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- At last...
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2011 17:54:44 -0400

It is gray, cloudy and we have received numerous showers today. I hear thunder in the distance and the radar is showing a green, yellow and red blob heading straight for the Isla Nena.  The garden is so happy and so am I!  I know it sounds strange to cheer for the rain but Vieques is parched.  Days on end of perfect Caribbean blue skies and lots of sun make a girl crave a cloudy, rainy day.  And better news yet, it looks like tomorrow will be more of the same.  Yipppppeeee!  Keep the rain coming and I can save a couple of pennies that would otherwise go to Authoridad de Aqueductos.

Last night we had a cookout on Esperanza beach.  It was a really fun group of Viequeneses.  We were talking about life here.  They told stories from their childhoods and then we moved to the present.  One lady and I were talking about a bug that lives here called the “Grillo” (I may have spelled this incorrectly).  It is a small bug that makes an incredibly annoying sound.  Imagine the sound of a really bad electrical problem at a painful decibel.  That is this little critters mating call.  The only way to get rid of it is to find it and relocate it.  This is next to impossible because it is really hard to pinpoint the sound.  Every time you get close it stops calling.  The other way to get rid of it is to spray down the entire area with cold water.  I have found this to be the most effective method.  My new friend agreed.  Then she told me a story about her first trip to the Southeast.  During her visit, right as the sun was setting, a bug starting calling.  She couldn’t believe the racket the bug was making.  She asked what it was as hundreds of other bugs started making the same sound.  Her host informed her “That is a cicada”.  A moment later my new friend said to her host “Well it sounds like a grillo, so it must be a gringo grillo”.  I laughed until the tears rolled.  I will never listen to one of my favorite childhood nighttime sounds without thinking of the gringo grillo.  I do love living here!

So things are slowing down as our high season ends.  It is so nice to slow the pace, take a deep breath and spend some time in the garden.  Despite the neglect during high season it really does look great.  The heliconias are the star of the show.  Backing up their beauty are my shell gingers with their sweet scent, and the wall flower in the corner that doesn’t have all of that flash is the beehive ginger.  She is slightly screened by the begonias but is a star in her own right.  The hummingbirds are here in swarms.  They are very territorial but at this moment there are enough flowers for everybody.  And we have a new visitor, a little brown mongoose.  Of course he isn’t nearly as friendly as a hummingbird but he arrives every morning for a quick sprint down the heliconia path.  In the evening he returns to the mangrove on the same path.  He is really funny.  At least he doesn’t do any damage to the plants.  I believe we only have one Iguana left on the property.  That is a blessing!  Maybe my passionfuit vines will grow and produce fruit now that we don’t have the iguanas eating all the leaves.

Off to work…  Have a great evening!


- I haven't disappeared...
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2011 01:09:22 -0400

The weather is just fabulous.  Sunny, breezy and warm.  I almost feel guilty.  We have had so many visitors from the States with horror stories about snow covering the bottom half of their first story windows.  So I think to myself “How can I boast that Vieques is this fabulous?”.  But here I am.  Truly this is the weather that you think of when you are dreaming of a tropical vacation.  We have had almost no rain (Authoridad de Aquductos is cheering!).  Maybe a smattering here and there during the evening. But that is it.  The sun is warm and not too glaring.  The sea is blue, blue, blue.  And we have a fabulous wind that just doesn’t stop. A blanket is required at night just to keep away the slightest chill.  I love Vieques this time of year.

The only downside to this fabulous vacation weather is that we are dry.  Things are starting to turn brown alongside the roads and the Cayo in Esperanza Bay is a green and brown patchwork.  It is dry season.  The garden is constantly parched.  But the orchids are loving the change and are throwing out blooms everywhere.  I have nearly 20 blooming right now.  These plants fascinate me, intrigue me and make me want more!

One other little note.  We have a great fountain at the bottom of the stairs.  I built it there to mask some of the street sounds with the flow of water.  It also sounds great when we are working at the hostess stand.  But the best part of this fountain was unintentional.  I have a little hummingbird that stops by everyday at 4:00.  He flies in and takes a shower in the stream of water.  Then he zips over to the vine on the fence for a quick landing.  His feathers are soaked and matted.  Then he goes to work…  he flits and flutters his feathers, throwing water that sparkles in the sun.  After his fluff and puff he flies back over to the fountain for a long drink of cool water.  Sometimes he buzzes the window in thanks and then he is gone.  But he always returns the next day for a show.  Life is truly in the little events that make us smile.

I am off.   A cold Labrador nose is pushing my hand off the keyboard.  I think that my oldest boy needs a pet and some love.


- Hello there...
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2011 11:36:07 -0400

Wow…  I just looked at a video of the weather situation in the States.  It looks truly nasty.  Snow, ice, snow and wind.  Bless you hearts!  Snuggle in and keep warm! 

I just returned for a main island shopping marathon.  The Breakdown- Two days, two people, three hand carts, 17 stores, a great dinner and a fabulous tour of a new coffee shop in Old San Juan.  I am exhausted.  We drove by San Juan International Airport and the gates were all standing empty.  No planes.  When the flights are canceled in the States it really does affect us down here.  That means less visitors to our little islands this week.  It also means that some folks are “snowed in” on Vieques.  If the planes aren’t arriving they cannot take folks back home to the snow.  Those guests are particularly happy to have a couple more days of fun and sun.  To those folks that are stuck up North and waiting to come on down to little Vieques, don’t worry.  You will get here. We promise that the sun will shine and the temperature will hover around 85 degrees for you.  Hang in there!  You will warm you toes in soft sand soon!

As for the weather here…  Warm, breezy and dry.  Far too dry.  I know it is dry season but the garden is parched.  Authoridad de Aqueductos is going to love me this month.  I have to water every couple of days.  That wind really adds insult to the lack of water injury.  The island is starting to get a little brown (it was so green).  But a couple of brown plants don’t detract from a sunny day on the beach.

Off to the books and a little water for the plants…

- The breeze...
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2011 00:26:22 -0400

It is so fabulous.  We have such a strong breeze right now.  It is a cool breeze that wraps around you and feels divine.  It makes the leaves dance, the coconuts fall and the palm fronds whisper.  Occasionally we get a strong gust that sends the curtains in the restaurant billowing like ballroom skirts in mid-twirl.  I do love our spectacular weather this time of year.  It is warm but not hot and we receive a bit o’ rain every morning but it is not enough to ruin a beach day.  We are blessed!  We are thinking of all of our friends up north that are covered in snow and shivering in a not so nice wind.  Come on down!  We know it is difficult with airport delays, etc., but you can warm your toes in the soft sand and gaze for hours at the sea.

I had a great Vieques moment on Monday afternoon.  The “Baby” Labrador was full of ya-ya’s as we call it.  A three year old chocolate lab needs to run and throw those ya- ya’s on the beach.  So we jumped in the car and headed to Playa Grande.  This is a beach most folks don’t visit on Vieques.  It is on the South side but doesn’t have a good reputation for calm seas.  This is precisely why I love it out there.  It is meant for a long walk with an energy filled lab. And it is wild, raw and completely deserted.  Well, most days it is.  On Monday as Ceiba and I walked down the beach the waves were crashing, the breeze was tickling my ears, and I had slight goose bumps as it was sunset and starting to cool down.  I was smiling at my boy as he ran down the beach with a coconut in his mouth.  (It was almost as big as his head).  At that moment I picked up the sounds of steel pan music.  I thought maybe I was imagining it and then I looked behind me and two gentlemen had set up their drums to serenade the sunset.  Ceiba and I lingered playing fetch the coco dancing to the music.  My only regret was I didn’t say thank you.   I only smiled at them.  So, thank you gentlemen for a perfect moment on Vieques.  Steel drums, happy Labrador and a golden sunset!  Perfection!

Come see us soon,


- Waiting for the rain..
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2011 11:05:37 -0400

We are promised rain today and the garden is in dire need.  I see wilt on a couple of my little lovelies.  If it doesn’t rain soon I will have to haul the sprinkler out.  I know our visitors are tired of the overcast skies.  So are we.  But if it is going to be overcast give us the rain.  Enough said…

The winds have been so strong this year and we are dealing with very high seas.  The ferries are not running on schedule due these conditions.  That means we are constantly having gas shortages.  Our visitors are amazed at this inconvienence.  We live on a tiny island.  That’s what makes Vieques so appealing to guests (and those of us that live here).  But the remoteness also can cause difficulties.  And those include no gas, late food deliveries and wine shortages.  Notice I did not say Medalla shortages, that would incite a riot.  But we still have so much to offer.  This is your chance to live like the locals live.  Good or bad…  We take it all just to live and experience a bit o’ paradise.  No gas is still better than the folks that spent the night on the Culebra ferry when it broke down earlier this week.  That is my biggest nightmare… trapped on a ferry all night in seas that were tossing the boat like a corkscrew!  UGH!  I have to wonder did they leave that freezing air conditioning on?  That must have made it worse.

I am off to work.  So much to do, so little time and it looks like I need to pull out the hose….


- Happy New Year!
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2011 00:08:16 -0400

Well we have nearly completed the first day of 2011.  It was chilly today and I pulled out the jeans and a shirt with sleeves.  I did not give up my flip flops.  We took the day off to recover from work last night. Work was great fun and we thank everyone who celebrated their New Years Eve with us.  We really enjoyed everyone’s company!

Currently the Malecon is hopping…  The parking lot is packed, La Nasa has live music and everyone is out dressed to the nines.  And the ever present M-80 firecrackers are being tossed like mad.  It sounds like incredibly loud popcorn they are setting so many off at once.  I noticed that the Colomados had them for sale all last week.  Currently we just had a quick drizzle and that is not stopping the festivities.  It is hard to believe that anyone still has the energy to party again tonight.  But remember folks the holidays are still not over.  We have to celebrate Three Kings Day.  The marathon continues! 

Off to bed…  Warmest wishes to all for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!


- Merry Christmas!
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sat, 25 Dec 2010 19:18:55 -0400

I know, long time no post…  Life just whipped into high season here in Vieques.  Our island is full of holiday cheer, the gas lines are over 50 cars long, the wine room at Sombrero Viejo was bare, Red Beach is mobbed and the Malecon is hopping!  It is definitely Christmas week.  We had a great time last night celebrating Christmas Eve with all of our guests who shared their evening with us.  A great time was had by all.  And the earthquake added a bit of entertainment to the evening. A little 5.4 in Aguas Buenas that was felt here in Vieques. It was a quick pitch to the left, a swing to the right then a little trembling.  The boys in the kitchen were keeping an eye on the sauces as they quivered!  We only lost one bottle of wine to the quake.  I think it was precariously balanced on the top shelf anyway.

