November  2009

 Superted V

Blog & Photos - November 2009

At the beginning of the month we were still in Trinidad and thought that we would never get away... however we took advantage of the wait and spent some time in the marina at Power Boats. We were having a great time socially with other cruisers - Hunda, Beatrice, Alicat and others. Our new neighbours, Nichola and Phillip on a power boat called Trous D'Or then ensured that we were treated to the best of Trinidadian hospitality - dinner in their home, sunset trips at Chacachacare, teaching us the gentle art of 'Noodle Liming' etc etc - wonderful - thank you all.

We finally left for Venezuela in company with Marlo and Larry on Beatrice on 11th November. We had been hoping that Dorothy and Duncan on Hunda would be travelling with us but unfortunately they had more problems and were still out of the water. We were travelling in 'stealth mode' - no radio contact and no lights as we had heard reports about piracy off the Venezuelan coast so were quite apprehensive. We sailed 15 miles north of the coast then headed west to Los Testigos (the witnesses) the first of the Venezuelan Islands. A great fast sail in constant 15 - 20 knot winds - in fact we were too early and had to hang around waiting for first light to go into the anchorage. Fortunately we had seen only fishing boats on our trip. Los Testigos is fabulous - just a group of islands housing a Frigate bird colony and a lively fishing community - very friendly and generous - giving us fish from their catch. Due to customs regulations we were only allowed to spend 2 days there.

13th November - Another good sail down to Isle de Margarita - this time during the day - what a contrast to where we had just left - a modern, built up, high rise landscape awaited us as we headed into Porlamar. We were only there for the shopping! However the exchange rate had dropped 2 weeks before our arrival so not so cheap - except the Sigo supermarket where we stocked up on food and drink. As we had been warned (by semi-permanent resident cruisers) that there were only 2 safe anchorages in Margarita, we arranged a taxi trip to the Boca de Rio and mangrove swamps in Laguna Grande and the beach on the north coast of the island - Playa La Restinga where we had a very pleasant lunch of freshly caught oysters.

22nd November - We had originally intended to go down to the mainland but being short of time, we sailed to one of the small islands south of Margarita instead and spent a couple of days there. Isla Cubagua is an incredibly dry desert landscape - full of cacti, turkey vultures and pelicans with just a few small fishing cottages, a coastguard outpost and a research station. The main town - Nueva Cadiz - was destroyed by an earthquake and tidal wave in 1541 but some ruins still remain. At one time Cubagua provided Spain with a great wealth from pearls - in one year alone they exported 820 pounds of pearls to Spain but at great human cost - the fortune hunters forced the Indians to dive for pearls and whip them when they refused - many hundreds died.

24th November - Back to Margarita to check out through customs then back to Los Testigos 26th November - this time the wind and current against us so not an easy sail - back to beating!! Matt took to going up the mast - on Superted to replace a steaming light bulb then on Banshee to help cut down the foil after she had been hit by a 35 knot squall on the sail from Margarita. Fortunately the single handed owner, Liam, was shaken but unhurt.

30th November - The official end of the hurricane season - and it seemed as if the UK felt more of the effects of the small number of hurricanes than we did by staying south.  So it's off back to Grenada - motor-sailing all the way with the wind on the nose and 3.5 knot current against - whooppee! 

December 2009....................







Salted Pork? Dinner with Nichola & Phillip (in a house!!!) This is easy to steer! OK so this is power boat 'sailing' First attempt at Noodle Liming Got it now! Marlo & Larry on Beatrice Fishing pirogues on Los Testigos Fishing boat surrounded with Frigate birds Picture Perfect beach on Grande Testigos Local children out for a ride Female Frigate bird First sight of Margarita Anchorage in Margarita Home delivery - eat your heart out Tesco! Boca de Rio Antonio and his Lagoondolas Narrow tunnel in Mangrove Swamp at Laguna Grande Snorkelling for oysters amonst the mangroves Marlo beach combing on Playa La Restinga Fishing shacks at Cubagua Barren landscape of Isla Cubagua Cactus Flowers Matt at the ruins of Nueva Cadiz Brown Pelican Matt up the mast of Superted V

10.47.10N   60.01.20W