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Venezuela tracks

Here is our track through the Venezuelan offshore islands.  Again – first part was reconstructed due to loss.  Enjoy.

View 2009 Venezuela in a larger map

Fish soup

So who says we can’t catch fish. Just caught a massive Tuna. Problem is, something else caught it just afterwards. All we got was it’s head. Must have happened fast as the head was still twitching and bleeding. Oh well. Fish head soup for lunch.

Wind is slightly up. Kind of a up/down day.

Better planning required

It’s all a learning experience. The forecasts I read yesterday all suggested we’d have winds between NE to E around 15-20 knots. Except for the first 2-3 hours, what we’ve been seeing is 10-15 from the SE – right behind us. This is not our best point of sail by any means so our mid afternoon ETA is somewhat compromised. I had expected to be on a reach. Not this. I should have known though because the winds have tended to have been more southerly than the predictions.

There is no way we should enter Boca de Sebastapol in weak light so we’re assisting our passage with a nudge from the motors. If the wind stays as it is we’ll run for a few hours with a light nudge via the batteries then run for an hour on the genset to charge up. We’re learning lots on this trip.

I am left wishing we’d left at dusk which was our original plan. Much easier to slow down than speed up. I was seduced by the thought of a little solid sleep before we set off. It’s the difference between making the right decision versus the easy decision. Another lesson learned.

Almost alone in Las Tortuguillas

Slow morning. Got up gradually. Read. Did our bit on the Coconut Telegraph which is currently running Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Then we left our previous anchorage and headed west. We started with a reef in the main and gradually jibed down the coast. The wind died a bit so we shook out the reef and continued on. We passed by Cayo Herradura where we saw about 8 boats anchored and carried on to Las Tortuguillas. There was one fishing boat anchored where we wanted to stop so it looked quite secluded particularly as they might leave at some point. For the first time we tried anchoring under sail. In the end I muffed it by being a little timid and left the boat side on and too close to the shore to maneuver. Easy enough to nudge us straight with the electric motors which had had there charge up along the way. Not bad for first time – next time better.

This afternoon we went for a swim from the boat round to the lagoon on the northwest side. The guidebook suggested the snorkeling would be pretty good there. It was all a bit murky so we had no thrill there. However, the walk along the picture perfect beach made up for the mediocre swim.

Right now we’re awaiting sunset. It appears to be picture perfect too except for the fact some buggers have anchored right to the west of us. There should be a law against that. We recognize the boat – maybe from Martinique.

Slight change of plans for tonight. We’ve decided to have a short sleep and leave at midnight arriving in Los Roques tomorrow afternoon. We’ll enter the park through Boca de Sebastopol and find a close by anchorage to rest up before getting the full enjoyment of sailing the east side when we’re rested up.

Addendum to yesterday’s blog

How can I have forgotten.

I was up first in the morning and was waiting for the sun to rise when I noticed the back steps were being covered in little fish. We’ve seen this before. Small fish being chased by bigger fish ending up on the back of the boat.

My first thought was to push them back into the water which I did. When a second lot washed aboard I thought again. I figured I could use a few of them as bait for bigger fish. With one small hook and line I managed to haul in nine yellow jacks. The smaller fish were gathering in tighter and tighter balls as each individual tried to get into the inside of the ball. They seemed to like hugging the hulls of the boat while the jacks feasted on the outside of the balls. It reached the point where I could put my hand into one of the balls and grab new bait straight from the water.

I have a picture of my catch but that will have to wait.

Soon we’ll be off to the west end of Tortuga.