Well, we have a little catching up to do. Two months ago we arrived in Puerto Rico and for two months we have been meandering through the Virgin Islands. Now we are onto the leeward islands as head south to Grenada for Hurricane season. So what’s with the delay? Well we had guests. We had boat work. We had some stress with work and them some more fun. But really, we are trying to live a chill life and somehow things get in the way. Guess we’re not retired yet. And my guess is that, a chill life, is a boring life. We are now exploring further south and meeting other cruisers. Making friends. Making plans for more adventures. Sorry for the delay. We will catch up in a hurry.
We met a few people in Puerto Rico. Mostly in passing. There were the neighbours on the dock. The friendly mechanic. People. Even way back in Ft Lauderdale we met fellow cruisers. We got talking as generally happens in these situations. “Where are you off to?” “The Virgin Islands.” What immediately followed was glorious accolades for the Spanish Virgin Islands. “That’s the one place where you’ll be able to snag monster lobster while snorkelling and at the same time look up and see unexploded ordinance on shore.” That theme generally repeated itself. Outrageous spear fishing and unexplored country. We were excited. Pumped. Ready to go hunt lobster and explore while avoiding unexploded mines.
We pulled out of Fajardo, Puerto Rico. One pontoon much heavier than before. Two new crew mates had joined. In addition, we’d stocked up on booze and other miscellaneous items. The scene was set.
First stop, the western end of Vieques. The island where the US Navy had perfected their bombing of various ammunition as late as 2003. Anchor down. Mask, fins, spears in hand we check out the local reef. We dive down and look. We search for those larger than life lobster. What do we find? A dead reef. Covered in sea urchins. With the girls back on the mothership, Shaun and pop in the dinghy and check out the reef just around the corner. Not all hope is lost. There must be monster lobster somewhere here. Shaun drops in while I stay in the dinghy keeping close by. The reef is alive. Teeming with fan coral. So much so that we can’t even drop the anchor. So much so that we can’t see the lobster. We do eventually slay four smaller lobster. The first of this season. We dinghy back to the mothership as the sun is setting.
That scene repeated itself. Over and over again although the monster lobster was very elusive.
Then, there came that last night. Tomorrow we were motoring east to the British Virgin Islands. We had anchored off of Culebrita. A small island with a perfect white sand beach on one side and a large reef extending off the other. Again, we all drop into the water and snorkel the local reef only to find a single stingray and a bunch of dead coral. Shaun and I hop in the dinghy and scout the next reef over. Within minutes I hear him yelling. That elusive massive lobster. That one that is so large that it can’t hide. It’s tentacles are sticking out giving it away has been found. We bring out the big gun, take aim, take aim again, and fire. What follows is pure joy. We erupt out of the ocean. High fiving. Hooting and hollering. Just now. Just seconds ago, that bucket list item was checked off the list. “#4 Hunt big lobster”. We took two more medium lobsters from that reef and proceeded back to the mothership where we finished celebrations with an epic bbq.
The Spanish Virgin Islands will always be a place in my heart. A place I will return to in the future. A place that is unique, remote yet within hours of the popular British Virgin Islands where we head next.