Merry, merry Christmas to all!  And if you live up in the northeast… take the next flight out.  We don’t have blizzards in Vieques.  Only blue skies, a turquoise sea and green, green trees. 




- Holidays are approaching
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 10:37:37 -0400

Good Morning to all my friends out there,

Things are currently overcast here on the Isla Nena.  We had a fabulous rain shower last night.  We received a little under 2.75” of rain.  It started around 11:15pm.  The garden is thankful and the rain barrels are full.  It feels a little chilly at 78 degrees so I am wearing jeans as I type.  There is also a strong breeze from the East.  I know everyone on the East Coast thinks I am crazy to even mention the word “cold” here.  Virginia and North Carolina just received more snow.  My family is emailing me to send some warmth their way. 

I noticed on the Vieques travel forums that everyone asks if it will rain the whole week they are here.  I like to say that if you don’t like the weather in one location drive to the other side.  Most days our showers are very localized so switching locations can give you the weather that you want.  Other days it is cloudy over the whole island but I can promise that the sun will shine again soon.  During this time of year we typically experience showers in the afternoon and at night.  Just remember that the forecast may call for an 80% chance of showers and it may rain or it could be sunny all day.  It is after all just a forecast.  Mother Nature is a tricky lady at times.  But vacation is vacation.  Some of my favorite beach days are cloudy days.  After all a beach day is only as good as the company you are with.

The island is in full tilt preparation for the holidays.  Of course here that does not mean mass shopping and stress. Instead it means that the Christmas carols are playing from La Nasa, all of the houses are decorated to the hilt with lights, Christmas trees are everywhere and we smile even more than usual as we call out “Felicidades”.  So if you are popping down for a visit use this salutation.  I do have to say the municipality really did a great job decorating in town.  They decided on a Disney theme this year and it is darling!

The lines at the Post Office are long but everyone is in good cheer. Yesterday that little room was packed with folks.  Almost to the point of overflowing!  It was a good time for a chat with friends as we waited for our packages and opened our Christmas cards. 

Off to finish my coffee and do the books…  We look forward to seeing everyone! 


PS-  Welcome back Jackie!  You are always missed.


- Good Morning
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2010 08:58:30 -0400

It is a little overcast this morning and chilly (currently 74 degrees).  That means I had to pull out my emergency pair of jeans to keep warm.  If you are up there on the East coast I know you are laughing at me.  I saw that you had terrible weather and now it is truly winter.  That said, my blood has thinned and I need jeans to warm up a bit.  Looks like the low tonight will be 65.  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!  Time to pull out the socks.

We really need a nice rain around here.  The ground is dry and the last time I remember a bit of liquid falling from the sky was two weeks ago. The winds are great but my little plants are calling for water.  Of course I answer the by hauling the sprinkler around the back yard.  Unfortunately I have to use the expensive Authoridad de Acueductos water as the rain barrels are dry.  Our next chance of rain is Monday with a 40% chance.  That is not a promising percentage for a garden soaking.  But if we have a cloudy day on our day off we can treat it as a “Snow Day”.  Maybe a pot of spaghetti and movies! 

As for the local island news…  Trova is coming up on December 18th at 8:00PM in the Plaza.  This is the official start of our holiday season.  Remember folks this is a marathon holiday season down here.   Pace yourselves…  We continue this party until Three Kings.  No wimping out after New Year’s!   The Christmas carols have started at La Nasa, all of our boutiques have new merchandise, and don’t forget Beach Doggies is opening on December 12th.  A great Christmas event that will benefit the children of Vieques is the Vivace Handbell Ensemble performance on December 28th.  This sounds like a spectacular evening.  Information 787-413-2450 or visit www.viequesconcertsociety.org.  Last but certainly not least stop by the Vieques Trust.  The new garden looks fabulous!  Off to warm my hands with a cup of joe…


- Good Morning...
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2010 11:50:21 -0400

It is another fabulous day here in Vieques.  Sunny and windy which means it is time to water the plants again.  The winds really dry them out!  We are hoping for a bit o’ rain this week.  My request is for 1.5” but I don’t really see that in the forecast.  The nights are still extremely cool.  I actually bundled up on Saturday night with my big fringed wrap while we were sitting on the porch after work to sip a glass of wine and watch the action on the Malecon.  I know, I know 70 degrees is not cold in most parts of the world but I do not have any cold tolerance.  It was a fun weekend here with all of our restaurant guests.  Thanks to everybody that stopped in for dinner.  We really enjoyed the great company!

So we are really starting to move toward high season.  We have made it through Thanksgiving and are headed for the extended Christmas Holidays.  All the businesses are open and spruced up!  Vieques really looks great!  Come on down for a visit!  Don’t forget to check in with the Trust.  They just sent out a list of events for the season.  I love the house tours and can’t wait to attend.  Also don’t forget the Humane Society!  If you can travel with a puppy please do!  It is easy and the Humane Society will take care of the details.

Off to the garden…

- FW: Happy Thanksgiving!
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2010 20:44:22 -0400

Happy, Happy Thanksgiving! 

It was a truly picture, postcard day here on Vieques.  Cool temps, no humidity and the Christmas winds have started.  We celebrated the holiday with friends on the beach.  Flawless!  Great food and great company!  Thank you Erron for planning the day.  Here is a photo of our sunset.  Again, flawless!  

We spoke to our families in the States.   We had reports of a couple of nice ski runs on the slopes in Telluride, 2’-0” of snow in West Yellowstone, cooler temps in Raleigh and colder temps in Roanoke.  We miss all y’all!

Warmest wishes to everyone for a happy holiday!  We are truly thankful for all of our blessings this year.

PS- Happy 3rd birthday to our “Baby Labrador” Ceiba.  The party was too much fun for him and he is suffering from a “puppy hangover”.  The perils of three years old!

Attachment: DSC04574.JPG
Description: JPEG image

- Fabulous!
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2010 09:21:40 -0400

Another spectacular day here in Vieques.  It has cooled off significantly.  We actually have turned off the floor fans and are using the blankets on the bed.  It is such a treat to feel the weight of the covers and a cool breeze on my face at night.  And the best part is that we are going to get months of cooler weather.  This is when I know I am truly spoiled!

To top off the incredible temps the skies are perfectly clear.  We enjoyed a fabulous dinner at the Yaremko’s house up on the hill Tuesday night.  The skies were so clear that St. Croix was perfectly visible.  And the views of the Southside bays were incredible.  If you get a chance to dine at the Yaremko’s, go!  Great food, great hosts and great views. 

Off to work putting some finishing touches on the restaurant.  Details, details… and we are opening really soon!

- Glorious!
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2010 09:04:41 -0400

It is truly spectacular this morning.  The birds are chirping and a couple of crickets just finished their calls.  The bay is back to flat and blue with the sun sparkling off the surface.  Skies are blue with a couple of white puffy clouds floating across the horizon.  The Malecon is green, green, green from all of the rain.  The best part is we can feel our version of fall as the temperatures have fallen.  Oh, is truly a Chamber of Commerce day.  Off to enjoy…


- It has stopped...
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2010 16:32:45 -0400

For the moment.  I woke around 5:00AM to the smack of rain drops on my head.  Ran outside to close the shutter and almost had to swim across the deck.  All drains clogged and water was backed up everywhere.  I ran back inside and decided to throw on my rubber garden shoes.  The sky was alive with lightening and thunder.  Finally cleared all of the drains and headed back inside.  I was soaked to the bone and wide awake after the cold rain.  At last I hopped back into bed and pulled the covers up over my head to warm up.

Woke again at 8:00 to gloomy skies and a brown sea.  Not too much rain since then.  The radar looks like we have more to come.  I drove across the island this afternoon and we still have lots of creeks across the road.  Good news is they repaved the top of the bridge on 201(Puerto Real road).  Bad news is the creek jumped the road and dumped clay everywhere and started a couple new holes. 

So it looks like another day of at least clouds and a little more rain.  Movie time…


- My goodness...
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2010 20:34:38 -0400

We went on vacation to main island and drove the Panoramic Route.  It was spectacular.  All of the plants I love grow there like weeds.  We were without cell phone or computer access and really enjoyed ourselves.  However that meant that I was not watching the weather.  We just returned last night and today took me by surprise.  The sky darkened and the weather moved in from the South.  A long line of dark clouds moved over Esperanza.  All of the lights with light sensors turned on.  Then the heavens opened up and the deluge began.  Guessing around 3”?  The water seeped up under the doors in the restaurant and the rain continued.  Right now we have a light drizzle but it looks like more is headed our way.  Great for the garden and my new plants.  

The hubby and I stayed at a great bed and breakfast on the west side of PR in the mountains.  The owners are gardeners themselves and loaded me up with cuttings from their garden.  How could I say no?  Then, suddenly and unbelievably I had a huge trash bag full of plants and three potted ones.   Hubby just raised his eyebrows at me and said “Do you really think that you can take that back on the plane?”  “Of course!” I replied not giving anyone a chance to deprive me of fantastic gingers and heliconias. We arrived at the airport and placed everything on the scale.  65 lbs. of plants to take on an airplane and 68 lbs. of luggage from a week of traveling.  I smiled and waited for the verdict.  The attendant at the counter looked over at another bag I had on the chair behind me.  “Is that yours” he asked.  I said “Yes, that is my purse”.  I think he now realized I was seriously crazy because I had two 3’-0” high potted tree ferns in my purse. He raised his eyebrows and looked at his co-worker.  They shared the look of is she really serious?  But he looked back at me and said ok but we have to ask the pilot if he is ok with this.  The pilot came out, barely glanced at the purse filled with trees and the bag of plants. He said ok.  Yippppppeeeeeeeeeee!  All of the new plants are in their new home in Vieques.  Thanks guys!

