Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kate's Birthday Boating Bonanza

For Kate's birthday she wanted to do a boat trip to Culebra, an island just off the coast of Puerto Rico. Nine of us headed out late Saturday afternoon for a three day adventure on Cameron's 65' catamaran. Unfortunately, Tim was going to be in Florida for some PGA stuff so he couldn't go :(

After a sunset sail to Culebra we anchored in the harbor and sat around talking/eating/drinking. After going to bed in the wee hours of the morning we got up the next day to figure out what to do next. Kate and I dingy-ed ourselves ashore to walk around Culebra. We learned quickly that we have no idea how to tie a knot and learned the phrase 'If you can't tie a knot, tie a lot' so we did and crossed our fingers hoping the dingy would be there when we got back. Being Sunday and early at that, not much was going in Culebra so we decided to set sail to Culebrita which is basically one big, beautiful beach. One side of the beach is totally calm and the other is rough, it's so amazing!

Instead of going back to Culebra, we decided to head to Vieques which is another island off the coast of Puerto Rico. It was a ROUGH ride into Vieques and we were bouncing all over the place- literally. I wish I could have taken video with my camera because it was insanely funny! The ocean definitely owned us! We headed into Vieques for some dinner. It was at this point that I determined I was a little seasick. Who knew? I guess it's different being out in the ocean vs. at the Lake of the Ozarks! We had a great dinner and were trying to find an open bar to watch the Phillies/Giants game at. The closest thing we found was an open bar showing the Food Network. Oh well- we got half of it covered!
Monday we woke up and headed back to land to rent Jeeps so we could drive around the island. It's such a beautiful place- so much of it has been undiscovered and is just lush and overgrown. Or maybe it's because the US Navy had control of it until 2003 and used to bomb it! We ventured out to several beaches, trying to hit as many as we could in the time we had there. We had planned on leaving around sunset and getting back into St. Thomas around mid-night. While sitting at Lazy Jack's bar, we decided we really wanted to try the Bio Bay excursion. Basically, there's this bay there that glows. You can read more about it here- there's a lot of big words that I'd likely misuse and mispell!


Catch is that you have to wait until it is pitch black to go see it- the tour we were looking at would be over at 8:15 PM which wouldn't put us sailing until 10 or so, getting us into St. Thomas around 4 AM. We decided to go for it and I got Laddie covered (thanks, Amy!). The Bio Bay tour was amazing! I must admit, it was a bit different that I thought. I kind of pictured it Simpson-esque and glowing instead it glows when anything moves in the water. We kayaked out to the center and got out and swam for about half an hour. Poor Dawn got stung by a jellyfish :( That was definitely not mentioned as a possibility and likely a good thing I wasn't aware until then! The picture below was taken at night yet it looks like the water is clear as day- that's the organisms glowing!

After the tour we set sail home :( What should have been a 5-6 hour sail back hit a little snag when we snapped a chain that steers a boat. Luckily, Cameron knows his way around boats a little. He sailed the boat all the way from Maine to St. Thomas by himself. He actually knows more about his boat than anyone I've ever met (sorry, Mike!) and it's amazing. We finally pulled into Yacht Haven around 9AM - just a few hours late! We were certainly given the full sailing experience and I can't think of a better weekend here so far! Great times in great locations with great friends!

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