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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Puerto Rico -- Vieques: Orchid Beach & Bio Bay 1.31

    • Orchid Beach (Playa Plata)
    • Bio Bay

    We woke up to another sunny and beautiful day on the island.   After breakfast at the W, I wanted to check out the beaches on the island.  Bree, our host working at the welcome desk, recommended Orchard Beach. 

    We drove to the Orchard Beach and spent most of the time swimming in the shallow ocean.  There were two ladies on the beach that we recognized from the flight to Vieques and we started chatting.  No surprise, they were also from New York.  So far, most of the people we met on this island were from New York!  The ladies told us that the W resort's beach was on the Atlantic ocean side, and the south side of the island, i.e. Orchid Beach was on the Caribbean side.  A light bulb went off, no wonder the water here seemed calmer and warmer.  It was too bad that this was the last day we had on the island.  We would not mind swimming and snorkeling in the ocean for a few more days.

    After the beach, we went back to Isabel II to grab something to eat before returning the car.  
    We spent the rest of the afternoon in the hotel swimming pool. 

    Of course we could not leave the island without seeing the bio bay.  This was one thing I really wanted to do after I read about it in the tour book.  I booked the tour through W with Vieques Adventure Company for their clear canoes.  For people who hate group tours, this is an excellent anti-tour for us.  Gary, the owner of the company, was funny, personal and friendly.   We put on the life jacket, took the canoe, and paddled out of the bay.   H had absolutely no clue what this tour was about and I was excited to see his reaction.  As we rolled out  to the middle of the bay, the waves became brighter and brighter.  H sat behind me in the canoe and noticed something different.

    "What is wrong with the water?" H asked with a high pitch tone.
    "What do you mean what is wrong with the water?" I was smiling in the dark wishing I could see his face now.
    "Look! Look the water! It's really weird!" H was lost of words and I was too.  

    There are an estimated total of seven bioluminescent bays in the world. Three of them are in Puerto Rico.  The Puerto Mosquito bay in Vieques is the brightest of all.  We could not have picked a better day to come out to the bay.  It was sunny during the day, and there was no moon in the sky at night which provided the ideal condition for the bright light in the water.  As we jumped out of the canoe to swim in the bay, the water twinkled.  The sparks rolled off our arms and legs.  When you looked up, there were tens of thousands of stars in the pitch dark sky.  When you looked down, there were glows in the pitch dark water.  The experience was magical.  I felt like I was in a fairytale land.  I could almost feel the wings on my back.

    Of course, the aggressive misquote bites brought me back to reality pretty fast.....

    There is no way that the camera can capture the magical experience.  Flash light should not be used to minimize the light interference.  The picture posted here was the combination of several pictures taken in the pitch dark and photo shopped.

    Nonetheless, it was one of the most unique travel experiences and a perfect way to end our stay in Vieques.

    Next: Puerto Rico -- Old San Juan 2.1

    Vieques Photo Album

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