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Tuesday, December 20, 2022

2022 Spanish Virgin Islands: Punta Grand Tamarindo to Punta Del Soldado

 The morning found everyone refreshed and free from sea-sickness. Niniane had a work related call from 9 in the morning, so I moved the boat from the north side of Punta Grand Tamarindo to the south side just so we could see different things. The snorkeling was indeed better on the south side, and we had a grand old time.

After her call was over, I asked the crew if they wanted to explore Cayo Luis Pena, the south side of which supposedly had good anchorage. Nobody disagreed, so I moved the boat there using the motor, since it was too close to bother sailing. We pulled up to a mooring ball and tied up. A motor boat came in carrying divers. "Hey Arturo, you can swim over to the dive boat and see if they will take us diving tomorrow!"

Arturo swam over, and sure enough, they were willing to meet us here tomorrow at 10:00am. I pulled a playbook out of my bicycle touring bag of tricks and negotiated them down to 9:30am so we could have time to move the boat to another spot the next day and do some snorkeling. We did some snorkeling, walked on the beach, and had lunch.

After lunch, however, Mark pointed out that the boat was encountering quite a bit of swell. We had two choices --- anchor closer in to shore (not advised because there was coral that we could damage), or change locations. I made the call to change locations and we released our mooring ball and motor'd over to Punta Del Soldado, hoping against hope that the swells would die down there.

Indeed, the swells were much reduced, but upon doing a dive check of the mooring ball we discovered that the pennant line was too long and was causing the line to move under one hull. We redid the moor directly onto the mooring ball and that solved the problem, allowing us to do more snorkeling. We called Aquatic Adventures to make sure they could pick us up from Punta Del Soldado and they said no problem, and then proceeded to do more snorkeling.

The location indeed had great snorkeling, though it also had a number of jelly fish, which put Bowen and Boen off getting into the water. I actually had one tap me on my shoulder but fortunately I was wearing my rashguard. We also saw a ray and starfish, as well as a coral farm.

Right at the end of the day, Arturo and I found a Spotted Drum, unusual because they're nocturnal and not easy to see. This one was very shy but Arturo managed to get a good photo!
Dinner was BBQ hot dogs! We went to sleep early and discovered to our dismay that because we'd tied directly to the mooring ball, it would tap against the hull of Arturo's cabin and wake him up on occasion. In retrospect we should have moor'd at the other mooring ball, but we weren't about to run a fire drill in the middle of the night. No matter what, it was still quieter and better sleep than a land-based hotel.

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