Quite simply a beautiful island. It just feels like home! Posts under Archives for January, February and March 2015 have further details.
The large bay off their main town has several anchorages, so you can choose the most sheltered according to wind direction. Holding is excellent in sticky mud and the water is around 8 metres deep in most of the anchorages. Many anchorages have free moorings but most are for Day Use Only and marked as such.
You must clear into the airport but telephone San Juan Immigration before you leave the boat. We failed to do that as we didn’t have a US phone but they let us off. The customs officials at the airport were very nice and made out our cruising permit for 7 months, to cover when we may come back in July before going to Bonaire. It cost us 24.66 GBP but there aren’t any other charges. The airport is a 15-minute walk north along the main road from the dinghy or town docks.
There aren’t any marinas so you would need to jug water from the Dinghy Dock bar. This is where everyone goes for happy hour from 1500-1800 and they serve excellent food. You can also leave your dinghy there and they don’t even ask you to buy a drink. Watch the huge tarpon waiting for the scraps! Rubbish bins are located at the town dock and it is easy to dinghy through the canal under the road bridge and straight to the fuel station. They have cleats to tie up to but it is far too shallow for yachts.
We found the best Wi-Fi to be in the library, costing a dollar an hour as a donation to their running costs. They also have printing and copying facilities, a coffee machine, book and DVD purchases and tables under cover. Nearby is a good supermarket and in town there is an ATM, few shops, a dive shop and a little tourist office.
You can visit Fajardo on the ferry for just a couple of dollars if you don’t plan to go to the mainland. A cheap bus runs to the world famous Flamingo beach but we opted for a golf cart at 26 pounds a day. We saw the entire island during that time and it was fun to drive.
We didn’t visit Vieques as we had heard there are some issues with crime in the western part of the island. The eastern side is a restricted area, US military, so we might stop in one of the eastern bays next time.
For a few days we left the main anchorage and visited Culebrita, the little island to the east, then spent a couple of nights in the beautifully protected Bahia De Almodovar, said to be one of the finest in the Eastern Caribbean. It was.
The beaches are stunning and you have several tourist options available, including the bioluminescent bay trips. We would definitely recommend a long stop in Culebra.