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Nightingale Tune, at anchor next to Caja de Muertas (Coffin Island) with the mountains of the big island in the background.

We loved every minute of our stay at Caja de Muertos (aka Coffin Island).

The island itself has everything we could possibly hope for: well maintained trails for running and hiking, a beautiful antique lighthouse with a view, water so clear we forgot we’d left the Bahamas, and the hope of catching something in the bay for dinner. Add in freakily calm seas, a successful lobster and conching mission turned into lunch, and good friends – et voilà! Perfect day.

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We caught a bonito en route. It was a little on the small side, so we released it.

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The point at Coffin Island

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We were ambushed by this flock of birds, Hitchcock style

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The island is maintained by resident park rangers who keep it in tip top shape

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View of the lighthouse from Nightingale Tune

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Picnic area

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A beautifully maintained recreational trail runs through a cactus forest. The trail is well groomed and starts out as a gentle incline for half a mile. We loved this part of the trail so much, we used it to run laps out and back for exercise both mornings of our stay.

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The trail suddenly turns and there is a steep incline and rough terrain. As usual, we were unprepared for this, but stupidly carried on in our flip flops. It took us a while to pick out all of the cactus quills that we picked up on the bottom of our shoes.

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At the summit there is a lighthouse, built in 1887

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Very old and very beautiful, the lighthouse still operates as a marker at night, with an LED bulb hooked up to a solar panel.

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Nightingale Tune, alone at anchor alongside Coffin Island

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The island is shaped like a corpse (the head and shoulders are pictured), which is how it got its name

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Homemade strawberry lemonade popsicles – the perfect treat after hiking in the blazing sun.

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Brian and Bo spent the morning fishing. They got a giant conch and one lobster, so we had a seafood feast.

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Garlic lime butter basted lobster tail. I steamed the legs, body and knuckles for dipping in additional butter as an appetizer.

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We didn’t have the fresh veg to make conch salad, so it was conch fritters and boat sauce once again.

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After all that running and fishing and cooking, and eating, we lazed away the afternoon floating on various water toys and safely rings with our friends behind the boat.  Rosie and Sim from s/v Wandering Star arrived just in time to join us. Unlike the Bahamas, the water here hovers around 88 degrees F.

We would have loved to stay longer, but we’re taking full advantage of the weather window that keeps on giving. The south coast of Puerto Rico is a nasty ride under normal circumstances – straight into strong east winds with huge waves. We’re making tracks to get as far as we can before the trade winds return in force.