Monday, November 9, 2009

26 Days Traveling Venezuela's Out Ilands

HEADING WEST --Part I- Los Testigoes
Thank you for your patience.... We now have a new computer that Sean and Carlie brought down with them on their visit to us in Bonaire. Sean helped me pull all the important data off the old computer which was so exciting...So here we go. We have actually separated this voyage into four parts. We hope you enjoy this passage in your minds as we did in real time.

26 Days Traveling Venezuela’s “Out Islands”…And what a fabulous time we had.

It has been recommended these islands are very remote, a cruisers dream; but go prepared…
July 30th..Meeting with Cathy and Derek (Idyll Island) this past week we have decided today is our last opportunity for provisioning for this leg of our journey. To protect ourselves even with a buddy boat we have decided not to travel along the coastal mainland of Venezuela.

We were able to check out of Customs & Immigration at Prickly Bay. Cruisers still need to check in only at Grenada Yacht Club, St. Georges.
July 31st. Pulling up anchor 0330hrs not only has the wind pcked up but we have a squall on to of us.
It feels great to be underway. We've got "Auto" on. The wind and seas should be behind us for this crossing.

What a real roily ride.`Auto` has definitely worked hard for us today. We're travelling anywhere between 5.4 to 7.7 knots depending on the following we ride down the surf. The seas are confused and sloppy, worse than any roilyness we've ever encountered.

We seem to be very close to our planned coarse so we'll go to the Southern end of Los Testigos as recommended in the guide.. The currents are set to the NW and can be as strong as 2.5 knots.
By 1730 we are anchored just north of the gap between Testigo Pequeno and Testigo Grande in Playa Real off a beautiful sandy beach where the surf crashes onto the windward shore.

Los Testigos (The Witnesses). This group of nine islands has just over 250 inhabitants, their source of revenue fishing. Los Testigos is approx. 2 miles long and 1.5 miles at it's north.
First on the agenda today is our one mile dinghy ride over to the fishing village of Isla Iguana Grande to check in with the Costa Guardia outpost. Check in was a very simple one page form. The young officer was very friendly enjoying our attempt at speaking Spanish.

Crossing back over to Testigo Grande we decided to stop at Ballandra Bay and hike over to the Sand Dunes. Absolutely beautiful. Being the windward side we were amazed to find very little garbage. Normally the windward side of an island will be strewn with garbagge---primarily plastic, a cauldron of bottles, shoes, toys etc. etc. But not here.

We did see tracks from the big leatherback turtles in the sand.

Aug.2nd. Getting a bit of exercise.

Back to High States…Rain is coming
Cathy and Derek swam over, we reviewed the weather and have decided to pull anchor around 2200hours tonight for our trip to La Blanquilla.

After lunch we noticed the Bay to our North is full of local fish boats. The Bay is closed off with a yellow net. We decide to investigate.

The people were friendly even with the language barrier. We asked why it was taking so long to net the fish. One local who spoke very good English explained they were waiting for the confirmed price they would get from the Venezuelan mainland. If the price was good they would take fish; if not, they would only take what they personally eat….What a novel idea..

1 comment:

Dance Aweigh said...

Enjoyed reading the latest edition of the blog! The Venezuela out-islands sound fabulous. Great photos. Can't wait for the next installment. Fair winds.
Margaret & Rich.