Monday, July 25, 2011

Vieques, Puerto Rico - The Ferry

I had never really though of Vieques as a vacation location until my son told me about it. He gave me a choice of several places to go for my "Mother's Day Gift" this year. After doing some reading about Vieques, we decided to make that our destination.

Charles, my son, Jon his partner, Melanie my daughter and I left for Puerto Rico the end of June.

After our first night in Puerto Rico at the fabulous St. Regis Resort and Spa, we were to take a flight to Vieques. Unfortunately, due to the increased traffic on the Fourth of July weekend (4th Celebrations in Puerto Rico, who knew!?!?) we were resigned to take the Ferry from Fajardo to Vieques. It was funny how it occurred to me at that point in time that the fellow who had checked us in at the airport in Miami, mentioned that he had taken the Ferry to Vieques at one time and he would never do it again! Hmmmmmmm...wonder why? My daughter kept saying how it was so neat that we would be saving so much money by taking the Ferry, and how it would be a neat "cultural experience". It was that and a LOT more!

One good thing about the Ferry, it is only $2 per person! Only a Buck if you are a Senior Citizen like me! Anyway, we took a cab from the St. Regis to Fajardo...a nice, scenic trip to the coast. We arrived over an hour ahead of the scheduled Ferry Departure Time as we were again warned about the large number of Puerto Rican citizens celebrating the Holiday weekend.
After purchasing our tickets, we formed up in line to await the Ferry. As is common in most tropical locations in the afternoon, we were witness to an afternoon thunderstorm which seemed not at all out of the ordinary.

There were at least 300 people waiting for the Ferry to Vieques by the time of scheduled departure, and not just people! The people had TONS and TONS of stuff with them..sodas, tents, children, baggage, groceries, cases of Beer, and Kentucky Fried Chicken! You just can't imagine the amount of stuff some of these people were "pushing" onto the Ferry. There were grocery carts and wagons, it was unbelievable!

The weather was still threatening when we boarded the Ferry, but everything was quite orderly and we were soon settled in our seats and on the way.
We weren't a hundred yards away from the dock however, when I realized that this was NOT going to be an ordinary Ferry Ride!
The seas were whipped into a frenzy as we headed for the one hour and fifteen minute ride to Vieques. That Ferry would rise up way into the air and then drop like a rock...slapping the ocean fiercely! Every time it would slap down into the water again, the spray would go up over the second story level!!! People were screaming, babies were crying and the Hail Mary's were going up...believe you me!!
I was never so happy to have prepared myself with a dose of Dramamine in my life! It was only minutes before people started vomiting!

I can only remember one other Ferry ride in my life that was anything close to this...and that was the one to Tulum, Mexico...and it was not NEARLY as rough.
I must admit that although it was scary, Melanie and I spent a great deal of time laughing at the screams that arose every time the Ferry slapped the may have been partly nervous laughter, but we did laugh!! And believe you me, I kept reminding her about what a great cultural experience this was. I was also wondering how the heck we could get back to Fajardo from Vieques without taking the Ferry again!!!

Needless to say, we did FINALLY arrive safely in Vieques, much to our relief.
The boys had not taken the Dramamine and they were totally GREEN by the time we disembarked, cause for a few more giggles since they had made fun of Melanie and I!

I am happy to inform you that the Ferry trip back from Vieques was enormously different and very pleasant. In fact, I think I would probably risk it again...and pray for no thunderstorms!

Fortunately, the rest of the trip proved to be quite different! I will save that for another post!

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