Venezuela: 31 July to 13 August 2005
We flew from London to Caracas on scheduled airlines then from Caracas to Gran Roque, Los Roques by a small charter plane, arriving Sunday late afternoon. Our party consisted of: Boo Vaughan, Jamie, Jeremy and Tara, Joe Allcott, Lavinia Scrymgeour, James Hayman and Milly Graham Watson.
My birthday!! 14 years old, lots of presents to open and wonderful blue skies to welcome me on deck! We sailed from Gran Roque, to a beautiful bay, Cayo Romenso, on the island of Carenero. We met up with Antonio and Flavia from another boat, S/Y Numaan, they came aboard for drinks. I had a great birthday and a wonderful dinner that night.
2 - 5 August
In the afternoon of 2 August we sailed back to Gran Roque where we spent the next few days since an essential part for the main generator had to be flown in from Antigua. We spent the time going fishing for barracuda and bone fish – some fantastic times and some big fish caught. We caught some amazing fish and at one time I caught a bone fish which had a barracuda chasing after it, our guide then tried to catch the barracuda that was chasing mine and eventually he did. It was a great laugh. Also we had problems with the diesel on board and had to have it all pumped out and new diesel put in. Given that diesel costs about a penny a litre in Venezuela it wasn’t too painful.
Watching the pelicans dive for fish was amazing, even more interesting was watching the seagulls steal fish by sticking their heads down the pelican’s throats to relieve them of their catch. There were lots of flying fish coming across the deck that night and I have to say that I don’t really like flying fish after a bad experience with them once (Pete, one of the old crew on the boat, tried to wake me up because I fell asleep on a night watch, so he put it in my face and said “want it for breakfast”) I have never really liked flying fish since! In the afternoon we set sail for Isla Pelona close to Dos Mosquises.
7 - 8 August
We had an early morning start, as we motored over to Dos Mosquises, when we arrived we got into the dingy and motored ashore to visit the turtle sanctuary. There were many baby turtles almost ready to be released back into the ocean. Then we set sail for Aves de Sotavento it was about 40 miles west of Los Roques. We arrived in the late afternoon in crystal clear water and we were all dying for a swim. There is no way of getting here except by your own boat – no planes, ferries etc. so it was fantastic to arrive off this island, all on our own, no other boats except a local fishing boat to keep us company. At last we could get back into the water and get the water skies etc. out. We all had a go at everything and it was great fun!
9 - 10 August
We left Aves de Sotavento in the morning and sailed over to Aves de Barlovento. It wasn’t that far, only about 10 miles back towards Los Roques. All of us children had a great laugh swinging off the boom from a halyard and then dropping into the sea. It was quite frightening to begin with since Joe got his leg rapped around the rope and Mummy nearly had a fit because she didn’t want to send Joe back to his Mother with something missing! We also did quite a bit of waterskiing and wakeboarding. The birds here, mainly boobies, were completely unafraid and we could get within a couple of feet of them in the mangroves – it was amazing! Some of the party went scuba diving and told us it was excellent.
Jeremy, James, Milly and I all went snorkelling to a reef near by. We were all mucking about and pretending that there was a barracuda about to attack us. When I suddenly saw one. I turned around and hit Jeremy and then pointed to the barracuda we started to swim towards the corral when we then saw another one, so we decided to swim back to the boat always looking out for another barracuda on the way. Luckily we didn’t see any more!
11 - 12 August
We left Aves de Barlovento early to sail back to Los Roques. We got back to Cayo Romenso in Isla Carenero in the late afternoon. This time the anchorage was pretty full with other boats. Anyway we got in and had dinner under a wonderful panoply of stars which are quite amazing in this part of the world, then after dinner we played charades it was quite amusing. We then spent a couple of nights in this wonderful cayo.
The last sail! We left Carenero and sailed back to Gran Roque for our flights home. When we got to the airport everybody got bumped up a class apart from Jeremy and Milly. But luckily for Milly the person she was sitting next to had a wonderful boyfriend who went up to her and asked if she would switch seats so he could sit next to his girlfriend, Milly said yes, and off she went to find her seat which was upstairs in club class.