LAHOWIND » Just you, me, + the dog.

Are We Back in the Bahamas?

Coffin Island has been on our list of must-see spots since we rolled into Puerto Rico four months ago. Every local we spoke to on the island made sure to mention this gem of an island located off the southern coast of Puerto Rico.


After our most recent regatta fun, we left the very industrial harbor in Ponce and made the easy seven-mile trip south to the beautiful nature reserve known as Coffin Island. The island, technically known as Isla Caja de Muertos, is known better to most as Coffin Island, but there is no apparent consensus on how the island got its name. Some say a Portuguese pirate embalmed his love in a glass case inside a copper coffin and buried her in a  cave here. Others simply say the island got its name because it resembles someone lying down when seen from the main island. When translated, Caja de Muertos means “coffin” or “dead man’s chest”.

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^^i don’t know, whaddya think? does the grim shape resemble someone lying in a coffin?^^

Anyhoo, as we motor-sailed closer and closer to the island, we were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves face to face with crystal clear turquoise water and a white sand ocean bottom — it almost felt like we were right back in the Bahamas, island hopping our way south. Man, have we missed that clear blue water the past few months!

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We scoped out the west side of the island before deciding to forgo a very shallow Dept. of Natural Resources mooring ball in favor of a more secluded beachfront anchorage about a third of the way down the island.

Luckily, we planned our Coffin Island stay during the week since we heard the weekends can get pretty crowded with locals flocking to the island for an easy beach getaway. And what a great move that was! We were one of only two boats (the other on a mooring ball farther down the island), and we never technically spotted another human during our two-night stay. Talk about total utter peacefulness and relaxation. Well, that is until we got smacked in the face with a horrible storm the next morning. But more on that in a future post. ;))

We spent the rest of the day cannonballing off the boat, searching for sea glass, playing with Oliver on the beach, and finally busting out my gorillapod camera mount so I could snap the rarest of photos — ya know, all three of us in one image! ;)) I’m happy to report the gorillapod worked perfectly with my little Canon G12 point and shoot. I just attached the entire setup to a mast cleat, set the camera to self timer mode, and voila!…complete family photo. ;))

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^^haha, love Jer’s “making impact” face!^^

>>Thanks for visiting LAHOWIND sailing blog! We’d love for you to get to know us and follow our story as we attempt to navigate a whole new world of sailing, as we cruise the Caribbean.

[…] That all changed one fateful day in Puerto Rico while we were anchored off the beautiful secluded nature reserve known to most as Coffin Island. […]

[…] and snorkeling the island during our time anchored at Isla Caja de Muerta. Okay, fine…on day one, we were. But on day two, we were hunkered down and holding our breath through what was maybe one […]