This trip was a way of celebrating my daughter's coming graduation from high school (that's her to the left). We were awaiting pending news of a possible scholarship for college and had been hoping to have gotten some info on it prior to leaving for the trip. As is turns out we learned that she indeed did get the scholarship on the first full day of our vacation. She’s all smiles.
So why Vieques? Well initially I had ask my daughter where she might like to go on a vacation. I must also add that we hadn't taken a family vacation, of this sort, for nearly 10 years. Her response to me was "Some place warm where I can swim in the ocean." Given those parameters I knew we would be leaving the United States. I was able to narrow down the list even more given that we didn't have passports at the time. That led me to Puerto Rico since it was the furthest point south where we didn't need a passport. Vieques seemed a little bit more unique in that it wasn't quite as developed, for commercial tourism, as the main island was. I did some googling and found a web site Tripadvisor.com that had a ton of information about the island and a unique group of people with very detailed information about the place.
Hacienda Tamrindo. We opted to fly directly onto the island of Vieques rather than take the ferry. Here's a shot of the "puddle-jumper" we flew. (I rode in the co-pilot seat on the flight over, Jessica rode shotgun on the flight back).
We also purchased snorkeling equipment from Amazon. We bought 3 sets of snorkels. The type we bought worked fantastic for us. Other things we purchased were beach shoes (this turned out to be a real necessity since there are some wicked sand burrs just off the beach-front. We also bought 3 disposable underwater cameras. We bought the Fuji brand.
Vieques exceeded all our expectations and we're heading back in the fall. Rather than rattle on about every detail I'll just post some photos now.
This is how most mornings were spent before breakfast, Lorrie is behind the camera.
We spent nearly all of our beach time on Blue Beach. The picture on the header of this blog is a shot Lorrie took of Jessica from inside our makeshift shelter (courtesy of some previous visitor). Here’s a picture of that magnificent structure…
Civilization still managed to creep into our beach time…”Fours bars, now if it’ll just hold till I finish this text”
That’s looking west along Blue beach…notice the crowd.
Now from everything I had read prior to us making the trip I was convinced one could swim out to
the island in the picture above. But standing there with Lorrie it sure looked like a long swim and we had no idea how deep the water would get.
I finally got up enough nerve to get it a try. If you go snorkeling off the beach you will quickly learn that you DON’T put your fins on the way I am doing it and you move backwards into the water. Rookie move, what can i say.
After my test run we all geared up.
Jessica was convinced that spitting into her mask was the most disgusting thing ever!
Now we’re ready for action!
Oops…almost forgot Lorrie. She’s a natural when it comes to snorkeling.
This is 3/4’s of the way over to the island. Notice how shallow it is. The whole way over to the island it never really got very deep. Lot’s of sea grass. This is an edit to the orginal post made with our first trip . Please DO NOT MAKE the mistake we're making here. DON'T walk on the coral. We are probabaly destroying new coral by standing here. Even though it's looked like mostly sea grass there were probably juvenile coral formations present. We had watched other people people doing it, and like lemmings followed their lead. Swim out to the cay off of Playa Chiva. The picture above and the next few were taken with the Fuji underwater disposable camera.
Just some pictures of fish and coral.
At times the water wasn’t much deeper than this so you had to be really careful picking your path. We were told to avoid the black sea urchins.
A touch blurry but you can see three of the little devils in this picture. It’s rather hard to hold the camera steady underwater and shoot pictures. I shot 3 rolls and 75% of the shots are either blurry or the water was too deep for a clear shot.
You can see in this picture how all the colors become muted with any distance at all.
I thought the little blue and green fish in the lower left forefront was so cool. Too bad you can barely see him.
Break time…it’s amazing just how dry your throat gets snorkeling. Once again DON'T stop and stand like we are doing here.
Once again another fish, but still, you can’t really see him well.
Doesn’t that brain coral look strange? (I’m guessing it’s brain coral..not really sure)
Time to head back.
Large starfish Jessica spotted on the way back. It was in the seagrass.
On the left is Jessica pointing to some sea glass she found. We spent one evening over on the north side of Vieques, east of Isabell II searching for sea glass. In a little under an hour we found quite a few pieces.
Below is me doing the same.
Lorrie and Jessica both got pedicures for the trip...
Lorrie and Jessica outside Biobay tours. The flowers were just beautiful.
Well since I started down this tangent here's another flower shot.
Last one I promise...
Well I lied...I wanted to show this because it is a Ylang Ylang bloom. The scent from these were everywhere around the Hacienda. You can't describe the fragrance you've just got to experience it.
Evening time on the Malecon in Esperanza
Lorrie and me...like my new carribean shirt.
I got a shirt, she got a new dress. Looks beautiful.
Last day at the beach....
I could get used to this.......