Friday, October 18, 2013

Los Roques, Venezuela


Dear friends,

Again, an easy going passage from Isla Blanquilla to Los Roques. The winds, always from the Eastern quadrant, were a little too light to make descent time, but around noon we approached the lighthouse of Sebastopol, the entrance in the coral archipel. What a sight.. amazing transparent water, colors changing from deep blue, turquois, light green.... just  fantastic. Behind the reef no swell and it was decided to anchor the first night behind a mangrove island called Buchiyaco.

Sebastopol reef entrance

Buchiyaco Mangrove

Not easy to handle..

Afternoon stroll



We did some snorkeling on a shoal nearby the Onda Boa, but that came to an abrupt end when Dora spotted a Baracuda.... in no time she was back inside the dinghy as she had read that baracudas are rather curious fish and have no issue in actualy atacking divers.... I admit, that I still was blisfull in ignorance because hadnt read that article yet.
Anyway, back to the Onda Boa, took Lucky for a swim, and she decided to explore on her own the mangrove island. This was a new experience for her, and obviously she got stuck in the mangrove trees and roots...A rescue operation was prepared, and after some heroic mangrove tree climbing and getting tortured by a trillion mosquitos, Lucky was saved from a dreadfull night in the mangroves.

The next day, we sailed (genoa only) towards Fransisqui.... dodging shoals and corals (easy to see ).  Dora caught a, what we later identified as a king mackerel, fish.... great ! Lunch guaranteed. And just before we arrived at destination, we caught half a fish... that is to say.. we caught the fish, but another predator (probably that same baracuda) had munched away half of the fish (also a king mackerel)... what was left still was suficient for a great meal.
Anchored in the bay formed by the two Fransisqui islands, we went ashore and were pleasantly surprised to find a nice restaurant Casamarina (we did have lunch there the next day). Some great snorkeling, untill another baracuda was sighted.

Weaving through shoals and coralbanks, easy to see

Yipee... another uh.... Jack Mackerel

Anchored at Fransisqui

Ah.. how sweet...

Rough dispute on the coral bank...

The next day, we went on a, say unauthorized , land excursion. Just before we left, a power boat with oficials from Inparques came by to check up on us. Everything in order, however they summoned us to check in with the Coast Guard.
 We took the dingy to Gran Roque. The main island and comercial activities.  A very nice, well kept and pitoresq village. A great number of guesthouses(pousadas). Even and  ATM (however this one turned out to work only for locals). So we asked around where we could change some Us$. In a kind of hush hush tone, we were told to seek out Sr Jose Moreno at the water and other liquids distribution outfit. And so we managed to change 40 Us$ against  40 bolivar... So, we became rich... (Atualy we found the prices of goods and services very reasonable  (internet acces for 30 /hour; well not realy an hour because all of a sudden the power supply was cut...). We wanted to have  lunch at one of the beach restaurants, but it  was going to take too long before they could serve us, so we decided to go back to the boat and have lunch at Casamarina instead. The ride back to the Onda Boa, was rather bumpy but we managed. Pasta fruto del mar... Between the two of us we spend 720 bolivar, so we thought thougt that was a bargain.

Gran Roque

Pitoresque

Very well kept

Beach front pousadas

Pasta Fruto di Mare, Casamarina



We still had a bunch of bolivars to spend, so we set of for another  land excursion. Well first we went to another anchorage, at least closer to the village.
Unfortunately, we bumped into the same guy of Inparques (yesterday) and again he urged us to check in with the Coast Guard. And so we did... or actualy we tried...honestly.
Long story short, the good guys of the coast guard werent realy interested in our presence, and without any hassle let us stay, as we were going to leave the next day anyway.
Great, with  still almost 800 bolivars, burning a hole in our pocket, Dora got her cute beach dress, and i splashed out on a deep blue hair band. So, that was that, money gone and everybody happy.

Gran Roque

Getting too much??



Beach dress

After a rather bumpy night (not much protection from the easterly winds), the next morning set sail to Sarqui, yet another blue, pristine, fluffy beach, turquoise island. More of the same, but still spectecular. Done some great snorkeling and Dora even had a close encounter with a manta (devil) ray.

Anchorage Sarqui


Spot the Manta Ray

Finaly something yellow...


The next morning, nice breeze, genaker time.... and on our way to Los Aves Barlovento.  record time, we hooked another fish, a Dog Snapper....what happened to this delicacy, please read on in the next post.

All the best,

Pieter

3 comments:

  1. saudades de vcs!!! A Dora está linda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obrigado Larissa, eh a Vida saudavel...

      Delete
  2. ótimas aventuras, adoro Ler sobre vocês! Te amo Mana.. Karen

    ReplyDelete

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