Ensenada Sun Bay, Vieques
Saturday 31st March 2012
Distance run: 35 nmiles
The alarm woke us at 2330 and we left the anchorage around midnight. The wind had died down quite a bit, though there was still some swell running, and we motorsailed along the south coast. Unfortunately there was not much of a night lee as the nasty squalls were persisting into the night, and we got yet more of what Bruce Van Sant calls the Caribbean Two-Step – two steps forward, one step back - as the swell, which is more like a chop, regularly and frequently hits the front of the boat and knocks over a knot of speed off her. Then just as she is picking her speed back up again, it throws a few more, one after the other, which can almost stop her in her tracks.
So progress was slow and it was after 0800 this morning when we made our way into Sun Bay on Vieques, the larger of the Spanish Virgin Islands. A large, fairly open bay, it has over a mile of sandy beach running around its shores. We tucked up into the south-eastern corner, anchoring among the mooring buoys which we don’t trust as much as our own anchor. With the swell that was running outside from south of east, we could see the swell running into the bay, and sure enough it was a very rolly anchorage indeed!
We chose this bay for two reasons – the first because we can leave it easily in the dark tomorrow as it has no reefs to negotiate in the entrance, and the second because the pilot books say that it’s possible to dinghy into both the little town in the bay to the west and to the small bay to the east which apparently is bioluminescent. We thought we would dinghy into town to see if a kayak trip was happening that evening and if not take the rib round to see it ourselves. What a disappointment though on these last two. The gap between the bays that we thought we could dinghy through to visit the town was blocked by a stone causeway, and the sea was running too rough to take the dinghy out and around to either the town or the bioluminescent bay. What a shame!
Instead we spent a very rolly day and night in what was otherwise a very pleasant anchorage. We did take the opportunity to swim and snorkel which made a very pleasant change, and something we hope to do more of in the near future.