From the Dominican Republic we transited the dreaded Mona Passage without incident and landed at Puerto Rico.
We loved Puerto Rico because it has that friendly, laid-back Latin culture that we have grown to love, but since it is part of the US, clearing in is easy (just a phone call with local boater option) and provisioning was a snap. We would have stayed longer but because the season is getting late and we needed to get south we blew through the area with only enough stops to whet our appetites for a return trip next season. We saw a bit of the mainland and some of the beautiful offshore islands – the Spanish Virgin Islands of Vieques and Culebra. The Spanish Virgins are beautiful lush islands where the birds and iguanas far outnumber humans. We can’t wait to return.
We did take a bit of time to explore, stopping at the El Yunque Cloud Forest and the lavish St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort and, of course, exploring the beautifully preserved Old San Juan.
Sticking with the US, we jumped from the Spanish Virgins to the U.S. Virgin islands of St. Thomas and St. John. St. Thomas is quite populous and we were able to catch up with our nephew Nick who was living there temporarily.
After a few days of loud, busy Charlotte Amalie, the capital of St. Thomas, we were ready for a little solitude. And its easily found not far away in St. John, of which over 60% is national park lad. Anchorages are undeveloped, uncrowded and beautiful. The water is clear and full of life. This is why we do this.
But the season is wearing on and we had to continue our journey south and east, so we were soon off to the French and Dutch islands for a little European flair.