Have a good one,


- Happy Halloween
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sun, 31 Oct 2010 08:56:02 -0400

It is sunny with a light breeze this morning.  I woke around 7:00 to the sound of our big wooden shutters banging in the wind. (We had them closed but not locked due to the Halloween parties on the Malecon.  It sounded like a lot of fun out there!)  Then the rain fell.  A quick line, and I mean line of showers then nothing.  20 minutes later it happened again.  Now sun…  The air smells thick and heavy but it was a really cool night last night and I had a blanket pulled up over my head.

The bay is still calm.  We are under a high surf advisory.  It is interesting to watch the strength of the sea building in the bay.  When I first woke it was a still, calm with the surf pounding at the point (Southeast corner of Esperanza Bay).  Then with my cup of joe in hand I watched a large swell work it way to shore.  It splashed up on the fishermen’s pier.  Two more swells followed and then quiet.  A couple minutes later the progression happened again.  I think this is a rhythm that will keep building as the day progresses.  Now if we can keep the wind down and the rain showers coming we should not have salt problems.  That is what I want for Halloween, no tricks, no treats and absolutely no salt.  Small request.

The rest of the fishermen are pulling their boats as I speak.  I think only Nueva Esperanza is left.  Our boat is safely out of the water.  So, I think I will walk down to the pier and finish my coffee.   Hope everyone down island is holding up…


- Well, well
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sat, 30 Oct 2010 18:14:30 -0400

I am keeping an eye on Tomas.  He needs to move out and leave our friends down island alone.  Our thoughts and prayers are with ya’ll down there.

Looks like we will receive a lot of rain tomorrow. That means our Sunday at the beach will be canceled.  I received a voice mail about the porch furniture from Teresa.  I am leaving mine in place at the moment.  I will post or call you if I change my mind.  It is really confusing with all of those models showing a northeast movement after Tomas arrives in DR. Hopefully the waves won’t batter our beautiful Southside too much.  The beaches have really changed this summer here in Esperanza.  Where we had beach we have none and some are wider than others.  Mother Nature will restore them in time and to her own taste.

So I am off to the porch for a glass of wine and a chat with the hubby.  I’ll keep my eye on this boy.  My mother always told me boys were trouble and so it seems to be this year…  Earl, Otto, and Tomas just to name a few. 

- Hmmm
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2010 09:55:41 -0400

Well vacation is winding down here.  Lots of businesses on the Malecon are sprucing up for the season.  The nights are definitely cooler and a blanket is needed at times.  We have received a bit o’ rain the past couple of days and it looks like more to come.  The garden loves it and the gingers are thriving.

Keeping an eye to the South and East…  We will have to see what happens next.

Have a good one,


- We had a bit o' sun...
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2010 13:36:01 -0400

And wasn’t it nice!  This am the seas calmed down the sun peeked through.  The wind was only 13 mph.  Nice!  The hubby and I started to attack the piles of leaves on the porch and in the garden.  It was very productive with the wet towels in the wash and the sounds of brooms and rakes. All the protected plants are looking good and the ginger I just planted is very happy with all this rain!  I kept an eye on the radar and had just enough time to rake the yard and dry the towels.  Just as the thunder started and the wind picked up I locked the casita thinking “I am right on time”.  Of course I forgot the clean towels in the dryer as I ran through the rain to the house.  First salvo of the day drove the rain through the windows again.  I ran downstairs and grabbed the basket of towels.  Hubby got drenched slamming the shutters a little more closed.  (They are so swollen at this point they are difficult to maneuver.)  So now we are snug inside a dry house or as we call it the cave.  With all of the shutters closed it is dark and so quiet.  Hubby has his book out and we are already planning dinner.  It is our big event on a rainy day.  Looks like this is the last of Otto.  Good riddance I say.  I’ll watch the blob to our east and see if we get more rain from this one.



PS- The sailboat in front of Duffy’s made it through the night! 

- ¡Basta!
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 20:44:08 -0400

And for those of you that do not speak Spanish this means enough, enough, enough!  Enough creepy wind from the west.  Enough driving rain.  Enough salt gusts from the sea.  Enough stress.

Just had another huge squall.  The wind was driving the rain through the closed shutters.  We had a flood under the bed and another in the living room.  I don’t remember Earl causing this much stress.  Salt continues to spray, the wind howls and the rain is ridiculous.  Now I know that most of this is caused by our proximity to the beach.  Inland they say it is no big deal.

My thoughts are really with the poor gentleman on the boat in front of Duffy’s.  Hang in there… hang in there.  And if all hell continues to break loose get off that boat.  The entire shore is rocks and the Malecon is in your way.  (Like he is really reading this!)

Are any of the weather gurus up there paying any attention?  St. Lucia your photos were amazing and we really hope everyone is safe.

So in Esperanza it is a dark, wet, chilly night.  Photos are attached…  Pray for blue skies, a nice breeze from the East, and that everyone is safe.


Attachment: View from Duffy's.JPG
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Attachment: Boat in Esperanza.JPG
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Attachment: Boat in Front of Duffy's.JPG
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- And it continues...
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 16:33:12 -0400

Still raining and now we are adding in thunder.  The sailboat across from Duffy’s is having a wild ride.  I counted four lines.  We all hope that that it enough.  The bay is still crashing with waves.  The skies look like lead.  Radar shows more.  Looking at the map Dr. Masters posted the rainfall is amazing…  Esperanza is well over 8”.  I lost track of total rainfall long ago.  I dumped my rain gauge three times since it all started.  We still have strong gusts of wind.  Last check we had gusts at 39mph with a steady wind at 24mph.  I am off to read a book about El Yunque.  Seems really appropriate to read about a rainforest today.   ~K



- Enough...
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Thu, 7 Oct 2010 11:34:36 -0400

Otto is really hanging around.  The bay here in Esperanza is the worst it has been in three days.  Big waves and still two boats out there.  Hope they threw down extra lines.  Squalls are moving through and the winds have picked up again.  I woke at 1:00AM last night to rain drops on my head.  And guess what?  I had to jump out of bed and lock all of the shutters.  I used the freshly laundered towels to clean up the floods running through the house.  Thank goodness I did the laundry yesterday. 

The weird thing about all this was yesterday the sun was peeking in and out between the clouds.  We had some rain and the waves in the bay were decreasing in size.  We still had wind but it wasn’t bad.  I thought, Woohoo!, it is almost over.  I was wrong.  We had to move all of the plants on the porch this morning.  Some are very salt burned.  The Flamboyan and the Quenepo are taking a huge hit.  Salt burn, salt burn, salt burn.  I hate salt burn.  And you remember what salt burn means….  Leaves.  My arch nemesis has returned.  It truly breaks my heart to watch the edges of the leaves turn brown and die.  To anyone that thinks that they really want a house on the beach in the Caribbean you are nuts.  Outside of the plants every hinge, lock, or piece of metal needs to be oiled.  Rust! Corrosion! Erosion!  Ah, I want a home deep in the hills.  No views, slightly sheltered, with a nice trade wind.  A lovely garden and a coqui or a million to sing at night. 

So I am off to start cleaning up the Flamboyan leaves in the house.  Maybe I will go through that salt tolerant plant list and pick some new species for the porch.


- Hello again
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2010 20:54:09 -0400

Well, let’s see here.  It is currently pouring rain.  We have strong gusts and a steady wind at 22mph.  I do not know what the gusts are but the salt is already blowing off the ocean.  They say that this is not a storm.  The bay is kicking and “Yo Solo”, the pull your boat barometer, was pulled around 3:00PM today. 

It was an exhausting day.  The hubby was in town and I was in charge. Keep in mind we are new to this boat thing (which I happen to love after the experiences of cruising nearly the entire Southside of Vieques). So I take this job very seriously.  Today my job is Watch The Boat.  So I watch the boat on the mooring, clean the gutters.   Watch the boat some more, do laundry.   Watch the boat, clean the backyard.  Watch the boat, dodge rain pellets.  Watch the boat, change the sheets.  Watch the boat, watch the rain gauge.  Watch the boat, rain gauge now at 4” in 1 hour.  Watch the boat, still raining.  Watch the boat and clean up the river from the bedroom to the living room.  Watch the boat, pull all of the shutters closed.  Watch the boat and finally close the front door due to flooding.  Call hubby…  He tells me…  “It is what it is.”  I think HA!  I find Hector.  Remember our hero?  Hector tells me “agua”.  I say “Too much?”.  He says “ Si”.  He paddles out to the boat in a little orange kayak and I yell at the top of my lungs over the wind and rain “Hector!  Llaves!”.  A quick trip back to shore for Hector.  Then he runs the boat around the bay to drain the water.  This is only because I am still learning that the bilge pump needs to be connected to the battery. Finally the hubby shows up.  Final analysis by my Captain? “Pull the boat”.  At last.  We pull the boat.

So I went to town in the rain.  Good timing in some regards.  No lines.  But I was soaked from head to toe.  The girls at the bank said I was a “Poor little thing”.       

So all of the house shutters are closed.   The rain is seeping under the doors.  The plants are getting a great rinse from the salt.  Time for dinner and a movie.

All is good or “Todo Bien”.



PS-  If Tyler’s Dad is out there… Tyler is a true gentleman.  He bought a beer for this girl in distress. 

- A Little Update
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2010 10:39:56 -0400

Hello all,

I am officially on vacation.  I have been thinking of posting but the days go by and I keep thinking tomorrow.  That is real island thinking.  So what does a girl do on vacation?  This past Sunday we went to the beach to celebrate two birthdays, the hubby and Che.  A great time was had by all.  The weather turned a little wild late in the afternoon.  The activity was coming in from the southwest.  All was calm and normal, then the wind starting gusting blowing away beach chairs and dominoes.  It threatened rain but thank goodness that never happened.  We did get to enjoy a spectacular sunset (see photo), great food and constant games of dominoes.  This is the national sport of PR second to baseball.  I love the game and am still learning all of the local game lingo.

Tuesday we decided on an adventure.  At first we headed to green beach to walk the new road but there was a no trespassing sign so we bailed out.  Then we had the brilliant idea…  Let’s hike to the top of Mt. Pirata.  So off we went the youngest Labrador in tow.  It was a hot climb up.  But we thought “Hey all of this huffing and puffing will be worth it to see the views”.  However when we reached the top what did we find?  A very tall locked gate that was protecting a helicopter pad.  No views.  A little disappointing.  At this point the Labrador thinks we are trying to do him in.  Water for everyone and then the trip down.  We did have some views on the way down but when they say hazy on Weather Underground they mean hazy.  Still it was worth it to see the different plant life and all of the ghost palms.  So if you are considering the hike you know what to expect.  

