No alarm for us this morning! We decadently slept until 8 am…ahhhh vacation! Throwing bathing suites on (island attire) we headed into town to a new breakfast joint, Buen Provecho. Great vibe, awesome menu, coffee, homemade hot sauce, breads & bagels. And craft beer!!!! The owners hailed from Michigan & had lived in Colorado, so had stocked the place with great beer. Mike was happy and before we left, built a custom craft six pack to savor later.
After our delicious breakfast we jetted to the silver beach in the Refugio Nacional de Vidal Silvestre de Vieques. Before we set our sights on the sand, Mike decided to go on an exploration to find an abandoned lighthouse he had read about on a blog. Did I mention this was in the restricted area of the park, where they used to test bombs!? Needless to say, after about 2 miles, we didn’t see any lighthouses, so headed back through the jungle onto the safe, paved road. Mike, always the edge-liver!
Our hot & humid hike warranted a swift dip in the ocean, so we immediately set our things up and grabbed our snorkel gear! There appeared to be reef on the left side of the lagoon, so we moseyed on over. It was spectacular! An underground aquarium, complete with a lion fish (which are so cool looking, just extremely poisonous). In the more shallow parts, closest to the shore, you can really see the most. Spectacular!
While the snorkeling was amazing, my book was getting good (and how often can I lay on a beach and read!?) so I vacated the water while Mike continued to explore, something he loves to tease me about: you should never snorkel alone!
When he had his fill of medellas, he was ready to go find something else. We popped in the jeep and drove to Esperanza to find Duffy’s, a cool bar on the main strip with craft beer! Victory to boot! Mike ordered a headwater and I a mojito and we were happy! The bartered was the cover model for the last edition of The Vieques Insider, a local magazine with all of the islands going ons. Pretty cool to be served by a local celebrity! Our hunger got the best of us, so we ordered a large salad with blackened grouper and Mahi tacos. The food was out of sight, the view along the boardwalk was phenomenal and the ocean breezes were magnificent.
That evening we had a Bioluminescent Bay tour, so decided to head back to our homestead and relax before venturing out. I did some yoga & Mike rested. The luxuries of vacation were at our fingertips!
Fully rested and ready for some bay action, we headed to town to wait for the Blackbeard Sports van. Town was quite busy, as it was Saturday night, and gentlemen say on corners smoking and drinking while the ladies chittted & chatted about. When the van came, we happily popped in and met a couple from Denver, another couple who had just left Denver for Massachusetts and another couple who was staying in Philadelphia to attend U. Penn. Small world!
The tour, although not very long, was extremely neat. As we kayaked out to the middle of the bay to hear the guides schpeal, fish glowed under our vessels, seeming to chase us. The microorganism that lived in the water were barely visible due to the powerful half moon that was out, but when our paddles sliced the water, the organisms glowed brilliantly. The native settlers used to worship the fiery bay, thinking the bright creatures were the tears of their god. We got lucky with some cloud coverage, so were dipping our hands and feet in the water making their outlines glow.
It really was an amazing experience and there being only 5 true bioluminescent bays in the world, this actually being the brightest while the others are rapidly being destroyed by human pollution, it was a magical evening.