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27 March 2016

Vieques

15 March

From St. Thomas, we crossed to Vieques or Isla Nena, the small companion island to Puerto Rico. As usual on crossings, we were trying to fish, an activity that has been spectacularly unsuccessful this season: fish caught = 0 lures broken away by fish = 4
Oh no, not another barracuda!

That day we caught a good size barracuda, which we released due to ciguatera concerns. He did manage to break the lure however, so the score is now fish 0  - lures 5







Night bait



At least we can still catch bait if we run out of lures - or make a fritto misto.










We anchored in Bahia Salina del Sur, a wonderful anchorage where one sadly still cannot walk ashore, as it is part of the old Navy shooting range, and not all unexploded ordnance has been removed. This is a very sore subject with the locals - the Navy jobs are gone but the long term negative effects are there to stay for decades at the present remediation rate. 
Our neighbors in Bahia Salina del Sur
Trop petit, mon ami...

Meanwhile it is very beautiful, with many nice conch shells (all too small to keep, so no conch salad, alas) and has no cell phone service if one wants quiet.



We moved to Ensenada Sun Bay, next to the small town of Esperanza the next day. Esperanza is about 5 blocks square and very quiet, but people are extremely friendly and helpful. 
Esperanza dock and beach
There are a few beachfront caf├ęs, bars and restaurants, as well as tour operators for the nearby bioluminescence bays. We judged the moon was too bright for those, better luck another time.

The next day we took a maxitaxi to the main island city, Isabela Segunda, and visited the local art gallery (many temptations, which we resisted) and the old fort, now a museum of local culture and resistance to the Navy activities. A delightful garden lunch at Conuco, which also features interesting art and great sangria (warning: rum loaded) completed the day.




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