Now life is back to playing in the garden.  We had a quick downpour yesterday and yet another a couple of minutes ago.  Great for the rain barrels and the plants.  So the vacation continues…


PS-  Heard that the Cayo Largo is back in service…  so the Ferry Situation should improve.


Attachment: Looking toward the North Beaches from Pirata.jpg
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- Hello there
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sat, 18 Sep 2010 17:41:41 -0400

All of our thoughts are with Bermuda.  We are with you in spirit.  Also if you need someone to come and clean up the leaves and branches… I am your woman.

Things are quiet this Saturday afternoon.  La Nasa is open but I guess that everyone is saving up their energy for the nighttime party on the Malecon.  We haven’t seen a lot of visitors moving around.  I would only assume these storms make them leery of a visit.  Here in Esperanza the bay has whitecaps and of course the waves are splashing up against the pier.  The wind is still blowing from the Southwest with occasional heavy gusts.  I heard thunder in the distance but we haven’t had any rain for quite some time.  I sure could use a refill in those rain barrels.

So off to enjoy a Saturday night.  I think it will be dinner and bed.  Not a bad thing…  But bed will only come if the reggaeton stops before 4:30AM.  I really do prefer the crickets and coquis.

Take care and Bermuda stay safe….

- Thankful
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 21:16:42 -0500

I thank mother nature and the weather gods for sending Igor North.  Now we will have to endure the waves but those are small potatoes compared to what we might have received.  Thanks again and maybe all the palm fronds in the beach are doing their thing.  Charlie keep up the good work on the beach and stop chipping popcorn ceilings.

As for the big news around here… the ferries are intolerable.  Not that the captains of the boats are doing a bad job but it all seems at this point to be a complete, total mess.  We do not have regular service and no one on the main island seems to notice.  Tomorrow is the protest.  According to the speaker trucks the protest starts tomorrow at 4:00 AM.  Culebra is on board as well.  I know only the bits and pieces of all of the “information” available and do not venture to know what is true or untrue of the gossip.  But I do know that we did not receive the produce truck today, gas lines are out of control as the cargo ferry situation is unpredictable, and we wait for yet another food delivery.  I will do my best to keep up with the “information”  but will try to only post what I know as true.

So it was a totally unproductive day and we ended with a trip to the beach.  That is what we are supposed to do when we are closed for off season, right?

Have a great evening,


- No turn yet...
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 22:53:00 -0500

I think the title says it all.  I am off to sleep and will check the 5:00 am advisory.



- Hmmmm
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 13:40:51 -0500

Turn, turn, turn…  It should start turning tonight.  Igor… isn’t there a Puerto Rican baseball star named Igor?

Just watching and waiting.  Off to the garden.


- Hello again
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2010 10:47:01 -0500

It is a beautiful day here on the “Isla Nena”.  Blue skies, nice breeze and big white puffy clouds.  It looks like a great day to go out and clean up the rest of those leaves.  Yesterday we had a couple of t-storms before 2:00 PM then a couple of showers.  Nothing like the forecast but we are happy for the rain.  Today we had an 80% chance of rain and now it has dropped to 30%.  No problems.  I am glad that remnant Gaston fizzled.

So a little island news while I am typing…  One gas station is open and the other is out of gas.  Art, the local island exterminator, said his wife is in Fajarado. She watched them load the gas trucks.  That is a relief.  Also Luis finally made it over yesterday afternoon.  I stopped by the produce stand this morning and he has plenty of fruits and veggies.  I found green beans and some fabulous plums mixed in with our household essentials. Yummy!  Thank goodness he made it.  I can never face the yellow broccoli that used to be our veggie staple 4 years ago.  I still remember when I bought a small package of green beans for $8.00.  My husband about had a heart attack.  But I enjoyed each and every one of those beans.

A little note to the officials that say the ferries are running normally… REALLY!  It is hard to hear that we have regular ferry service and we don’t.  Enough of that. 

We are keeping an eye out east.  Watch and wait. 

Off to actually enjoy the garden today.  Instead of welling up with tears at the sight of salt burn I now get to watch the new plant growth.  And my little hummingbird friend stops by to make me smile.

All is good,



- I forgot the picture
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2010 15:31:58 -0500

Here it is…

Attachment: Waterfall.jpg
Description: JPEG image

- Life post Earl
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2010 15:28:36 -0500

Wake early…

7:00 AM-    Fix coffee. Notice a leaf on the kitchen counter.  Throw it away.

7:06 AM-    Drink coffee on porch.  Leaves fall in my coffee.

7:08 AM-    Eyes are finally open.  Notice porch is covered with leaves and Quenepas.  Think to self…  Didn’t I sweep all of these up yesterday?

7:30 AM-    Take the dogs out for the morning constitutional.  Notice fountain looks like the Everglades Swamp.  Clogged with leaves and is a mosquito breeding ground.

7:31 AM-    Dogs are crunching over leaves to find THE spot.  Can’t see the difference between the plant beds and the paths.  Didn’t Pedro clean this up yesterday?  I know he did.

8:00 AM-    Tackle the fountain.  Find a friend who decided to shelter there during the storm.  Glad I didn’t loose a finger.  Hubby removes it.  (See photo).

10:00 AM-  Rake the small side yard and look at all the salt burned plants.  Some have new growth!  Yipeeeee!

11:15 AM-  Sweep up leaves and quenepas off the side porch upstairs.

11:45AM-   Clean out leaves and quenepas from the outdoor shower.  Find a creepy crawly and grab the Tat.

12:40 PM-  Look for garden shoes.  Notice small Flamboyan leaves in the closet.  Then notice the small leaves all over the bedroom floor.  Sweep up all of the leaves from the bedroom and tighten down the loose screen.

1:15 PM-    Eat lunch.  My foot crunched a leaf under the kitchen table.  Sweep kitchen and living room again.

1:40 PM-    Rake leaves in back yard.  Only able to tackle the paths.  Strength is fading.  Beds still a leaf disaster.

4:00PM-    Sweep upstairs front porch.  Leaves everywhere.  Water plants after cleaning porch.

7:00 PM-   Cold glass of wine on porch.  Heaven.  Uh-oh…  Leaves are falling. I can’t face the sight!  Evacuate to living room.

10:00 PM-  Wash face and brush teeth.  Pull leaves out of my hair.

10:05PM-  Turn back bed to hop in.  Leaves are in the bed.  Change the sheets.

Fall asleep to the sounds of leaves falling on the porch.  Tomorrow is another day….    


Hope everyone else is having a good one!  Off to rake more leaves.




- At last a real update
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2010 11:49:29 -0500

Hello everyone!

Things are sunny here in Vieques.  A light breeze is blowing and with that light breeze are thousands of Quenepo leaves and millions (yes millions) of Flamboyan leaves.  We are all fine from Earl but our beautiful trees and plants suffered from salt burn.  This means that our spectacular view from the porch is increasing drastically as armloads of leaves fall every minute but it also means we are losing precious shade.  Ladies and gentlemen think fall in the US.  This means leaves are everywhere.  Sweep the porch, admire for 10 seconds and then sweep the porch again.  Enough about the leaves.

Several plants in the garden also suffered damage.  The bougainvillea on the front of the building suffered as well as all of the plants on the west side of the building.  We stood upstairs in a protected location the night of Earl and watched the sea spray, rain and wind driving across the porch.  The best move was dragging all of my potted plants inside.  Now instead of a creepy, brown porch we have a bright green one with a brown background.  I know Pedro and Brandon thought I was crazy when I asked them to carry 200+ plants in to the guest bedroom.  The funniest part of having a bedroom packed with plants… the nighttime sounds.  As Earl was howling and lashing outside my guestroom was filled with the sounds of crickets and coqui frogs.  That was a treat!  My husband was concerned about what else may spent the night (He was thinking centipedes).  Thankfully if they were there they did not come out to say hello.

OK…  An update on the sailboat that came into the Bay on Monday afternoon.  Apparently they were not permitted to enter St. Thomas so they decided to make a run for Main Island.  The storm picked up and things got crazy out there.  They came in the east entrance to the bay and headed for the big pier.  Then they looked for a mooring.  I guess they decided this was a bad location to ride out a storm (it is) and left.  Then they circled back and returned to the bay.  It looked like they we trying to tie up to a mooring but didn’t quite make it.  Then the beautiful boat washed up on shore.  So they battened, locked everything up and headed to the W for a nights sleep.  SeaTow showed up the next day with two boats to try to pull the sailboat off.  They tugged, pulled and spun that boat around and around.  (I’ll send the You tube link soon).  I would not pull free.  The SeaTow boats needed more gas (of course we didn’t have any on Vieques) and one of them took off to Main Island to pick it up.  He returned with two more boats.  Now a little Navy of Seatow boats pulled with all of their might but only spun the boat around one more time before a line snapped and darkness fell.  The next day (I was power washing and cleaning the decks) they managed to get the boat off of shore.  I missed the final event but am so happy for the owner, captain, and the charter. 

La Nasa-  La Nasa suffered a blow.  All of the palm trees are gone.  The roots were providing a great buffer for the back porch/ dance floor.  A huge crack and a crater developed as the waves crashed into the deck. The roof dropped.  The back stairs are gone.  But what do our resilient friends do with Labor Day on the way?  Fix the problem.  We must have Salsa. We must have Merengue.  Don’t forget Calypso!  There is a three day weekend coming up.  Three days to drink and dance.  Our friends would never loose that opportunity!  So they are fixing La Nasa in time for the weekend.  The concrete block was here within hours, all able bodied men on the Malecon lent the muscle and they are almost done!  They are working 12-14 days to put it back together.  Last night they were enjoying post-work libations.  Chants of “Venga aquí Gaston, Venga aquí” filled the air.  The boys crowed like roosters.  Then the laughter swelled up and overtook everyone who was listening. 

So all is good here on our little Isla.  I have attached photos for your pleasure.  We are glad that Fiona went north and Gaston is on break.  Now we have to watch wait and see what is next.  Off to grab a cold glass of water and head to town.  It will be a hot one again today.



