Posted by: bearcruzer | May 25, 2010

Cooooolebrita!

May 19 – 22nd

The next day while Persephone said their goodbyes to their guest we traveled to the nearby Island of Culebrita or should I say Cooooolebrita!   It is a nature preserve and so there are no buildings besides an old decrepit but still working lighthouse.    We pulled into the bay next to Tortuga Beach and were able to snag the only mooring and spotted several turtles of various sizes swimming around the boat and in the bay.   There was one other catamaran in the anchorage and they left the next morning leaving us with the place to ourselves.   That same morning we also discovered a huge disturbed area on the beach  in front of our boat and obvious tracks and diggings made by a very large turtle.   By the width of the tracks we determined it was probably a large female leatherback that had come ashore to lay her eggs.   There are signs posted along this beach stating it is an active turtle nesting area.    We hiked up to the old lighthouse on the hill overlooking the anchorage.   It was built in 1882 by the Spanish and is one of the oldest in the Caribbean.    It is made of Brick and Stone and has a lot of Character even though it has been abandoned to the elements.    Hurricanes Hugo and Marilyn took their tole on the old place as well.   Although it’s beautiful Fresnel Lens is gone, its light has been replaced by the Navy with a Solar Panel, batteries and a small beacon supported tenuously by the ironwork that used to hold the previous light.     We wandered around the building and then tentatively climbed the metal staircase to the top of the tower and sat atop her taking pictures and looking out over our pristine anchorage.   In the distance we could see a sailboat approaching the island from Culebra and waited and watched as it grew close enough to determine that it was David and Trudie on Persephone.   So much for having the place all to ourselves but I don’t blame them one bit as it is truly a world class anchorage.    We made our way back down to the beach and then walked over to a place called the Jacuzzis, where the warm Caribbean ocean spills over the rocks into large pools filled with little fish and bright red sea urchins.    The anchorage, we found, is not usually so remote as it first appeared.    Soon 3 more catamarans joined our group,  Suzi & Mike on S/V Awakenings,  Peter & Weebee on S/V Muse,   and Charlie and Liz on S/V Kaya who we had seen anchored near us in green beach Vieques.   We left David and Trudie to settle in while Michael and I went to cool off and do some hunting around the reefs.    We found a great spot and it wasn’t long before Michael yelled for me to come quick as he had speared the first lobster and saw a second that he left for me to spear.    I dove down to about 10ft and looked into the hole he pointed at.   It looked really big!  I surfaced  and then stretched my spear to the maximum I could hold it at and took a deep breath and dove down again trying to stay relaxed so I could make the shot and not have to come up for air so quickly.    I was able to get a good shot but the lobster was too big for the tip of my spear to penetrate all the way through the body but enough that it was caught.    It took a little work to get it back out of the hole.       We made our way back and showed off our spoils to Persephone.     We were also immediately approached by our neighbor Charlie so we gave him directions, albeit vague, on where we found them.    We went out again in the afternoon and I found two more big lobster.   One I was able to force out of its hole before Michael helped me finally catch him and another I pointed out for Michael to spear.    A 4 lobster day in a beautiful anchorage……..Epic.   Over the next few days we enjoyed many hours of snorkeling and exploring the reefs.   Evenings were filled with wonderful visits aboard, DD, Awakenings a beautiful 43ft Catana Catamaran and Kaya, a 40ft Catana along with the crew from the other boats in the anchorage, sharing many stories and camaraderie along with drinks and of course plenty of lobster dip.    We even had a book exchange while we were all there.      The weekend arrived and we discovered that our pristine little anchorage is actually very well known as a not to miss destination with the power boat and charter companies.    As the crowds converged we decided it was time to move on to St. Thomas and St. John to visit with our friends there.  Goodbye Culebrita,  you definitely hold a special place in our hearts as one of our favorite destinations.

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Responses

  1. Holy Crap either Crystal is a midget or that is one HUGE bug.
    Have lots of fun.
    George

  2. Wow ! You did a good job there !
    Its nice to follow your yourney here in Belgium !
    Take care !
    Mirke


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