Last stop in Puerto Rico !
After topping off with fuel we are underway by by 9:30 on Easter Sunday. We have a wonderful slow sail over to the Island of Vieques, one of the Spanish Virgin Islands. We have beautiful blue skies with light winds so we are only sailing between 4.5 and 5.5 knots, not in a hurry and not far to go so the quiet gentle ride is perfect. As we are rounding the western tip of the Island Steve's family calls from his mom's house so we get to say Hi & Happy Easter to most of them. Once on the southern side of the Island we try tacking back and forth but a few rain clouds are causing the wind to shift, so we motor sail getting caught in a little shower as we approach Sun Bay. We anchor by 3:30 under cloudy skies, the next shower holding off by 30 minutes just long enough for us to have opened all the hatches and now have to hurry and close them back up. Monday when we look out we see 2 new boats have come in and picked up moorings. They were not there the night before, because we had thought about picking up one of them since they were all full when we arrived but decided the anchor was set good. Then we think that the 2 new boats look familiar, so Steve gets the binoculars out and we do know them Bright Hope & Gypsy Wind who we had met back in Boqueron & Salinas. We go by in the dinghy to say HI but no one is up and about, finally Art on Bright Hope came on deck and said they had just arrived at 6:30 that morning after an overnight from Salinas and were catching up on sleep. We tell them we will talk to them later and take the dinghy into the beach and walk along the beautiful beach ending up in town but without our shoes since we left them in the dinghy. At least now we know the way into town. Back to the boat and Steve swims over to talk to the other 2 boats who say they plan to go into town for dinner so we plan to join them later and catch up. We go back in a little earlier so I can look for a post card to send to my nephew. That is my big shopping trip when we get some place new finding the right post card to send to my nephew. Not just any post card but one that shows where we are anchored, which sometimes can be a little harder to find. Sometimes like this time I can not find one :(. This also gives us time to check out the menus at the different restaurants. We meet the other cruisers at one place for drinks, then head up to Trade Winds Restaurant for dinner. Tuesday is a lazy day just reading and swimming off the boat. Wednesday we were going to head to another anchorage but the morning rain and winds made us decide to stay put. Vieques is a pretty big island 21 miles long and 4 wide with 2 towns. The southern town by us Esperanza and the northern side town of Isabel. The eastern tip is all part of the national wildlife refuge with no roads but some good bays to anchor in. To really see the island you have to rent a car, but we decided not to do that here and just relax and hang on the hook in this beautiful bay. Thursday even though the forecast is for 15-20 knot winds on the nose we head out just after sunrise to head back to St. Thomas. We just motored straight into the east wind making 4-5 knots until we cleared the eastern point of Vieques, then turned NE to St. Thomas and were able to put up a reefed main and motor-sail at 6 knots. The apparent wind held steady at 27 knots the whole trip. We had a very rolly & bumpy ride with seas building to 8 – 10 feet, so a lot of water crashing over the bow and the starboard side into the cockpit !! Steve's forward hatch leaking fix worked pretty good but still a little water in so will continue to find a solution to that problem. We are anchored in St. Thomas Harbor by 1, clean up the water in bathroom and have lunch before going into town to meet up with Tammey & Joe from Tammera Sue. They have left their boat on the hard in Virgin Gorda and will be flying back home to the US for 6 months on Friday. We have a good time visiting and catching up over drinks and a farewell dinner. We had originally planned on just anchoring, but with the amount of salt above and below decks decide to go into Yacht Haven Grande the next morning to clean the boat, do some laundry and re-provision. That night we went to one of the marina restaurants and ran into Chris and Robin from Toucan Dream again.
link to pictures; https://picasaweb.google.com/103931849054358791487/Vieques?authkey=Gv1sRgCJ70zu_BkZy49AE&feat=directlink