Attachment: Boat Arriving.jpg
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Attachment: Beginning of Storm.jpg
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- Hi!
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2010 15:18:40 -0500

Greetings from grey Vieques.  Skies are still cloudy but the seas are dying down.  At last.  Everything is fine and really could have been a lot worse.  The salt spray caused the worst damage.  Lots of trees will be bare soon.  The Flamboyans in particular took it hard. 

Updates really quick (power could go back out)

  1. Cell phones are hit and miss.  Hopefully they will solve this soon.
  2. Some areas are without water or with low pressure. In Esperanza we have water.
  3. Power is back on!
  4. La Nasa lost its back porch and all of the palm trees. (more later)
  5. The 50 ft. yacht is still on the beach in Esperanza Bay.  SeaTow is doing their best. (This is the entertainment here! And of course more later.)
  6. A couple of trees down.
  7. Rain was heavy but not bad.  We did not loose another bridge.
  8. Coon’s is open.  As of 3:00 nothing was open on the Malecon.
  9. Rumor has it we will have a gasoline delivery today.  They are going to send over a ferry.
  10. No curfews.


More later….


- Powers up again
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 18:55:09 -0500

The waves are huge (I can only think what is going on the Northside).  I spent part of the afternoon roaming around and taking photos.  Then the waves started in Esperanza Bay.  Currently it is blowing and squalling.  We are watching the corner of the roof at Blue Carib roll up under the force of the wind.  We are hoping it will hang on.  All the tents across the street that still had tarps are gone.  Geigels tent is in the power lines.  The Bili sign blew over but we were there to save it.  (Thanks everybody! Note: Eva it is currently resting on the East side of your building, everything is ok).

So, it is impressive.  Waves, wind, salt spray.  Always respect mother nature.  The side porch upstairs is so green it looks like I planted turf.  Thankfully it is only Quenepo leaves and my quenepas. 

On one other note… a wayward boat pulled into Esperanza Bay about 2.5 hours ago.  He battled his way behind the cayo.  Then he came back through the narrow opening between the “islands” on the east side.  After he tried to dock at the big pier he headed back out to sea.  Then he turned back to the Bay.  We all watched the crew try to anchor on each approach.  Finally Hector (remember our hero from two years ago?) headed out.  Chris and Buddy joined him.  They sent a local gent out to provide directions  to one of our safe bays.  Unfortunate it was to no avail.  They are currently beached on the sand.   

So the wind blows, the waves are cresting, the salt is spraying and the rain pours.  We are all safe and thankful for our piece of paradise.


PS-  If the power holds out I will post again.

- FW: Power is back up..
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 14:41:49 -0500



From: Kate Cole [mailto:reservations at elquenepovieques.com]
Sent: Monday, August 30, 2010 1:43 PM
Subject: Power is back up..


The power is back on!  Yipeee!  Hopefully it will stay that way. 

So the update...  A nice rain shower just rolled through and the winds are up and down.  The current in the bay (Meaning the one here in Esperanza) is flowing from West to East.  Little whitecaps are forming every now and then.  And for the first time ever there is not a boat to be seen.  Not one!  It is much quieter here than on the Northside. 

I had to run to the store for Maple Syrup and corn chips (you know, hurricane staples).  Green Store, Mambos and the Morales in town are all open and using their generators.   Took a trip to all three to find the maple syrup.  It is always fun to shop in the dark with my cell phone to light up the products.  Thankfully I used the cell phone or we would have sour cream and onion chips to go with our guacamole. 

While I was over on Northside I drove down to the ferry dock to take a peek.  Large waves are pounding the coast.  The water is a terrible, ugly brown green.  The taste of salt permeates the air.  Two boats are still moored near the ferry dock.  One fishing boat and one sailboat.  They are bobbing like corkscrews.  I think I only saw one line on the fishing boat.  I really hope that I just couldn’t see the other lines!  With the intense waves it will only be a matter of time before that line breaks.

So the worst is yet to come.  Glad we are safe and everything is safely tucked away.  Pancakes are on their way and we are icing down the cold beverages for this evening.  I’ll keep you posted if we keep power.  Thanks again Mom for sending in my morning update.



Currently we have torrential rain falling.  I can barely see the Cayo.

- Power is back up..
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 13:43:15 -0500

The power is back on!  Yipeee!  Hopefully it will stay that way. 

So the update...  A nice rain shower just rolled through and the winds are up and down.  The current in the bay (Meaning the one here in Esperanza) is flowing from West to East.  Little whitecaps are forming every now and then.  And for the first time ever there is not a boat to be seen.  Not one!  It is much quieter here than on the Northside. 

I had to run to the store for Maple Syrup and corn chips (you know, hurricane staples).  Green Store, Mambos and the Morales in town are all open and using their generators.   Took a trip to all three to find the maple syrup.  It is always fun to shop in the dark with my cell phone to light up the products.  Thankfully I used the cell phone or we would have sour cream and onion chips to go with our guacamole. 

While I was over on Northside I drove down to the ferry dock to take a peek.  Large waves are pounding the coast.  The water is a terrible, ugly brown green.  The taste of salt permeates the air.  Two boats are still moored near the ferry dock.  One fishing boat and one sailboat.  They are bobbing like corkscrews.  I think I only saw one line on the fishing boat.  I really hope that I just couldn’t see the other lines!  With the intense waves it will only be a matter of time before that line breaks.

So the worst is yet to come.  Glad we are safe and everything is safely tucked away.  Pancakes are on their way and we are icing down the cold beverages for this evening.  I’ll keep you posted if we keep power.  Thanks again Mom for sending in my morning update.



Currently we have torrential rain falling.  I can barely see the Cayo.

- Vieques Update (fwd)
  • By Gert van Dijken <gert at vandijken.com>
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 11:27:25 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 10:59:31 -0400
From: Teena Anderson
Subject: Vieques Update

I am posting for Kate, her power is out. Still grey skies, sometimes heavy
rain, sometimes strong gusts of wind, currently Esperanza Bay has light
chop. Heard the waves on the north side of the island are wild.  All is
well. Hopefully we will have power soon.




- Another Little Update
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Mon, 30 Aug 2010 00:23:25 -0500

It seemed like another Sunday on the Malecon.  Exceptions to this were the sounds of hammers this morning and the lack of organ music form La Nasa.  We cleaned and secured the restaurant with help of our employee angels.  I am so thankful for them.  All of the plants are stored safely away and only a few, easy, little odds and ends are left for tomorrow.   Everyone here thinks that all will be well and I have to agree.  It will be windy and we will receive lots of rain.  Rumor has it no ferry tomorrow and of course we have no gasoline.  Even after all of the preparations and hard work we did manage a little party.  Just a celebration to thank everyone for a great year.

More tomorrow.  I am exhausted and off to bed. 


- Latest
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2010 10:31:33 -0500

Good Hot, Sunny, Morning to everyone,

I woke to the sound of boat trailers on the street.  That is a sign.  All of the fishermen are starting to pull/ move their boats.  We should have an empty bay by the end of the day.  I stopped across the street and the trailers are lined up waiting to use the ramp.

So what does that mean?  We are currently under a hurricane watch.  Earl has become a hurricane as forecasted.  According to the NHC:


El Quenepo will be closed tonight.  We are going to batten down and prepare for the worst but hope for the best.  I always believe to be prepared.  We apologize to anyone who was coming in for one last dinner. 

Keep watching Earl.  He is an unpredictable fellow.  More later…



- Update
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2010 12:30:01 -0500

It is hot, sunny, still.  And it is oh so blue, blue skies and blue, clear water.  All is very still.  No wind to speak of.  The Saturday party is starting on the Malecon.  La Nasa is playing tunes and the kids are swimming near the pier.  I just strolled across the street to check the boats and everybody is still there.  Nueva Esperanza, NanSea, Allianza among others.  So that means that the fishermen are waiting this one out for the moment.  I like that!

Looks like some rain and a little wind form Earl. NHC is giving us less than a 25% chance of tropical storm force winds. I am not writing him off until he turns.  Last night was a surprise when the NHC moved the center of circulation south from 16.1 to 15.8.  So he may still surprise us further.  Keep Posted!  The closest point of approach is 164.9 miles from the center of Vieques (think Monte Carmelo) to the center of Earl.  It was nice to see that he will be a Cat. 2 instead of a Cat. 3 as he goes north.  So now we wait for the turn that everyone is assuring us will happen.  Turn, turn north and go to sea. 

As for our future Fiona…  This is a truly wait and see.  I’ll keep reading the blog from Dr. Master’s for updates.  Looks like that would be a Wednesday-Thursday event.  It all depends on speed.

On a fun note I drove down to the old bunkers on Tuesday behind Club Tumby.  I decided to take a peek at the Ceiba trees that were planted several years ago.  We used to drive by and count the “Baby Ceiba” trees.  My sister and I loved the game.  Anyway they are not “babies” anymore.  They are strong healthy trees.  One even had the beginnings of buttressing.  It is fabulous to watch our thorny little friends grow up.  Take a drive but be aware the roads are not maintained and the vegetation is quickly overtaking the road.  Also the road dead ends due to an uprooted tree.  Make sure your reverse driving skills are in shape.  It is difficult to avoid the mesquite in reverse.

Updates to follow soon.  Only 2 night left for the season at El Quenepo. 

- 5:00 Update
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 17:02:22 -0500

Looks like Earl just shifted a bit south and west in the forecast track.  Not what we want to see.  One of local fishermen (and a good friend) told us to keep an eye on this one.  It will keep my attention.

It is raining lightly.  Perfect I just divided the corkscrew gingers and the extra water will help.

Off to work….


- Drizzle
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 09:51:49 -0500

We currently have a bit of drizzle falling.  Excellent news but radar shows it won’t last long.  We could use a nice soaking to fill up the rain barrels and water the garden.  It is really looking good out there.  Lots of flowers and hummingbirds.  Of course my garden arch enemy the iguana is still there as well.  My relocation plan is slowly succeeding but some of these guys pull “the eat and run”.  They eat the parcha and run into the trees.  I can never get close enough to catch them.

Still keeping an eye to the east.  Danielle and Earl.  We could see Fiona soon.  The water is so warm,

The mosquito situation of getting out of hand.  They are little blood sucking vampires that never leave me alone.  I had an email discussion yesterday that the females with the stripes are the ones that carry dengue.  Now I have to ask…  Have you ever taken the time to inspect a mosquito before you swat?  I for one have not.  My goal is to kill the offending vampire.  Smack and dead!

Off to the books and the garden….

