*PICTURE GALLERY OF SVI ANCHORAGES- CLICK HERE
One of the great things about chartering from CYOA is the easy access to the more undiscovered Spanish Virgin Islands. The Spanish Virgin Islands mainly consist of Culebra and Vieques in addition to some smaller islands and cays such as Culebrita. Depending on if you choose to motor and sail to get there or just sail, the journey does requires you to take off in the morning to arrive in the afternoon. Often it can be a great downwind sail. You want to first sail to the town of Dewey, in Ensenada Honda on Culebra to check in. Although you are coming from the USVI, you must check into customs and immigration in Culebra. Checking in is usually done very easily by phone given that CYOA provides DTOPs stickers on all their boats. The Spanish Virgin Islands are off the beaten path so you will find some unique experiences and remote anchorages. At this time, Counting Stars has only experienced Culebra and Culebrita but in the near future we will post more info on Vieques too!
Ensenada Honda-Dewey- It is best to anchor in-between Cayo Pirata and the town dock. Make sure your anchor is good and tight. Sometimes it can take a few tries to set correctly. Once you are anchored, telephone customs and provide the agent the necessary info such as passport numbers, Boat Registration numbers, DTOPs sticker number etc. Call Customs at (787) 729-6840. If you stay in Dewey for the night, the Dinghy Dock Restaurant or Zaco’s Tacos is the place to eat. It is also fun to take your Dinghy underneath the drawbridge and towards the ferry dock and explore a bit.
Tip: If you plan on staying an extra day here, we highly recommend you rent a golf cart and Carlos Jeep Rentals to explore the island. It will allow you to visit the famous Flamenco Beach and Zoni Beach.
Melones and Tamarindo area- There are some mooring balls in this region and it look like a wonderful spot to go some snorkeling, however when we were there the SE winds were kicking up a lot and it was too choppy to stay. Will visit on a future trip!
Cayo Luis Pena- There is a small anchorage here on the west side with one or two mooring balls. We anchored in the northwest corner of the anchorage. It can become a bit rolly on occasion.
Tip: There is good snorkeling here. Day trippers from Puerto Rico leave in the evening.
Bahia De Almodovar- Love this anchorage! There are several mooring balls and you have the reef breaking the waves and a view of St. Thomas. Always check the quality of the mooring ball in the SVIs. Many times they are not inspected and are in disrepair. However, the mooring balls in Almodovar were in good shape and recently had new painters installed as of March 2017.
Tip: To enter this anchorage, you need to be careful. Again, it is a good idea to use the raymarine plotter or navionics to guide you into the anchorage. There are 3 mooring balls used as navigational aids that show the narrow channel into the bay between the reef (submerged at high tide and displayed as an island on the Navionics chart) and the mangroves. Keep the mooring balls to port as you enter and stay centered between them and the mangroves to starboard - you'll have about 10 feet of water.
Culebrita- Bayo Tortugas- There are two anchorages on Culebrita. We have only experienced Bayo Tortugas but it is a spectacular anchorage. There are mooring balls and a few places to anchor. It is best to visit this anchorage during the weekdays, during the summer months and when a north swell is not running. We visited this anchorage for the day in March but had to leave by mid-afternoon because of the significant swell coming into the anchorage. Check the marine forecast! We still were able to experience it for the day and Bahia De Almodovar is not far away so we went back there for the night.
Tip: Don’t miss the trail to the lighthouse or a walk to the Jacuzzis on the northeast side of the bay.
More to come on additional anchorages around Culebrita and anchorages on Vieques!