Today will be our last day In La Paguera. We’ve basically been relaxing aboard, awaiting a diminishing of the trade winds to move a few miles to our next port. We’ve made a couple of trips into the small village for dinner and some grocery shopping. We’ve been practicing our Spanish with Rosetta Stone (this, for me, has taken the place of reading Shakespeare as my primary daily discipline). We’ve watched a few movies on board (finishing up the four Pirates of the Caribbean movies and both Zorro movies). And, mostly, we’ve enjoyed the beautiful scenery in our anchorage, surrounded by the mangrove islands and reefs on the one side and the mountains of Puerto Rico on the other.
On one morning, before the trades kicked in for the afternoon, we dinghied over to Cayo Caracoles, a mangrove island protected from the ocean swell by the nearby reefs. The water was warm and clear, and only about three to five feet deep between the island and the mooring ball to which we tied Dalí. It was really quite nice. We were the only ones around except for a gentleman in a small boat at a nearby mangrove island who appeared to be snorkeling and fishing with a fishing net (as in the one you might have on your boat to help bring fish aboard after catching). Because the water was so shallow, Cindy was able to completely relax and enjoy the area as well. It was a different experience snorkeling the edge of the mangroves. There were two or three small barracudas, a few small snapper, and thousands of tiny baitfish traveling together in small schools. Mostly, it was just fun being in the refreshing, pellucid waters inside the reef.
Getting back into the dinghy after snorkeling can be a bit of a challenge (for some more than others). I had recently seen a YouTube video of a lady with a novel technique for doing so. I thought I’d give it a try. What follows is my first attempt at this new method. It will probably be my go-to technique from now on. 🙂
We also took a dinghy ride over to Isla Cueva, an island separated from the main island of Puerto Rico by a small mangrove creek. It is apparently home to about 400 rhesus monkeys. We were hoping to catch a glimpse of a few monkeys, but alas, the only monkey to be seen was the one driving the dinghy (according to my wife). We did, however, immensely enjoy the quiet trip up the mangrove creek and back. How beautiful and serene!
Tomorrow morning, we plan to arise early to make a short 13 nautical mile trip further eastward as we continue our way toward the Virgin Islands.