- A fabulous night
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2010 09:53:04 -0500

Greetings from Breezy Vieques!

It is so nice to have the breeze today.  Sunny skies prevail and the water is blue and calm.  Looks like Danielle is heading to sea.  Good girl.  She has a nice form on the satellite.  And we will see Earl later today?  Looks like the train that all of the forecasters have spoken of is in process. Please go North and miss everyone.  I am headed to NC in a week and a half and wouldn’t it be my luck to head to the States just to run into a hurricane.  I surely hope not!

We participated in the Taste of the Islands benefit for Reach for Success.  It was a tremendous success!  Beautiful, fun, elegant, and spectacular!  W was a fabulous host.  The “Style” department really made the site beautiful.  We enjoyed a great evening under the stars sipping wine, champagne and cold beer.  Chefs from Vieques and Main Island cooked up two courses each so everyone left with a full tummy.  It was a wonderful, sold out crowd of 300 familiar faces from Vieques and old friends from main island.  I am serious when I say that this is a must attend event.  Come back to Vieques during the summer.  Make sure to bring that party dress and high heels.  This was a dressed to the nines crowd.   Again, it was fabulous.   

Off to the garden.  Only five nights left for El Quenepo this season.  Our last night is this Sunday.  Don’t worry, of course we will be back in November.  Watch out for the train and keep an eye on the East.


- Hot and Sunny
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2010 11:36:14 -0500

It is hot and sunny again today.  I was enjoying my coffee and a couple of pages in my new book when a welcome little breeze came through.  It felt wonderful!  We haven’t had any rain over the past couple of days.  The rain barrels are getting low.  I need a refill.

Our Isla Nena is surprisingly full of visitors this weekend.  Many folks are here from the Southeast.  They all say the same thing.  It is cooler here than at home.  Imagine that in the summer you can cool off in the Caribbean and in the winter warm up here.  Reports from NC say the heat indexes are really high. 

Thursday night after celebrating Matt (one of our servers) birthday I came upstairs to check email.  My “meteor reminder” popped up. So I grabbed a big glass of ice water and headed to the beach.  It is dark out there and the show was spectacular.  I watch quick, little streaks blip against the sky and longer streaks that I could watch for a second.  It was worth staying up entirely too late for a work night.  I only headed in at 3:15 when some pesky clouds floated in to stop the show.   Another great production sponsored by Mother Nature.  Many thanks to her!

No storms at present but they say it is brooding and brewing out there.  Please let them all head north! 

Only 2 weeks and El Quenepo will be closed for our well deserved summer break.  Last night is August 29th.


- Data from Vieques
  • By "Karen" <kk at playacofi.net>
  • Date: Sun, 1 Aug 2010 13:36:20 -0400

As we approach a potential problem with 91L, I would like to update those in Vieques concerning our weather station. This can be found at www.playacofi/com/weather


The National Hurricane Service out of Miami appears to be ready to identify our station as accurate for recording data from the island.


So hopefully there will be no more reporters in San Juan looking at color maps to determine if we got 8+” in July or the accurate 14.73”.





- Sunny Skies
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sun, 1 Aug 2010 11:48:18 -0500

It is beautiful.  Blue skies, lots of sun and a little breeze.  Paradise.  La Nasa is playing all of our favorite songs in the background as the kids are jumping off the pier.  Their laughter and screams adding to the festive Sunday atmosphere.  I noticed yesterday that the Frappe stand is open amidst lots of other food vendors.  The stands are strung out along the sea across the street.  We have lots of visitors from main island.  They are great fun and travel with the extended family.  There are lots of sleepy children in the dining room.  After eating their dinner their eyes seem to glaze over and droop.  We time it so just as they start to fall asleep on the table we make little beds for them.  It is so sweet to see them sleep through the noise of a busy restaurant.  After dinner their parents scoop them up in their arms and head to the door thanking us in whispers as they take the kids home to a real bed.     

On a brief drive across the island yesterday I noticed that the “cross island expressway” is pock marked with pot holes.  One was so deep I thought that I was going to China.  It is a game of swerve and miss the holes out there.  Although some folks seem to swerve for no apparent reason at all.  That adds to the already interesting game of driving defensively, watching for horses and keeping an eye out for cats and dogs.  It looks like at one point they had the orange barrels up to caution drivers.  But the barrels didn’t last long.  They are smashed and laying on the side of the road.  Perhaps someone swerved when they should have stayed straight.   The island green, lush and spectacular.  All of the rain has really made it beautiful.

We are keeping an eye to the South.  Now we get to wait and wait some more as our latest invest decides what it can and will do.  Remember your pet food in the hurricane plan.

Off to do the books.


- Hot and Sunny
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Fri, 30 Jul 2010 13:44:24 -0500

It really is too hot and sunny today.  Another afternoon on the sofa in front of the fan while I recover from surgery last week.  But at least I am recovering.  It is frustrating to see all of the leaves down in the garden and know I can’t rake them… yet.  Soon enough.

It is the end of July and that brings…  Weddings and Quenepas!  Congratulations to all of the brides and grooms.  In particular we send our warmest wishes for years of happiness to Neil and Aimee.  Their wedding party delighted the island with their ability to settle in and enjoy Vieques.  And they are the best natured guests to have visited our little island in a long time.  We are truly sorry to see them head home but at least we know that they will have many anniversaries in which to return. 

The Quenepas are falling like mad.  Time to send me your favorite Quenepa idea.  We have tried Martinis, sauce for a duck dish, just eating them and of course making Bili.  If you have any clever ideas send them in.  They are just staring to turn to sweet and sour. 

It looks like we will have to keep an eye to the east.  I really hope that this thing stays away.  I still can’t lift my plants and that was the deal with my husband.  If I was going to make the upstairs porch a jungle I have to secure all the plants and pots in case of a hurricane.  So I am huffing and puffing trying to create my own personal wind shear.

Have a great day!


- What a mess!
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2010 12:38:06 -0500

Mu husband and I traveled to Main Island on Monday to celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary.  We had planned a trip hiking in the rain forest but changed our minds on Saturday when we saw the forecast.  We headed to Old San Juan instead.  Good call.  It rained; it poured and poured and poured!  It seemed to have no end.  Things were quiet from Vieques so we thought all was well at home.  At 5:00 we go the call that the power was out and had been out since noon.  Thankfully Bill, our bartender and friend, was house sitting.  We talked to him and called Joey to turn on the generator to the restaurant.  Of course right after they get everything going the power came back on.  Thankfully as a restaurant full of food needs electricity.  Then the rains started again. Huge thunder and lightening.  It sound like no one slept on Monday night.   It looks like a flood went through the front hall.  The carpets are drying in the sun.  I already have mold on the kitchen table!  Everything is wet, wet, wet.  And the restaurant downstairs is wet, wet, and wet.  So needless to say after a fabulous anniversary celebration we are closed tonight to clean up the mess! Not too much damage to the garden but it looks like there was a river flowing through it at one point.  And the mangrove behind the restaurant is full!


On the drive from the airport we saw the river flowing.  Yes, I said river here in Vieques!  All the creeks are full and it is humid!  Soaking, wet humid.  Off to clean up this mess and we will see our guests tomorrow!



- Status on Vieques
  • By "Karen" <kk at playacofi.net>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Jul 2010 04:29:36 -0400

Good morning everyone,


Vieques got hit really bad yesterday morning. It started at about 12:20 am and the heavy rain did not stop until about 5 am and we have light rain after that most of the day. We have had major flooding and also have many trees down. Not from the wind but the saturated ground.


All phones are out as well as DSL. I just now finally got a connection with my Sprint air card which I have for emergencies such as this. Businesses are not running as normal since they cannot take credit cards.


Before our weather station stopped transmitting at about 6 am yesterday we had received 5.80" of rain. Monday we received 2.30”.  We think it stopped transmitting due to the fact it is wireless and relies on its own solar power and we have not seen sun here since thursday or friday (too early to remember). It is a Weatherhawk system and when it comes back online you can see it at www.playacofi.com/weather



That's all for now, I will update the next time I get a connection.



- Twice in one day
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2010 16:08:34 -0500

So I disappeared and now posting twice in one day.  The wind is up and all of us here on the Esperanza bay keep looking up at the dark grey skies.  The bay is choppy, due to the winds,  but that doesn’t stop a good game of dominos under a tent across the street.  Satellite and radar shows more rain to come.  Randy saw one boat pulled from the bay.  Doubt it was due to weather but it does make one think.  We’ll keep watching.


Off to work…


- Update
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2010 11:43:32 -0500

I know, I know.  I disappeared.   Things have been really busy around here.  So we will start with the weather update first.  Right now it is cool and very windy. At night we aren’t even sleeping with the fans on and the coverlet is still on the bed.  It is a little strange for this time of year.  The wind has been our friend since Tuesday.  Big gusts that topple plants blow down leaves/branches and cause a general mess.  The good news is it keeps raining.  So instead of watering the plants I sweep the porch and rake the backyard.  It is a daily event.  Looks like this weather will last through Wednesday.  Thanks to Isabel of St. Croix I know what we will receive right after she posts.  The winds are blowing from her direction.


A queen bee and all of her workers moved into our casita.  The walls were humming with the sound.  What do you do when the honey bees move in?  Go to La Nasa and find Nelson.  He came over yesterday to assess the situation.  This morning he extracted the Queen and she is currently ruling from her honeycomb in a five gallon bucket.  The rest of the population is swarming the bucket and building the comb there.  Unfortunately the honeycomb was only filled with eggs.  No honey.  I was so excited at the prospect of fresh honey.  But it was a no go.  My English muffin will have to make due with Mango marmalade.  Nelson will come back later and take the queen away to a new home.


The ferry situation continues to be a mess.  Angie, she works with us, went over on Wednesday to pick up her daughter and family.  The scene was chaos.  People were clamoring for tickets to Vieques and Culebra.  They aren’t selling advance tickets for the Vieques ferry.  But then they don’t seem to selling tickets at all.  After a brief confrontation Angie pulled out her trump card, a Vieques driver’s license.  As a resident of Vieques she gets priority.  She finally got her family onto the small ferry Atlantis.  She said it was nightmare ride over.  People were sick and it was really crowded.  So lesson here is do not depend on the ferry for transportation.  It is not dependable at this point.  If you are coming to visit fly.  That said with all this wind who knows what the planes are doing.  But do not let that discourage you from coming.  Our island is spectacular with blooms and greenery.  It is lush!


