If you’re looking for a website to find vacation rentals, rental cars, things to do or more about the island of Vieques, look no further than www.Vieques.Travel!
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Monday, December 16, 2013
Hi everyone, and Felicidades!
We’re coming up to Christmas now. The island is twinkling brightly and a shining star unto itself! I wanted to thank a the people around the world who have used the Enchanted Isle as a resource for traveling to Vieques. It has been a long and wonder-filled journey for me since I first set foot on the island of Vieques in 1983. I lived and worked in Vieques until 1998 and have since visited every year for anywhere from 2weeks to 6 months, all wonderful, and all joy filled.
Vieques has always been and continues to be a great place to live on, work, or visit. The beaches are incredible, and the Viequense people absolutely wonderful. I wouldn’t change a thing about the island and my love of it.
I have however taken on other duties and moved into an arena that requires my greater time, so in November I entered into an agreement with Seed Creative of NY and Vieques, and sold my website, Enchanted-Isle.Com to the owners of www.Vieques.Travel and the I Love Vieques FaceBook page. The owner has set the intention to give Vieques his intention and has built a presence that does the island proud. Enchanted Isle will remain around for most of 2014 and then transition fully into www.Vieques.Travel.
My wish for Vieques is that it remain the shining star of Puerto Rico and that tourism grows to employ and enpower all the peoples of Vieques. I will be visiting to check up on you’all. Thank for the chance to serve, and best wishes going into the New Year and beyond.
the previous webmaster,
Sunday, December 8, 2013
One of the most amazing things about Vieques is the speed at which rumors fly around the island and off the island. It is common practice for me to get an email from someone asking about a particular event that I have not heard of. How is it possible that someone in Boston has this kind of intel? I could blame Facebook, in fact I think we should all blame Facebook for something. But really, it is the connection that this island evokes in people. You come here just once and you are forever bound to it. I don’t know of anyplace else in the world where this happens.
So, back to the rumor thing. This is a classic. There is a bioluminescent bay in Fajardo. It is not anywhere near as brilliant as ours, but a bio bay nonetheless. It went dark. Rampant were speculations that the construction of a sewage treatment plant near the bay was polluting the it and thusly it went dark. Some of our local activists circulated this information without any knowledge of what was actually going on. Well, the real story is that mother nature created large tidal swells and the diflaginats (the little creatures that may the bay glow and whose name I have probably misspelled) were swept out to sea. Ironically, the investigation turned up that the sewer treatment plant is in fact a desperately needed utility to keep pollution out of the bay. Our own Mark Martin from the Trust was instrumental in leading the scientific testing and coming to the true conclusion. What was most funny however, was that somehow the info got twisted and the rumor was that our bio bay went dark. Imagine my surprise when someone came into Trade Winds all upset because they thought their bio bay tour was going to be cancelled because there were “no lights out there”??????
Last post I said I would reveal the location of Coqui Fire’s new digs. Jimmy and Kat are setting up shop in town two streets back from Main Street. Turn left between Blackbeard’s and the jewelry store, go up two blocks. The building is mexican yellow with arched windows and doors. This was the location of Las Palomas (or La Paloma), unsure which, as it was a bit before my time here. Anyway, it was a little restaurant and bar. Then it became a church and has now full circled back into a restaurant. This is one of those buildings that you pass almost everyday and everyday you say, “what a cool building this is”.
Just about every bar and restaurant is open for the season. Mikey, in true Duffy fashion, doubled the size of Tin Box by adding onto the back. The new section looks over the arroyo which he backlights. Way cool. It is also one level down from the main floor, so watch the stairs. I foresee some drunken tumbles. Fortunately, drunken tumbles usually result in hurt pride and not hurt anything else. Noche is open with Carlos at the helm. He was formerly at El Patio. Another Duffy restaurant is Chez Shack. Duffy himself, at 92, has expanded out the side and there is a little bistro type seating area. I have no idea what he is going to do with it, but it looks great.
The December edition of Vieques Events just came out. The lead story is all about Duffy. I would urge you all to go online and read it. Great piece of modern history. Best ad goes to Esperanza Riding Company, with the Caribbean cowgirls. No more info from me on that one, you have to read it for yourself.
The winter winds have arrived. Currently, it is cold here. Cold as in wearing long sleeve shirts, jeans and socks. And that is on the south side. The north side is really howling. The boats in the harbor outside Al’s Mar Azul are bobbing and weaving. Almost get seasick just watching them. Surf’s up over on La Chata and Playa Voltios. This of course, has made the ocean far to cold to get into. Although this year was a little better than most. My last swim was December 1, usually I’m done before Thanksgiving. This also can contribute to a lack of Medalla on the island. When the winds blow just right, the surge in the Fajardo harbor can make docking almost impossible. When the boats can’t dock, the trucks can’t load and then…..a Medalla crisis. When the boats don’t run we don’t get any supplies, but the medalla seems to be the major concern. Who needs gasoline or food?
