The first non-Indian to visit Culebra was Christopher Columbus in 1493. Later, it was used by Captain Morgan and other pirates as a hideout. Although part of Puerto Rico, the island’s flavor is reportedly more akin to the USVIs and the BVIs to the east. The name, Culebra, means “snake” in Spanish and refers to the 7 mile by 3 mile island’s shape. Both Culebra and Vieques to the south, were used by the U.S. Military for years as a site for military and bombing exercises. Today, Culebra is a magnificent playground for cruisers and vacationers. We are certainly enjoying our time here.
Last evening we dinghied in to the Dinghy Dock Restaurant for dinner and the Super Bowl. While the decor is unassuming, it is a fantastic place to relax and enjoy some very good food. We stayed for the first half of the Super Bowl, joined by a pretty rowdy crowd which was evenly split for the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. (Not that I had a lot at stake in the outcome, but we were rooting for Denver and Peyton Manning. I’m glad he got the win.)
Today, we awoke, had breakfast, and replaced the dinghy fuel can with the one gifted to us by the crew of Sheric. It was just what we needed. They also gave us a fitting that made attaching it to our fuel line a breeze. I was able to use the vented cap from our old tank on our new one. How nice when a boat job goes smoothly!
Around 10:15, we were picked up at the municipal dock by Jerry’s Jeep Rentals. We decided to rent a jeep to go to the beach and tour the island today. We explored from one end of the island to the other and enjoyed some beautiful views. A couple of hours were passed soaking up the sun on the fantastic Flamenco beach, one of the most beautiful beaches we’ve visited. There was also some above-average snorkeling on coral just off the beach. It was great!
We then drove over to Tamarindo beach, which wasn’t nearly as picturesque, but held the promise of a bay full of large sea turtles and rays. Unfortunately, the promise was empty. I donned my snorkel gear with great anticipation, but was disappointed to find only a few fish swimming above the sea grass. Oh, well, you can’t win them all!
We then drove from the extreme western point of the island to the extreme eastern point and found an absolutely stunning beach on the northeast corner called Zoni beach. Cayo Norte and Culebrita, two smaller islands sitting not far offshore only added to the beauty. The day was quite pleasurable and relaxing, and now we find ourselves back aboard Beatitude for the evening, bobbing gently in this picture-perfect harbor.