Puerto Rico

The current weather in Culebra

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Trip Report July 17-24
Culebra, Puerto Rico
Author: Vicki moore (
Date:   08-10-10 21:44

We spent the week of July 10 on Vieques and took the 9AM Air Flamenco flight from Vieques to Culebra. We grabbed our bags and went across the street to get our "jeep" from Jerry. Although I still had our map from 2008, we still had to go through the drill. LOL. He initially put us in a stick shift, but after telling it it had been years since I had driven one and him realizing where where we were staying, he gave us an automatic. We stayed at Casita La Perlita, which is on the road beside the stone museum on the road to Zoni. He warned us it was a narrow road and that the septic tank co was on this road. Often, he said you would meet large trucks or equipment and have to back up until one of you could pull over. That is exactly what happened the day we arrived and I was thankful for the automatic, as I had to back up hill and around a curve until a frontloader could pull over and let me by. He was right on my front bumper while I was backing up, which was a little scary!! The house manager met us at Jerry's and we followed her to the casita. I was a little concerned when we first arrived. There was no driveway and it was wet. We had to drive on the grass and it was muddy. An old truck was directly behind our casita and the yard was grown up. I mentioned this and the house manager told me they had been unable to weed eat because of all the rain. The casita was nice. One large room and a nice deck running along the back. However a vine greatly obstructed the view of the bay. We were shown how to operate the cistern, but were not told to boil the water. There were plenty of towels. The kitchen was very nice, as was the bath. The king bed was comfy. The futon was, well a futon. Not easy to get on and off of. There was a TV, but no English speaking news stations, so we never knew the weather. However a look outside told us it was very cloudy, rainy and windy most of the week. I went to work on the vine with my dive knife and had it trimmed in no time. There was a nice view and I tied the hammock I brought with me on the deck. Nice flowers were around the house and a papaya tree beside the back porch along with some sort of bush with big thorns (not acacia), which we promptly cut back. There were these little brown things with white on the end all over the inside and outside walls, which I guessed were gecko poop and Henry, the plumber, verified this. I did lots to wall sweeping to get rid of them. I saw one tiny tiny gecko in the house. We had plenty of towels, which was not the case on Vieques. There was no grill. I called the owner in NY to inquire about this and she told me it was not safe and no where in Culebra had them, which we knew was not the case as we had them on previous visits. I really do not think anyone had stayed in this casita in a bit. There were beachchairs and a beachtowel for each of us. There was an AC, which we did not use. With all the shutters closed, it felt very confining and dark. We just kept the windows open and ceiling fans on. There were a total of 4 fans. We got Dick and Cathy to do our laundry as we had no facilities on Vieques or Culebra. Dick told us since they dried their clothes by solar power, they would get to them as soon as they could. They were able to get them dry on Sunday and he called us and I went to pick them up at $13 ($1.25 lb). We bought our groceries at Milka, which was very packed on Saturday. We also stopped several times at Genesis, which was on our way to our house. It is very clean and well stocked. We went diving on Sunday with Tazz with Aquatic Adventures. We had a wonderful time, as usual. We got to meet his lovely bride, Anne. I had seen their wedding pictures on MJ's blog and was glad to meet her. Our dive that day lived up to the name "Aquatic Adventure" (wink, wink, Tazz and Anne know what I mean). There were 6 snorkelers on the boat from Florida. Tazz went diving with the two of us, since we were the only divers on the boat. We had another dive scheduled for Tues, that was cancelled due to the weather. We did go Wed and Thursday and had great dives, although not as adventurous as the one on Sunday!! We saw turtles this time on our dives and lots of anemones. My favorite dive was Lana's and the small sunken sailboat near the mooring ball. I could have stayed there the entire dive making photos of everything. It was very fishy and Tazz found a snapping shrimp and a cleaner shrimp for us, as well. We saw a turtle at Lana's too.We went to a place Tazz had found off Carlos Rosario, that although it was bit of a swim on the bottom in some wicked currents, was covered in lobster condos.. It was neat. We