Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Part IV---Next stop: Los Aves de Barlovento

Heading for our last stop in the Venezuelan Out Islands....
Monday Aug. 17th
0715 hours. Rand and Derek reviewed the weather. Storm “ Anna” has been downgraded, however, “Bill” is travelling at 19 knots with 65-80 knot winds. He’ll be a category 3 or 4 hurricane at 20*N 65*W and in the Caribbean Wednesday. For us this weeks weather looks like today and Tues 15-18knot winds Wed. 12knots, Thurs 10knots and Fri. ESE 15-18knots with squalls on the weekend.
We’ve decided to leave this morning while Idyll Island will stay behind for a couple more days.

By noon we still have virtually no wind----Where is the 14-18 knots????

By 1440 we’re working our way into the Southern Los Aves Barlovento anchorage off Isla Sur. The visibility is excellent. I am on the bow as again the charts are not accurate. Chris Doyles guide continues to be an asset. Zigzagging our way into the anchorage I am amazed at the birds flying all around my head.

Randy checking anchor.

…And the mangroves….they’re like large gnarled monsters. The white egrets are a gorgeous contrast.

This evening our first tank of water has ran out. We’ve used 70 gallons in 18 days averaging out to 3.8 gallons a day---pretty darn good; plus 1.1 gallons of bottled drinking water a day.

Tues. Aug. 18.
We had a very windy, choppy, wakeful night. I am using the last of our eggs this morning.

0900hours.. It’s time to go exploring. We found a dinghy landing hidden in the mangroves so we hiked over to the windward shoreline.

We found a Cairn, so we beach combed for the perfect rock to engrave.

We could not believe our luck to find two heart shaped stones which of coarse made us think of Maureen and Glenn's upcoming wedding. We are sorry we are not there in person. We wish you both all the happiness you deserve. Our love to you both.

Later we dinghied through a channel of mangroves where we saw thousands of Boobies….No Margo, these boobies are birds. I particularly loved the red-footed booby with its blue beak….

Many were sitting on a nest.

Back on High States; Dremel in hand.. This cruising is alot of work.

Of coarse there is no better way to end the day than snorkelling. The water is so clean. We found a healthy reef to the East of us with lots of fishes and a good assortment of coral. We saw all types of grunts, blue tang, four eye butterfly fish, parrotfish, and wrasses to name a few. We saw hundreds of tube sponges and baby sea fans.
Wed. Aug 19
We hiked back over to the Cairn to leave our rock.

Cathy and Derek arrived this afternoon. We all went snorkelling and then they came over for pasta. Another great day in Paradise!!!

Thurs. Aug 20th We explored by dinghy out to the SE edge of the reef and snorkelled with Cathy and Derek.
Back on High States Randy decided to repair the Port head while I downloaded pictures. Unexpectantly we heard whistling??? Sure enough it’s the Guarda Costa from Aves de Sotavento , a few miles to our East wishing to come aboard. They have the gun, so we say Okay. It seems they have hitched a ride with a sport fish boat to check out boats in our anchorage. We answer their questions as best we can for their Transitio paper. Turned out the young man with the rifle was celebrating his 19th Birthday. We told them and showed them in our passports that my birthday was tomorrow with Rand’s being on the 27th. The young man filling out the Transitio said if we stop on Satavento we must come to his house for a visit. Again, there seems to be no urgency for us to leave their waters. Four beer, two packs of cigarettes later they’re off to Idyll Island.

Aug. 21.
Rand’s question: Lynn, did you ever think you would celebrate your Birthday in Los Aves Barlovento???? Where’s that I would normally say!!! Now that I know where this small Paradise Island is, I can’t think of a better place to celebrate. Rand spoils me all day, making the morning coffee, which he often does. No cooking for me today he states. Cathy and Derek dinghy over, singing Happy Birthday, bringing a freshly baked loaf of bread with a candle on it. We all went snorkelling then Randy and I went beach combing. The day ended with Cathy and Derek having us over for a fabulous meal of Pork Tenderloin.

Aug.22 Again the weather is deteriorating so we will sit tight a few more days. We’ve heard VHF chatter the winds are 30 to 40 knots. Rand has let out more chain. Another snorkelling adventure and we’re gradually learning the common names of so many fishes thanks to Cathy and Derek.

Sund Aug. 23 We had more 30 knot winds last night plus enough rain to give High States a good wash down. Again our batteries are acting up so Randy is doing maintenance while I do my favourite passion---CLEANING!! Yeah right…

Monday Aug. 24th. We’ve decided to move to the furthest SW anchorage for tomorrow’s departure to Bonaire. I sure will miss this tranquil anchorage. We have had the most amazing 26 days travelling through these Out Islands.


Dance Aweigh said...

The water looks spectacular. We can tell from your comments that the Out Islands rank among your favorite!

Anonymous said...

Hi mom and dad Sean and Grandma here just seeing if we can get this to work, looks like lots of fun down there, Grandma wants more underwater pictures!!!!