Gone swimmin'

Photographs from Puerto Rico

(Click on the pictures for a larger copy.)

Old Town, San Juan

El Castillo del Morro Old Town, San Juan Graves by the sea

Can you see the crocodile? Here it is! Old town in San Juan is full of winding streets, quaint houses, bright splashes of color. El Castillo del Morro overlooks the sea, still defending the island from the Spanish armada.

And there is beautiful old sculpture and architecture everywhere - but check out the grinning plastic crocodile that lives in one such piece!

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If you were to imagine a tropical paradise island, would it look like this?

Bahia del Sol, sunset Sunset from the sea

The little island of Vieques, off the Carribean coast of Puerto Rico, is a laid-back little island not quite on the tourist map: pristine beaches, sunny days, gorgeous sunsets. And it is home to some of the finest bioluminescent bays anywhere in the world.

Sunrise, Bahia del Sol A local dog checks out the beach

Vieques, port of Isabella II Alas, there is trouble in this paradise too.

Vieques has a US Navy base sprawling over half the island, and while the US compensates Puerto Rico (possibly quite generously) for the use of the island, not much of the money trickles back into Vieques, leading to much resentment among the islanders. Meanwhile, there are accusations of stray gunfire, pollution, chemical weapons leaks, higher cancer rates et al: see the Peace 4 Vieques web pages for the islanders' side of the story.

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Intelligent creatures

Polly wants a cracker! Can you say Hola? Squawk!

Puerto Rico is home to parakeets of various kinds, all with their own brash personalities. And they speak Spanish, as Maura demonstrates here!

Every trip needs its classic group picture: here are all of us, thanks to a gracious islander who took this for us and wished us a good trip. In order: Aris on the wall; Andrea, Maura, Eric, Adam, Rick, Ingrid and our intrepid leader Dunc; and Fernando and me kneeling up front. Pulsar astronomers all! (Again, click on the pictures for larger copies.)

The traditional group photo

And a few other pictures from the boat trip to Vieques: check out Eric, Master of All he Surveys.

Maura at sea Master of all he surveys Andrea and Fernando

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About these photographs:
These photographs were taken in March 2000, using a Canon EOS Elan II body with a 24-80 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, on Kodak ISO 400 and ISO 100 film.

Aris also has a collection of photographs from this trip!

If you've browsed this far, you might want to look at photographs from New Mexico,
or photographs from the Smoky Mountains,
or maybe even visit my homepage or my NRAO work page.

Shami Chatterjee
Contact Information
Last modified: 19 April 2000
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