saw one of the two turtles at Yerbis (sp??) and the other at Lana's. Yerbis had a rock lined "hole" that was very cool and very fishy. We also saw snowflake and moray eels and tons of colorful fish on all the dives. Anne makes some good sandwiches, which big oscar and little oscar liked the crumbs from at Lana's. We took a dive into the current at Raton' (sp?). Tazz knew I do not care for current, but he promised we would come back when I said to. I kept right up with him and the current was whipping so that some of the harder corals appeared to be vibrating in the current instead of swaying, like usual. He turned around and we held our arms out like we were flying and drifted back to the anchor line. It was tons of fun. Although I have been diving for 33 years, I never tire of it and live the rest of the year for my 2 dive trips a year, 2 weeks in the summer and then a long LD weekend off the coast of Destin FL. The rain and wind on Monday night were awful. It sounded like it was coming a (H---e). I won't say the word in fear of causing one to head Culebra way!! On Tuesday there were flash floods off and on all day. I had had it with staying at the Casita and told my DH I was going into town to wander around the town in the rain and absorb some culture and he could lay around and watch some expensive TV since we were paying dearly for this vacation. I could not bribe him so went alone. I stood in line in an attempt to get ferry tickets for Saturday but they would not sell them to me that far in advance. We had to go through some shallow water in the first sharp curve on the road going into Zoni. You take a sharp right and there is a sign saying Culebra Casa Azul and an arrow pointing to the left there. The sign pointed up the muddy little road and I told my DH I was glad I was not staying there, as this would soon become impassable. Anyway, after all the rain while I was in town, the road in the curve was very flooded and looked quite deep. I just backed up and parked and waited for some brave soul to go through it to see if I wanted to chance it in our little red "jeep", which by the way leaked badly through the moon roof. Finally a full sized Carlos jeep came by and went through it. I decided to be brave and chance it and although I felt at times like my tires were not in contact with the road, I somehow made it through, while praying the whole time. We saw Jerry at the house next to ours. He was guiding some people out there and was warning them about the flooded roads. I told him his little jeep had made it through. He told me 2 vehicles had been swept into the guardrail on the bridge just past the museum on the way to Zoni. They had to get a frontloader to pull them out. It had rained so much we saw large drowned toads on the roadsides. We either dove off of or went to the majority of the beaches. Jerry told us the road to Soldado was in a horrible state of repair with lots of tires being slashed, so we dove this. He also told us the path to Carlos Rosario was very muddy and we would be sliding on our posteriors most of the way, so we dove it x2. We did go to Tamarindo. I snorkeled here and although it was very cloudy, was very good snorkeling. I also snorkeled at Melones and loved the new parking area and picnic tables here. We went to Flamenco and stayed several hours and rented an umbrella for $10. We brought our own chairs and picnic lunch. It was very cloudy, but lovely as usual. We got run off the beach by impending rain. Our very favorite beach was Zoni. We sat under the trees and read to our heart's content. We got to do lots of reading this trip due to the weather. On Sunday, I had cooked and was using the sprayer on the sink to rinse off something and the water in the sink went off. I ended up calling the owner in NY. She said she would get someone to come look at it. This call was on Monday and I told her that it was doing okay at the time, but she said "Henry" would be there at 10. What a jewel. Henry was a very nice and talkative man. It was a mixing valve that was the problem and it was installed wrong. Apparently I was the first person to use the sprayer in the 2 1/2 years since the house had been built!! He fixed it. I was explaining to him that I was trying to talk my DH into relocating to Culebra since his job is in refrigeration and he has his certification in that and can do carpentry, plumbing and repairs, as well. He went on to tell us the PR is very strict about plumbing, refrigeration, etc and he would have to have several hundred hours of classes in PR before he could be licensed/certified in PR. He suggested we move to Culebra after we retire. I am not sure what I, a Non Spanish speaking RN, who works for BCBS TN as a Medical CM, could do on Culebra. LOL. So, I guess we just be content with living in TN and