South Coast of Vieques

Sun Bay, just a few miles west of Ensenada Honda, was not our intended destination; we’d hope to enter the narrow, shallow channel leading into Puerto Ferro, a bioluminescent bay said to be beyond description, a once in a lifetime experience. But, winds and waves altered our plans. As we neared shore to enter the bay, our Angel was rolling wildly with very large waves on the beam. We spied another boat anchored smack in the middle of the narrow channel, limiting our room to maneuver. Quickly we turned 180 degrees, slamming head on into the large seas, but we chose rolling and bashing in safe, deep water over a potential disaster in water scarcely deeper than our keel with an obstacle sitting in the deepest spot. Our instincts said, Turn around! And so we did.

Sun Bay, Vieques South Coast
Sun Bay, Vieques South Coast
. Just beyond the dip in the shoreline above lies the town of Esperanza, a weekend get-away for locals and tourists alike. We planned to move those two miles as soon as the winds and seas calmed a bit.

But our decision certainly was not all bad. We found ourselves anchored in one of the most beautiful bays we have ever seen, Sun Bay, fringed by a two mile long deserted beach lined with palm trees on the north shore. It’s said that if you find 100 people on this beach, it is a truly crowded day We found nary a soul. We dallied for three days as the winds roared outside flexing their muscles with 25 to 30 knot steady breeze. That wind created short steep seas building to 8 to 12 feet along the shore. Inside – a mill pond with a fantastic breeze whirling our wind generator and brilliant sun baking our solar panels – a perfect combination for relaxing.

Looking south to the Reef
Looking south to the Reef

Those three days at Sun Bay blended into one another with more boats continuing to turn up into our bay. By the time we were ready to move on, we had half a dozen new neighbors. Everyone was looking for a quiet harbor of refuge to escape the punishing seas along the shore. Sun Bay is the perfect refuge, safe in all but a hurricane. 
Ocean Angel Resting at Esperanza Vieques
Ocean Angel Resting at Esperanza Vieques

As soon as the seas subsided just a bit, we made the short jump to the town of Esperanza. I tried anchoring in the east harbor, one described as “poor holding”, but you never know until you try. Poor it was with nary another boat, and our anchor would not hold, even with excess chain on the bottom. Heavy thick grass prevented penetration. We gave up after three tries as we saw a nasty squall line approaching. We motored out and around to the west anchorage where 40 or 50 boats easily swung to their anchors or moorings, just in time to weather the squall. As we entered the anchorage, another boat hailed us and said we should continue in as close as possible. He said he anchored too far out.
A squall blackens Esperanza's skies
A squall blackens Esperanza’s skies

Definitely too far out, as this man’s boat pitched and rolled all day, every day, while we swayed gently, close in to shore. He never relocated the entire time, perhaps worried about depth, yet we’d told him we drew 2 meters, and he was half a meter less. Why he didn’t move in closer, we will never know.

Discover Esperanza