So, why did I title this post as I did? Change is always occurring here. Businesses come and go, as do people. Even the beaches change their stripes on an almost constant basis. Remember a few years ago when Navio was nothing but a small sand strip? Or more recently when black sand beach disappeared? It reappeared during the next southside side storm. Remember when vegetables came in once a week? Now, we get them most everyday. Remember when getting a telephone took nine months? Now it takes almost that long to get service back when it goes out, but new service happens within a week. Remember when the water would go out for weeks at a time? Now we have so much pressure that everyone’s toilet is an in home geyser. That one is funny as long as it doesn’t happen to you. Remember when the airport sported a rusty trailer as the terminal and the runway was oh sh…. short? Now we can land the space shuttle and Lyman’s wife dishes out authentic Chinese food at the cafe. Remember when there wasn’t a barge rusting in the harbor on the north side? Couple more years and a few swells and there won’t be one again. Remember when the Galleon Dance Hall was in full swing, with salsa on Saturday nights; and parents and their teenagers had date night in the same place? Remember when La Cases del Francaise was still around and Irving served sliced deli turkey breast, potatoes made with flakes and franco-american gravy right from the can on the table for Thanksgiving dinner? So, what’s the newest change? This is my last post. After many years, Jim Starke, owner of the enchanted-isle website has sold it. He now gets to change out of his webmaster clothes and put on some minister clothes. This has been a great ride for me and one that I will miss. But, it is time for change and to move onto other things.
I do have a few last requests. Please stay in touch Vieques in other ways. Google it. Email. Or go the old school way and call, (if you can find a working phone). You all know someone here. Please donate to my favorite charities, the Conservation Trust, the Humane Society, and Juntos. These three make a difference to our children, animals and the environment; a win win trifecta. Lastly, and most importantly, do not ever ever wear a polka dot bikini while snorkeling at Blue Beach.
May you all have the best of holidays!
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Sunday, November 3, 2013
A few months ago I found a dog staggering around in front of the SunBay gates. She was completely emaciated, full of fleas, ticks and of all the awful things, fire ants. She also had a pretty good case of demodex mange going. That’s the version that is not contagious. Anyway, I ran her up to the shelter thinking that the only kind thing to do was to euthanize her. Since it was a Friday, she was going to have to stay with us until the doctor came on Tuesday. Shelter manager Aleida cleaned her up as best she could to get rid of the parasites, especially the ants. We filled her up with some worm medicine and liquid vitamins and I took her home.
She spent the next four days mostly sleeping. I had to wake her up sometimes to feed her the first two days. She then started going to the food bowl every few minutes, as if she couldn’t believe that there was food in there all the time. On Tuesday, I took her to the shelter, again thinking it was going to be her last day. Dr. Watlington examined her and there really was nothing wrong with her except that whoever threw her out had obviously not fed her in a very long time. Since she would have been dog number nine in my house at the time and one with special needs, I couldn’t take her back. She landed on the Humane Society facebook page and in one day a local family stepped forward and agreed to foster her until she was well enough to be adopted. Shortly after, she was adopted by a family in Massachusetts. She had to stay here on the island until just last week to recover fully and find a flight out. She had three different dates for travel, but the heat and the ferry aborted the first two. Last week I got to take her over to San Juan for the long ride to Boston. Air Flamenco handled the first phase. They are a great source for flying with your pet, helpful and accommodating. AVIS was phase two, and they allowed the dog in the car with the caveat that she be kept in the crate. We headed up Routes 3 and 66 toward San Juan International. (I only missed one turn, believe it or not.) United Airlines Petsafe program took her the rest of the way. Seventeen long hours later, she landed at Logan and was retrieved by her new family. This is the good story of Eliza (as in Doolittle). There are some pictures of Eliza below, and some are pretty horrific. Her amazing transformation was made possible by all of you that support the Humane Society, whether by donations of money or your time. Thank you.
As you know, trips to the main island often times end up with you not being able to get back to Vieques. Inclement weather is usually the reason, and quite frankly anyone who complains to the airlines about not flying in bad weather should be forced to the take the ferry forever. Really????? This is as bad as lying about your weight when asked at check in. Anyway, if you get stuck, there is a great, great new restaurant in Fajardo. It is located in the same little plaza as Lolita’s Mexican Restaurant, in the building that used to be a motorcycle parts and repair shop. Having not paid attention to the sign, I think it is The Smokehouse (or something like that). The food is to die for, and the family that owns it is super nice. The margaritas are pretty good too. I did manage to get on a flight going home after dropping Eliza off and was almost mugged for the BBQ. My flight was going on to Culebra and the remaining passengers thought the BBQ should remain on board. Not a chance.
So what else is going on? Currently, it is raining and the radar indicates that this is going to be at least an all day affair. This is all Tully’s fault. He is here for a visit, and to celebrate his birthday. It always rains on his birthday. Thankfully, the birthday is eminent so sunny skies are close.
Coqui Fire has found a home. I will release the location when I get the go ahead.