In between our chores we still find time to have some fun. When we’ve had enough of the rat race of being anchored in Culebra’s main anchorage (Ensenada Honda) we then we head out and grab a mooring ball behind Dakity Reef that runs along the entrance to the harbor. Dakity is a very protected and mostly quiet spot (unless it is the weekends when locals come over from mainland PR to have some fun) and without any ambient light it is a great place to star gaze! It’s also a pretty close dinghy ride to Punta Soldado Beach.
Punta Soldado Beach is a bit out of the way for most. It is on a peninsula on the island’s southwestern most corner and because it’s out of the way it is usually not crowded. We had the beach to ourselves most of the day.
The snorkeling here is OK, I bet was great before last years hurricanes. Hurricanes Irma and Maria, both Category 4 storms, caused extensive damage to the reefs around Puerto Rico when they made landfall in September 2018 and its obvious that the corals and reefs are still recovering.
The storms snapped hundreds of thousands of corals from reefs around the island. Assessment teams found structural damage to individual coral and the reefs as well as heavy sediment accumulation, which can prevent corals from getting enough sunlight. One quarter of all ocean species such as red snapper, lobster and octopus depend on coral reefs for food and shelter. Coral also contains natural chemical compounds, and also serve as treatment for different diseases including cancer. And perhaps most relevant to us humans, coral reefs can minimize wave energy up to 97 percent, reducing destruction from floodwaters to mainland. Obviously corals and reefs are very important to us!
We enjoyed our beach day now back to some chores for us. Brian has a repair that he is working on under the window in the nav station that had some rot because of a small leak and then back to the never ending list of other things to do. There is a small beach just across the pass from us and we hope to anchor their and do some snorkeling soon. We also plan on heading back to Melones Beach on the west coast of Culebra in a few days too to do some snorkeling. Maybe we will get lucky and see the resident shark that hangs out there….no worries though it’s just a nurse shark so we should survive. We’ll take more pics to share as we go. Take care for now.