Today I was lucky enough to find 6 sand dollars on La Chiva. That's a first for me. I was walking the beach, looking for some more cabana rope, when I found the first one. A few more steps and found another, then another until there was 6 total. They were hidden under brush or seaweed and it was like a treasure hunt. Dollar bills in the sand along La Chiva beach. The bills were still wet from the overnight rain, so someone must have lost them yesterday. Not a bad way to start your morning, almost like getting paid to go to the beach.
As I mentioned, we were on La Chiva today. We've spent the last two on La Plata and just wanted to see how many people were visiting Chiva. Counting cars at the turnouts as we would drive back to La Plata made for a rough yardstick, but this way we would get a much better feel.
Cabana setup time has been whittled down to maybe 10 minutes. The new design is working great and holding up well in the very windy conditions.
Final tally somewhere north of 50 people on the whole beach. Here's a picture looking east from our cabana:
Much more than we ever see on La Plata but less than we've seen on Chiva in recent years. La Chiva was beautiful, as it always is. Lorrie and I walked both ends of it. La Chiva, much like La Plata, was really really clean. Hardly any trash. Nice to see.
Air temperatures today made it into the lower 80's, with the already mentioned, strong winds. Water temps seem like they're in the upper 70 degree range, noticeably cooler than in November when we come. When we first starting coming to Vieques we heard that the locals won't swim in the winter months because the water is too cool. Back then Lorrie and I thought that was just silly. Nowadays we tend to agree. I'm not sure what to make of that.
Forecast today called for a 60% chance of rain and true to form we had another 60% chance of rain day. Want to see what that looks like? I took a picture:
I had wrote on TripAdvisor years ago that I thought the Vieques weather forecast should be interpreted in the following manner:
20% chance of rain = clear
40% chance of rain = a few clouds
60% chance of rain = partly cloudy
80% chance of rain = some sprinkles
In all honesty there was a couple little sprinkles today, lasted maybe a few minutes at most. The weather was perfect for a sail boat launch and Lorrie and I had front row seats. The captain was brand new and obviously a little nervous, but he had two sea dogs with him to help things along. The captains grandfather (pictured below) built the sailboat by hand just as he had done for the captains father (who was also present) some 30 years ago.
That's grandpa giving pointers on the launch below.
It was a bit of a rocky start....(that's all three generations in this picture, the Grandfather doing for his grandson what he had done for his son,in the background, some 30 years ago. Now how kewl is that!)
Thanks Owen and Vanessa from Baltimore for allowing me to capture this historic moment.
In other news, Judy has been diagnosed with Lyme's disease and is on antibiotics, which is good for the curing the Lyme's disease, not so good for sun exposure. Because of the medicine her skin reacts badly when in sunshine, making the Caribbean not the best of places to recover. But true to form, this is nothing but a hiccup for Judy and Andre. I took a picture of the two of them on La Plata (under slight protest) yesterday:
The reaction of people on the beach when they see her is priceless.