You’re probably wondering why I’m blogging alot these days about the trip I took to Puerto Rico earlier this year. As the cold weather starts to set in here in Chicago, I’ve been scouring the internet for cheap tropical travel deals. In the meantime, I’ve been reminiscing about the serene island of Vieques.
On our trip in June, my mom and I planned to take a snorkeling cruise with East Coast Island Excursions from Fajardo to Culebra, an island about 17 miles off the coast of mainland Puerto Rico. Known for it’s pristine waters and amazing snorkeling, we were so excited to check it out.
After being warned before boarding the boat that the Caribbean waters were fairly rough that day, we took off to sea. About twenty minutes into our cruise, water flooded the catamaran and about half of the vessel was submerged underwater. No one was injured although we were definitely shaken up.
The captain told us it was too dangerous to continue on our current path, so we were forced to turn around. We were all disappointed to be unable to explore Culebra, an archipelago consisting of a main island and 23 small islands, thought to have harbored pirates during Spanish trade with the New World. The captain didn’t want the choppy waters to ruin our trip, so he suggested we divert to the island of Vieques in the Spanish Virgin Islands, located only 8 miles from mainland Puerto Rico.
We weren’t disappointed. We lounged on the upper deck of the boat, snorkeled for hours, and tried the crew leader’s delicious rum specialty. We even had the chance to learn some interesting trivia about this sparsely populated island thought to be discovered by Columbus on his second voyage in 1493. Our crew told us that Vieques was the place where Mariah Carey’s infamous “Honey” video was filmed way back in 1997 (can you believe it was really that long ago?). “Honey” was Mariah’s third single to debut at the top of the Billboard 100, a feat that has yet to be repeated.
One thing I wish we had the chance to do was explore the bioluminescent bay (bio bay). A bio bay is a body of water containing millions of micro-organisms that glow in the dark when agitated. The best way to view this phenomenon is by kayaking on a moonless night. According to the Guiness Book of World Records, Vieques is home of the brightest bio bay in the world. Oh well, you can’t do everything – it’s definitely on my to-do list when I return.
Of course I couldn’t leave you without the “Honey” music video, for your viewing pleasure…