vacationing on PR. We did drink the unboiled cistern water a couple of days with no ill effect. We just boiled it after this. A big problem was power outages several hours a day for about 3 days. It was on 4 and off 4 around the clock. They alternated the power to different parts of the island, since the generator they were using could not supply the entire island. It made for some hot sleeping. Thank goodness for my hammock on the deck and mosquito spray!! I stayed out there one night until 2. Also, the cistern did not have a working pump when the power was out. We did find some bottled cistern water to use and had some boiled in the frig. Our stove was gas, so we could at least cook some. It is very dark when you have no power. Thank goodness for the tiny book light I bought at Books A Million and our dive lights. I also found a candle and matches. We got T Shirts at Culebra Divers and a Christmas Ornament, or something that would pass for one, there as well, for our daughter. We ate at Dingy Dock on Thursday night. When we were there in 2008, I remember the food being okay and the service horrible. However, this trip, it was the opposite. The salad bar was under heat lamps!! Hello, it needed to be on ice. I got the Shrimp Scampi and the Shrimp was so tough I could barely eat it. My husband got Chicken, which was like shoe leather. However, the margarita, made by Anita, our house manager, was passable. It was the only thing that was. I think their bar is a good place to go, but we will never attempt dining there in the future. We ate at Barbara Rosa's on Friday night. This the the jewel!!! I had the seafood stroganoff over linguini. It came with a very nice salad and was one of the best things I ever tasted. My DH had a steak, which came with a salad and spaghetti. His meal was excellent. We both ate here for a little over $30. Barbara told me we could wait on her porch or have a seat with Mary Ann and watch TV while we waited for our food. I turned around and asked if she was Mary Ann Lucking from Coralations. She was. I was supposed to have gone out with her snorkeling or diving when we were there in 2008, but did not feel well that trip. She remembered me, because I have reef tanks in my home and propagate and sell corals. I belong to a reef club out of Memphis and we have a frag swap and sale every year in Sept. We had a wonderful chat. I mentioned I had been snorkeling that day at Tamarindo and she asked if I saw their project there. I told he I had not and we were leaving to go home the next AM but would be back next year for 2 weeks and I would be sure and contact her then. It was wonderful chatting with her. She is amazed I use superglue gel to glue my corals onto frag plugs, that I make out of a special cement, using preemie bottle nipples as the form. Despite the bad weather, we tried to keep our spirits up and have a good time. We did get lots of rest this trip. We caught the 6:30 ferry on Sat. AM into Fajardo. It was an easy trip on the small ferry. I did get to watch the cargo ferry unload on Culebra. John was waiting for us with his publico in Fajardo and drove us promptly (maybe too promptly) to SJU. We got there before 9 and had a 2PM flight. I was dead tired. I wish we had known about the rental lockers at SJU and we would have hopped a taxi to OSJ for a few hours and lunch prior to our flight. We flew from OSJ to Atlanta and on to Memphis on Delta. No delays in flights this trip. Arrived into Memphis at around 11:00 and picked up our one checked bag of scuba equipment. Our daughter picked us up. Her AC had been out the entire 2 weeks we were gone. I offered to drive home from Memphis that night and come back to Memphis on Sunday AM with his equipment to fix her AC. I got home about 12:30 after getting up about 4:45 on Culebra to buy tickets for the ferry. We are coming back next year with our 2 adult kids and a friend of my daughter's the last 2 weeks of June next year. We will be staying at Casa del Sol this trip and have already reserved it!! We are attempting to avoid the holidays, as we were there on Patronales Day (5 day holiday while we were on Vieques) and Constitution Day the weekend we were leaving Culebra. I understand there are 3 holidays in the month of July. Hope you have enjoyed this long read!! We love Culebra and probably will be vacationing there for our entire vacations in the future instead of splitting it between Vieques and Culebra. We like the slower pace on Culebra, even though we miss the horses wandering around like we see on Vieques. Vicki

Vicki in Tennessee

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Topics Author  Date
 Trip Report July 17-24  new
Vicki moore 08-10-10 21:44 
 Re: Trip Report July 17-24  new
Linda H 08-11-10 02:16 
 Re: Trip Report July 17-24  new
Vicki moore 08-11-10 07:38