Right now it is Patronales.  It seems the whole island is in a state of happy tipsiness or deep hangover.  All reports are of a very happy, fun, albeit wet time in the plaza.  We were headed over last night and then the rains came again.  We decided to stay at home with a bottle of wine.  We will try again tonight. 


Last, but not least, there was a wicked storm last Tuesday AM.  The winds blew and the Quenepo tree in front of the restaurant face planted on the upstairs deck.  It was blowing flat on the deck.  Plants flew.  Orchids ended up in the street.  And the conch telegraph reported a large waterspout in Sun Bay


So with all of that exciting news I will sign off.  Keep an eye on Africa.  What is that coming into the sea? 


Off to drink the last bit of coffee.


- Waterfall picture
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2010 11:52:49 -0500

Here is a picture of the waterfall here on Vieques.  It was a great walk and a beautiful day.


Attachment: Waterfall 002.jpg
Description: JPEG image

Attachment: Waterfall 002.jpg
Description: JPEG image

- Sunny
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2010 11:40:08 -0500

It is sunny here today.  We had a little shower last night.  Hope all is well with those in Alex’s path. It will be interesting to see where it finally ends up.


Off to clean the yard as usual.  Leaves, leaves everywhere. 



- Sun!
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sat, 26 Jun 2010 11:53:14 -0500

Oh yes!  The sun is shining.  It is warm, humid and oh, so fabulous!  Sun, sun, sun!!!!!  Jake our oldest Labrador is soaking up the rays and the little Labrador is going to get a walk on the beach!  Yipppeee!  Sun! 


Off to enjoy the golden rays!



- Good Morning...
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Jun 2010 10:44:14 -0500

Day 9 of cloudy skies.  I think I saw the sun for two seconds through the rain that was falling this morning.  We are all amazed at the lack of our beautiful golden glow.  Our visitors must think we are crazy when we talk about sunny, blue skies.  For some they didn’t see the sun for their entire vacation.  I was really impressed by the folks that found the bright side to the situation and kept busy.  They went snorkeling, hiking, swimming, kayaking and visited the bio-bay.  Of course during the heavy downpours they played cards and read books.  That is the spirit!


We celebrated Noche de San Juan.  It was a blast!  We closed up shop 30 minutes early and headed over to Esperanza beach.  The crowds were smaller this year. This was no doubt due to the squalls that came through and dropped 1-5/8” of rain until 11:30PM.  But those that were there had fun!  The kids were all lined up on the pier and the adults took our time walking backwards into the water.  The countdown came in Spanish and then at midnight we all dunked ourselves backwards three times!  Laughter and smiles ensued.  We tried to stay in the water but it was cold so we all ran up to the beach and passed the towels around to warm up. I guess SST’s don’t count when your swimming at night after too many days of clouds.  I love this holiday.  I did have to wonder as I sipped my champagne (compliments of Miguel and Eva) do I need to dunk again?  Does champagne count as one of the sins I just washed away?  If it is I guess there is always next year.


Off to the books and wedding.  I have small shrubs of weeds that need to be pulled.  Wish me luck, I might be carried away by the squadrons of mozzies that own the backyard right now.



- Rain
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2010 17:52:48 -0500

My, oh my...  It has been 7 days since we had a full day of sun.  Lost track after 8.5” how much rain we have had since it started.  It is still raining and still gray.  The blob that is supposed to be below DR is smaller than the blob below PR.  Who would have guessed? 

Talked to the Bio Bay boys next door.  They are laughing.  So much rain, too much rain.  And tonight is Noche de San Juan!  La Nasa is playing music to celebrate and we just finished mopping the inside of the restaurant from the last squall.  A terrible contrast of life I know.  Good news is Coukie and Angie are setting up for the beach party.  At midnight we all get to jump in backwards three times!  No rain will stop us.  This is our fifth Noche de San Juan.  Scott and I first celebrated this holiday in Isla Verde five years ago.  We will never forgo this special night.  Will post on the festivities tomorrow.  At this point we will try to stay dry only to get wet at midnight.

Have a good one,


- FW: Raining...
  • By "Kate Cole" <kate at katecoledesign.com>
  • Date: Sat, 19 Jun 2010 11:29:06 -0500

Well it is currently raining.  So far just about an inch.  Not bad.  The wind was really ripping last night from 1:00AM until after I fell asleep.  Of course the leaves are a mess and I cleaned those up this morning.  Radar shows lots of blobs everywhere.  So the rain will continue.  I just hope that it dries out for Adam’s going away beach party on Monday.  Although I don’t think a little rain will stop that crew from having a good time.

My hubby had a great idea last night.  Keep the lovely Zio at the door to hostess and I got to take it easy.  So I emptied all of the water barrels and still made it to work at 7:30.  Not bad.  The garden is really lovely but the big show was when we came upstairs last night.  As it started to drizzle I glanced up to see how my “Lady of the Night” flowers were coming along.  She took my breath away!  Attached are photos.  What a spectacular plant!  In the background of the first one you can see the wet Malecon as everyone departed.  Rain really dampens the outdoor bar crowds.

Also attached is a photo of a new lotus bloom.  I could not resist.  She is opening this morning and so happy in the rain.  Another photo to follow soon.

I noticed we are missing some boats from Esperanza bay.  I guess some of the fishermen are not taking chances.  Currently the bay is flat.  Lake flat.  Let’s hope that it stays that way.

Off to the other side of the island.  One of our guests forgot their umbrella last night and I am the delivery girl.  Goodness knows she will need it today.

Have a good one!


No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com 
Version: 9.0.829 / Virus Database: 271.1.1/2948 - Release Date: 06/19/10 

Attachment: Lady of the Night.jpg
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- The dark line...
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2010 16:23:40 -0500

I went to town today despite the fact that we only had a quick shower this morning.  I went late and still missed the lines.  Life is good!


It was un-naturally cool at both the Morales warehouse and Coon’s bar.  I don’t think that I have ever picked up the beer and liquor and not sweated in both locations.  Everyone was asking “when will it rain?”  I think the answer is now.   As I came over the hill back to Esperanza I had to stop the car.  It was spectacular.  On of those moments when I wish I had a camera with me.  A tall line of giant, white, fluffy clouds was advancing with a dark line along the sea reflecting the storm clouds behind them.  It looked like someone had a ruler and sketched out the storm.  The sun was still shining on me and part of the water adding sparkle to the whole scene.  Very difficult to describe but truly spectacular.  As I type I hear thunder in the distance.  I really hope we get rain.  Anguilla said they didn’t get a drop but Tommiegirl has another story to tell (Check out her posts they are always fabulous.)  Maybe one day I will make it down there for a beverage and a chat with her.

On another note I stopped by El Resulve for my after town treat.  Her pastellios were incredible today.  I mean really yummy!!!!!  If you have never been there you must go.  Her food is fabulous and it always make me appreciate local cuisine.  And the music makes it such a party. 

Well I need to turn off the computer.  Thunder is advancing and that probably means that lightening will follow.  And that really cool breeze that just wrapped around me tells me there is a storm on the way.  As my husband says “Use you Labrador nose!”.  That is the surest way to tell if it is going to rain.  Our “little” Labrador always puts his nose in the air right before a rain storm.


Take care,


- Thunderstorm
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Thu, 17 Jun 2010 17:51:29 -0500

Wow! What a storm we had last night (or early this morning depending how you look at it).  Around 4:00AM I woke to the loudest boom of thunder I think I have ever felt and heard.  It felt like it was trying to split our concrete building in half.  Of course the winds were ripping and that means, Drum roll please, Time to shut the shutters!  That is twice this year I have woken to raindrops on my head.  So with the big wooden shutters closed I turned over to fall back asleep.  No luck.  The lightening crackled and the thunder boomed.  At last I dozed back off just in time to wake up early to work in the garden. 

We spent the whole day in the garden.  As I explained to Pedro as we are planting 30+ plants, this is “una dia fabuloso para plantas”.  We managed to get them all in the ground over the next 5 hours.  It looks “faubuloso” or as Pedro said “ Bien chevere”.  The best part of the project was the overcast skies and little raindrops.  It made digging all of those holes a lot easier.  And surprisingly there were very few mosquitoes.  I can only assume them hiding and planning their next aerial attack.  A thousand thanks to Pedro.  I’m buying you a steak dinner tonight!

So now we will wait for the rain and see how much we get.  Also we will have to see if Mother Nature puts on another show like last night.  That means no lines at the bank and PO tomorrow!  Yippeee!


I’ll keep you posted,


- Hmmmm...
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2010 15:26:16 -0500

Well….  That is an interesting report.  Popped on to Stormcarib just to check the island news and everybody is posting.  I haven’t seen that many posts since the last storm.  So my internal radar went up and I clicked over to Dr. Masters and Crown weather.  I like the rain part of the forecast for our little isla and I like those words wind shear.  That is my new mantra.  “Wind shear, wind shear bring it here!”  Maybe I can put those words to a dance beat!  It is so early in the season and it looks like we will have a lot to watch this year.


Charlie, one of many local eccentrics, is out on the beach practicing his Hawaiian shaman skills to drive hurricanes away.  Not sure how it works as he drags palm fronds through the sand in circles.  Then he says a couple of words and repeats this procedure all afternoon.  He chatted with me on my return walk.  He said that he thinks what he is doing will work but at the very least he is rearranging the”forces”.  I don’t know what forces he is talking about and really don’t know if this is for real.  It is interesting to meet another of our island neighbors.    Hope it works for the entire hurricane season.   


On that note have a good one…  Esperanza is packed, the beach is full of kids playing in the waves, and the food carts are in full swing.  A typical sunny day in the islands.  I’m off to do the books tapping my feet to the Salsa beat.




- Hello...
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2010 17:08:11 -0500

Well good afternoon to all!


At last I am off the dollhouse sized computer and have managed to get the other one running.  Now my fingers actually fit on the keyboard!


As for the weather…  Hot, dry and dusty.  I noticed today that we seem to have a little Sahara Sand hanging around.  A little red on the map indicates this.  But my eyes tell a different story.  I know that they tell us not to rub our eyes when they itch but that is impossibility.  And then when I do rub it only makes it worse because then they start to burn.  Only a quick splash with cool water seems to help.  My friend with contacts said that it is absolutely terrible on her eyes.  Oh well, I suppose I should be thankful for the dust.  It is one of our “protectors” from hurricanes.  Took a look at the blob down South.  We will see what it can do. But our other protector, wind shear, should take care of it.


