After 2 nights at the Ceiba Country Inn, we set out to Fajardo to catch the ferry to Vieques. If it were up to me, we would have flown. I had done enough research to know the the ferries were unreliable. But my travel companion was terrified of small planes, so the ferry was our only option. And we had quite an experience with it. We were aiming for the 1pm ferry, so we arrived around 11:30. We parked our rental in the $5/day lot because that was cheaper than returning it in Fajardo. There were 3 lines for tickets, and a large group of people standing around looking restless and confused. A woman explained that the ticket booth emplyees had all gone to lunch. So we settled in and waited. At 12:45, one of the tellers returned, and chaos ensued. The locals cut the the front, and all 3 lines converged into a crowd. You either pushed your way in, or you waited for the 4pm ferry. We pushed, and all turned out well. We were on the next boat to Vieques.
An hour and half later we docked in Isabel II, and were flagged down by a cab driver. I heard that finding a cab on this side was difficult, so I was pleased to have gotten one so easily. We picked up our car from Maritza's and were on our way.
We stayed at Bananas Guesthouse, which was perfect for us. We were relieved to be able to find food and entertainment by walking down the malecon every night, and had so much fun exploring the winding roads, checking out beach after beach after beach, snorkeling from shore, and meeting tons of interesting people.
My favorite beach was Pata Prieta (secret beach). The sand was as white as our Ohio snow, and the surf was calm. However, we went back the next day and it was covered in seaweed and had a much stronger surf. A local explained that the wind was from the south that day, which was rare. The far end of Sun Bay and Navio were also extremely picturesque. Green Beach was GREAT for snorkeling.
General Observations: Isabel II was not what I had in mind when I pictured Vieques, and I was a little concerned until we pulled up to the malecon in Esperanza. It seemed very crowded and not very friendly. If we had spent more time in Isabel I'm sure my opinion of it would have changed, but I think we drove through the worst parts.
Tips: Neither Google Maps nor iPhone maps work very well on Vieques. Grab one of the Island Maps you see at the guesthouses and do your best with that. Expect to get a little lost, and enjoy the absolutely spectacular views you find along the way.
Also, a lot of the bartenders and servers will give you great tips, and even be your personal tour guide if you want! Go to Lazy Jacks to meet Mike. He'll help you out.