Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Small Trip To Another Island ~ Culebrita

As part of the ongoing 'See Ya Down the Road' farewells as Francie's departure approaches, we decided to go to Culebrita for the day. It's been years (yes, pathetically enough) since last being there and the idea of a boat trip and a tiny bit of walkabout appealed. We packed up the boat with enough food to feed many more than were present along with good spirits (of the inner sort) overflowing and headed out.

It was windy and a little rough but not too windy and not too rough. Though windy enough. First, Anita lost her hat. We were in deep enough water to come about and grab it (no photos, forgot to get the camera out of the backpack on the way out. Oopsy, sorry Fortunado!). Then Francie lost her hat. But it was too shallow to turn around and the current fast, taking it too far to swim for it. Ah well. If you find this hat, keep it. With Francie's blessing.

Captain Anita (so proud of this girl!)
The wind settled and the colors were vibrant, even on this hazy day.

There were some beautiful fish to be seen among the corals. 
One fish I'd never seen before. Anita tracked it down from my description as a yellow headed jawfish, which is a lot easier to say than its proper name of Opistognathus auriferous. I didn't have an underwater camera and I'd probably not have been fast enough if I did. At first, I only saw its head, a yellow bit peeping from a hole in the sand. I stayed very still and curiosity brought it out in full, though still tail touching its hiding place. Hiding, not hiding and finally gone. It was a very beautiful fish. 

This photo, from Fish index (with much more information on this and many other species), is almost exactly what I saw 

It is always good to have T along, for the enjoyment of her friendship includes her pretty vast knowledge of our local flora and fauna. Pointing out a plant endemic to only Culebrita, sharing the leaves of the wild sage, crushed to release its amazing fragrance, the green, alive algae that I'd never seen green but only in its calcified state on the beach (making up 50% of the sand at Culebrita, for one surprising factoid). The most fun way to learn, hands on.

The amazement of Culebrita is its diversity of beaches on such a tiny piece of land. A walk to Tortuga beach with a detour to Trash Beach, was like visiting three different islands in one day.

Out of the shade, into the sun.

Trash Beach is much more rough than other spots, in a good, wild way.

The lighthouse from the 'other' side
After a swim at Tortuga (where some anchored boaters very thoughtfully lowered the volume of their blasting music the moment we emerged onto the beach) we headed back to where we started. Winding down, sated, it was in almost silent mutual agreement - it was time to head home.  With smiles.

A lost hat turns Francie into a very mysterious woman

You'll be back!
Where brown boobies hang out
One last look for the season. Anita, captain of Hacer Ola, is putting her boat on the hard today and readying for a trip north to rekindle with family and friends. She'll return, refreshed and ready for a new slew of charters soon. Thanks, Captain Anita!
Life is good.

Have a sea green Saturday. Do something saltysandysatisfyinglyscrumptious.


  1. I love yellow headed jawfish! On a dive, I will settle in the sand to wait for them to pop out (they live in colonies) while the other divers meander away in search of greater creatures. Their dances are majestic.

    Hasta la vista, Francie!

    1. I can understand that settling down, they are well worth some time. Next time I'll look around for more of them, they are almost ethereal.