That said we could use a little rain for the garden.  I watered yesterday, I will water another section today and then my rain barrels are empty.  That means I am asking Mother Nature for a refill.  Not too much, just 1.5” per week spread out over the week.  (I think I am being picky and I realize that she is not a bartender working for tips).  Speaking of tips (not the monetary kind) if you are visiting out little island this time of year we strongly recommend that you decide on your dining location before you go on the bio-bay.  Do not run back to the hotel to shower and change or you will end up missing dinner at most restaurants.  Most of us close by 9:30 this time of year.  I know that is early for the big city folks but when it is quiet we take advantage of the extra sleep.


On the garden front everything is starting to really bloom.  It is really exciting to see and my hummingbird friend is dizzy with all of the options.  Even my baby lotuses that I stared from seed are sending out buds.  Pictures will follow when the actual bloom occurs!  We might even crack open a bottle of champagne!  Now if only our Flamboyan would kick in.  The one at the corner of the porch always holds back until every other tree on the street is done.  I guess he wants all of the glory.


Attached is a photo of a night blooming cactus.  This gem smells like vanilla and each bloom only lasts for one night.  Dondy, one of the bio-bay tour guides, never forgets to bring me one.  It is now an annual event.  He pulled this one out of the way of a horse path.  The little guy was about to be trampled.


And on the iguana front…  We had a problem.  Yes, I said “had”.  The baby iguanas were running all over the place.  We were finding the in the apartment, in the dining room, and curled around the Campari bottle (this guy was not of age!).  Ceiba the “little” Labrador turned the apartment upside down playing with one.  The waitstaff was chasing and catching them everywhere.  Then our casita kitty noticed the fun.  Our little cat is eating 2 or 3 a day.  Scott estimates he has eaten about 20 in the past week.  It only takes that little feline about 5 minutes to eat the whole thing.  We call it iguana sushi for cats.   So, we do not have to call in Dewey to catch and barbecue them. And we are thinking of changing the cats name to Dewey Junior.


Off to the books and then some watering.  Have a great one!



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- What's up in Vieques
  • By "Karen" <kk at playacofi.net>
  • Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2010 11:56:22 -0400

The good news is that the Saharan Dust has moved on and we can now see PR and Culebra. Friday’s weather remains to be seen since I am hearing we could get 2.5” and 40 knot winds. Considering the rainfall in May that is nothing.


Most of you know that we now have the “W Hotel”  here. Well, let me tell you a bit about that.


Alan Ducaisse is the quote “Chef” although he has not been here yet. He is supposed to arrive Friday and leave Sunday. He personally sent out 500 invitations to the glamorous and wealthy people of the world for this weekend’s event.


Closed to the public mind you. Vieques folks need not approach the gates.


But….. you guessed it. RVSP’s did not come rushing in so now I hear with all of the international press invited they are asking us “locals” to dress up and get there. Considering the welcome we received when they opened I doubt many will be rushing to attend.


Ok. Now for all of you animal and fundraising people in the islands.


My husband and I were recently elected to the Board of the Vieques Humane Society. We are not funded in any way other than generous donations.  Normally we do not have a summer fundraiser but I thought we should. This is what I suggested and did.


We are having a Tropical Storm/Hurricane pool. It resembles a football pool but the kicker is that we only sell for the number of days in the month. For example we are now sold out for the month of July. On June 30th we will pull the 31 tickets out of the hat and place those names on a calendar. When the NHC announces its first named storm whoever has that date will win $150 and the balance will go to the shelter strictly for food.


We sold out July in 2 days. We will increase the number of pools for August and Sept. due to the interest and have different goals. August may be the 2nd Cat 1 storm or 1st Cat 3. If Cat 3 does not happen then we bump it down to last Cat 2 and so forth.


At first everyone said it would not work but for all of you in the islands this is a great fundraiser. It is not too late to start making money for your pet peeve.


Other than that, life is quiet and good on Vieques.





- Current Vieques Weather Conditions
  • By "Karen" <kk at playacofi.net>
  • Date: Sun, 6 Jun 2010 08:20:20 -0400

Current Vieques Weather Conditions..........[Select Refresh to Update - Click Weather Images to Update and Enlarge]


- Vieques Stats for this morning
  • By "Karen" <kk at playacofi.net>
  • Date: Sat, 5 Jun 2010 05:19:03 -0400

- May's Average rainfall
  • By "Karen" <kk at playacofi.net>
  • Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 07:23:45 -0400

Good morning everyone.


Well it is that time of the year again, the nasty H season. Since May has predominately been a dry month since we have lived here 6+ years of course we decided to embark on about a 2 month construction project here at the house. May definitely was not dry.


This morning I decided to go into the tabular history of our personal weather station that can be found online at www.playacofi.com/weather to check out the rain totals for May since we have moved here. This is what I found.


This is the historical rain from 2005 till now for the month of May.

2005          9.44”

2006          2.95”

2007          2.28”

2008          1.46”

2009           2.16”

2010          7.91”

Weather.com says our average rainfall for May is 7.19”.

According to the NWS the rain here should start to dry up later this evening and stay dry the rest of the week. I will keep my fingers crossed on that forecast though.

Everyone have a great day.



- Rainy
  • By "Kate Cole" <reservations at elquenepovieques.com>
  • Date: Fri, 28 May 2010 11:34:29 -0400

Well the rain continues…  And my fumbling on this tiny keyboard.  Sorry for the missent message before it is nearly impossible to work on this dollhouse sized computer.


So we are over 3.5” on my rain gauge.  The plants are delighted, the horses watered and our visitors are, well, a little frustrated.  This too shall pass but I think it is going to wash out our holiday weekend.  But for those of you that are visiting there are still activities.  As a matter of fact I saw 6 very brave, wet, guests ride by on Elizabeth’s horse tour yesterday morning.  Soaked to the bone they were still smiling as they trotted up the street.  That is making the best of the situation.  So go for a driving tour.  Grab a book and head to the cabanas on Red and Blue beach.  Watch the storms roll in.  They are really mesmerizing as the sea and sky change colors.  Or do what a lot of the locals do… have a rum punch at one of the bars on the Malecon and watch from that perspective.


A crazy driver decided to hit a power pole night before last.  It defies logic that on the only straight road we have here in Vieques he went off the road and took out the pole as well as power to Esperanza.  Rumor has it he fled the scene.  As of yesterday afternoon his SUV was still in the pole.  Thankfully we were just finishing up in the restaurant when we went to a brown out.   That means we had to turn the breaker off to the building so all of the equipment doesn’t get fried.  It also meant a night without fans.  It was hot and the mozzies were out of control.  Thankfully they fixed the situation at by 9:00 AM so all was good.


The baby iguanas are hatching everywhere. These little emerald green guys are really cute but a true nuisance when they get big.  Our casita cat has tried to take on some of the bigger ones to no avail.  But we do have an ace in the hole.  Dewey Webber has been hunting these creatures and cooking them up for dinner.  I have not tried one of his dishes yet but really can’t wait to get these guys out of the backyard.  They are destructive and dirty.  Not to mention they are not native.  I do have to say that we will not feature iguana on the menu.  No chance, no way!


Have a good one…  I’m off to do the books.





- Rainy
  • By "Kate Cole" <kate at katecoledesign.com>
  • Date: Fri, 28 May 2010 11:18:04 -0400

Well we have rain and lots of it.  So far 3.5” on my rain

- Do I really feel that?
  • By "Kate Cole" <kate at katecoledesign.com>
  • Date: Sun, 16 May 2010 12:41:41 -0500

Greetings to all from our sunny little Isla,


It is another beautiful day.  Despite forecasts for a 100% chance of rain yesterday we only received one shower around 4:30.  It was a really quick downpour with the sun shining in the background.  Just enough to fill the rain barrels but not enough to soak the garden.  I was so disappointed as I had planned a day inside and wanted to make biscuits.  I have a real craving for those Southern delicacies.  I want melt in your mouth, yummy, golden brown biscuits with butter and mango jam (That is my way of making biscuits island style!).  But instead I made a fresh, local fruit smoothie and prepared for our special guests that were joining us for dinner in the restaurant.


After work we were settling in with a glass of wine when a commotion broke out on the Malecon.  We leaned over the side porch railing to watch the crowd as they circled around a very inebriated man with a horse.  Right then I was distracted by a Flamboyan branch as it trembled.  Odd… there isn’t a breeze.  Then I felt the railing and the porch tremble.  I turned to my husband while looking at the trembling wine in my glass and said “Do I really feel that?”  He didn’t notice it as he focused on the larger crowd gathering on the Malecon.  Finally the crowd dispersed, we finished our wine and headed to bed not thinking about the trembling.  This morning I saw on the internet that we had an earthquake.  Guess I shouldn’t dismiss those funny little feelings that something is happening.


Off to water the garden with my fresh water.  Hopefully my hummingbird friend will swoop by for a visit.


Have a good one,


- Good Morning
  • By "Kate Cole" <kate at katecoledesign.com>
  • Date: Wed, 12 May 2010 10:20:08 -0500

Hello to all,


Sorry for the disappearing act.   Life seems to get away sometimes and then my computer crashed.  7 years is a long life for anything electronic and four of those years were in the carribean.  Salt. Dust sand, etc.  do not bode well for electronics.  So at last I am back and connected.

Vieques is dry.  Really dry.  Every morning I look up and it seems that the Northside is getting another shower while we sit in Esperanza waiting for a little rain.  Chances look good for the next couple of days. Let’s just hope that it arrives.  But this morning I have to water all the plants on the porch.

Yesterday we headed to the Playa Escondito for the day.  Big black clouds loomed in front of us as we drove up the hill to Blue Beach.  Suddenly I saw a waterspout drop down out of the sky.  Another little one formed beside it.  We had just a couple of seconds to watch before the tail of the storm slipped back into the clouds.  By the time we parked at the beach and let the little Labrador run the sun was shining and it was another glorious day.  BLT’s and grilled chicken with a couple of cold beverages to wash it down.

Off to work and I am looking forward to reading Dr. Master’s latest blog from his Hurricane conference.




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