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February 5, 2003
Isla de Culebrita. An Island Paradise.

Isla de Culebrita is a small uninhabited island just off of Culebra. It's surrounded by shallow water, beautiful reefs, and paper white sand beaches. Atop a knoll in the middle, a lighthouse sits watch over the surrounding seas. At the northernmost point of the island, pools of shallow water rest among rocks that afford protection from the burgeoning swells of open ocean- giving the pools the nickname of the Jacuzzis. The only way to arrive there is by boat, and it seemed like an ideal spot to bring our guests. We weren't disappointed when we arrived.

The entry into the cove was a bit rough. As we rounded the outlying reef on the northern edge, the swells leftover from the bad weather the past few days made our entry a bit precarious as Force Five rolled steeply from side to side. But as we nearly surfed them into the anchorage, the reef seemed to abate their severity and we slipped into a gently rolling bay where the waves disappeared into white foam on the sandy shore. We were pleased too, to find that the US Department of Natural Resources had provided free moorings for our use. We simply picked up the line and settled in for a pleasant visit.

The next few days we enjoyed the tranquility of a deserted island. The sun shone bright during our entire stay, and everyone snorkeled, explored in the dinghy, and relaxed on the beach. One afternoon, we made our way over to the Jacuzzis for a refreshing swim in the bubbly sea among magnificent rocks and crystal clear sea. The next, Greg and Heather lounged on the beach they had all to themselves, while Curt and I disappeared into the brush for a walk to explore the other side of the island. We discovered some of the warmest and most beautiful water we'd seen throughout the Caribbean, and snorkeled to our hearts' content with no sign of another person as far as our eyes could see, and no cold water to urge us back to shore. When we returned to the northern anchorage late in the afternoon, Curt swam out to Force Five and returned with cold beers for us to drink in the shade of some palm trees, since our dinghy was nowhere in site. It wasn't until later we figured out Greg and Heather had taken it to another boat in hopes of finding some ice! I suppose we've settled into a simpler life than I'd thought, because as much as I enjoy a cold drink, I don't know that the idea would have occurred to me, no less would I have had the inclination to go to all that trouble for a frosty beverage.

As disappointed as we were to leave the beautiful little refuge to get Greg and Heather back in time for the their flight out of Saint Thomas, we were pleased to know we'd get to return later, as we continued west on our adventure.

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