. It was one of almost 2 million "geocaches" placed around the world that people can hunt for. As explained in their website - it's a "real world outdoor treasure hunting game". We came across it by accident but you can search for hidden 'caches' all over the world using GPS. You take an item from the box and leave one of your own to keep the cache constantly changing. There's also a little log book in each geocache. We signed it and also saw signatures of some sailing friends that had been there before us! 

Signing in to the geocache
At the northeast tip of Culebrita there's a spot called the jacuzzi They're more or less huge tide pools and the seas were down so there wasn't much jacuzzi-ing going on but it was a great place to relax in the water. The sea would wash up over the rocks bringing with it little colorful fish. It was like swimming in a crystal clear aquarium.

Clear water under the surface at the Jacuzzi
The one night we anchored at Flamenco Beach we were the only boat there, but the beach was busy with the weekend crowd. We found out later that it was San Juan night - where Puerto Ricans flock to the beaches and try to ensure their luck for the coming year by walking backwards into the water at midnight. Another photo opportunity missed!

It hasn't rained in Culebra for months and though the clouds looked like they might deliver some rain, it stayed dry.

Saralane at anchor at Flamenco Beach
Lots of wind... but still no rain
Skip on the phone in the Culebra office of Pond Yacht Sales.
Seen on the beach... a solar boom cooler. Now that's smart.
The snorkeling here is really good and we've spent a lot of time in the water in and around Culebra and Culebrita. We usually swim out over the anchor to see how it looks before we head off on a snorkel excursion. Here are two recent displays of our anchoring abilities. Anchoring is sand is easy! Anchoring on a solid rocky bottom? Not so easy. Not to worry... Saralane is (almost) always where we left her regardless of our anchoring success.

Snorkeling around Luis Pena (another nature reserve on a small island off the west side of Culebra) we saw the biggest queen triggerfish either of us has even seen. It was about two feet from nose to tail... and really pretty!

Queen triggerfish.
School of blue tang and surgeon fish
School of little fishes
BIG French angelfish
We're meeting people and sort of settling in here in Culebra... it's another one of those places where there are lots of ex-pats that came for a vacation and never left. We still have a few weeks before we haul out; we're tempted to spend it all here.


Linda said...

There is no such thing as too much fun!!!

Cindy Barnard said...

Groan......... another gorgeous spot. Such beautiful fish! I just spent 5 days at the Madison Beach in CT....saw geese and egrets and exotic fish. Frick!

Kim said...

Maddie - love reading your blog. Happy to you're still discovering beautiful places...xoxoxox