COZY CULEBRA, SPANISH VIRGINS
POSITION: N18:18.33 W065:17.98
ENSENADA HONDA, CULEBRA
Sunday 12 April VIEQUEZ TO CULEBRA, SPANISH VIRGIN ISLANDS.
Late start at midday, a pounding motorsail tack back East to round the headland then relaxing on a nice reach with winds and easing to around 22kts and 6’, we made a healthy 5knots or more all the way across to CULEBRA, negotiated the narrow channel leading to the large inner harbour of ENSENADA HONDA and dropped anchor behind a host of cruisers, most of which were unoccupied, as is usually the case. On the gaily painted west side we could see the DINGHY DOCK RESTAURANT, which we visited once the dinghy was back in the water, had a look round, then sat in a waterside restaurant for half an hour waiting for a waiter to show some interest, fat chance, so left.
Next day we walked up to the small provincial airport to clear out with Customs, as urged by Bruce Van Sant and other books, to be told we didn’t need to by the Custom man, as we were going to another US Island. So went and had a very nice Spanish meal of Grouper in a small local restaurant, with rice and beans. The flamboyant dueno would bring each dish over for inspection with a flourish from his fridge first, proud as punch.
Back on the boat the dinghy was loaded on, and I put a new switch on the MILLION CANDLEPOWER searchlight ready for our early departure to St Thomas, USVI next day. I liked CULEBRA, and wished we could stay longer. Laid back and slow. But Stu’s flight from USVI beckoned..
Disturbingly, the bilges were requiring around 150 x pumps with the manual bilge pumps, per day to clear them. No leaks had been found, and I was beginning to suspect the stern tube flange may have sustained damage when the rope round the prop stopped the engine in TCI.
PIC: DAVID HELMING