Thursday, August 31, 2006

Kristopher, Isla Los Tortuga and Venezuela

Double click on any photo to enlarge.

Hola from Venezuela. We are still here in Bahia Redonda Marina. Kristopher arrived tired but happy.

The first thing he did is exchange some money...he is now a Bolivars that is, the exchange rate is 2,500 B's per $1.00 US dollar from the black market, which we use. The regular rate is currently 2,100 B's. But everybody uses the black market, it's just another business here. It is very hard to carry around all that cash, but you really shouldn't use your credit or debit cards here and forget about travellers checks - nobody accepts them. He is now safely on a plane home. We had a great visit and a wonderful trip to Isla Los Tortugas. Kim's sister and her husband come in about two weeks, when we will set out again for Los Tortugas. Until then we plan on taking it easy and doing just a few simple boat projects.

We left the Marina at 12:00 midnight heading for Los Tortugas. We passed through the pirate islands very quietly. When we set our sails, we had the pleasure of seeing dolphins at our bow and under our boat, they were luminiscent in the dark sea. We couldn't capture it on film, or the wild thunderstorms that were directly in front of us.

At the first sign of light Kim and Kristopher threw their fishing lines in and we caught a huge Mahi Mahi (Dorado) about 30 lbs were guessing. Kristopher fileted it and we had Mahi Mahi for 2 dinners and lots of sandwiches - it was FANTASTIC. The Mahi Mahi is such a beautiful fish. Before we pulled it in it was bright yellow in color, then it turned white with blue dots and lastly green.

We arrived at Isla Los Tortugas about 10:30 am, and were very happy to jump into the crystal clear water. Los Tortugas is basically deserted. It does have seasonal fisherman that stay on the island and an airstrip that brings visitors for the day. It also has a few National Guardia on the island and for the first time we had them actually come on our boat. Everything went well, they just wrote our names down on a piece of paper and said welcome. Our first anchorage was Playa Caldera and the water was clear but not much coral, so the snorkeling was not that great. We saw a catamaran that had gone aground on the reef. We don't know what happened yet, but we did hear distress calls on the radio a few weeks earlier. They were trying to get someone from the mainland to come out and help. The boat was stripped, but we do not know the complete story of what happened. The beaches at Playa Caldera were long, white and hot. They were great for walking. We had to stay an extra day and night in Playa Caldera because a Tropical Wave came through with some high winds. We had a long, somewhat sleepless night, because the wind shifted and our boat would have headed right into the reef if our anchor had not held. By morning the winds were still high, but in the light of day, handling any situation is much easier. We had a kick back day and headed out for Las Tortuguillas the next morning.

Las Tortuguillas (The Little Turtles) are two deserted islands with great beaches and GREAT snorkeling. We did run into some bugs on one of the beaches that made us run back to the dinghy and head out to sea. We only spent a day here because we had to get back, but are looking forward to returning to this anchorage when Kim's sister comes to visit.

When we came back to the mainland, we took Kristopher to see a little of the city. We had an incredible lunch where Raul (taxi driver), Mike and Kristopher pulled a fast one on Kim and hide when she went to the restroom. When she came out all the waiters and manager were standing there asking her to pay the bill - and they didn't speak much english.....They stood laughing behind the wall......aye ya ya.....

Ciao Kim and Mike on Ka'imi

1 comment :

  1. Brian6:37 PM

    Hi guys from Vanncouver, Canada.
    Wondering if you know the name of the Privilege Catamaran you mentioned running ashore in Los Tortugas and the beaches of Playa Caldera around Aug 31 2006? Can you help me locate information or refer me to someone (local marinas) who might know something? Cheers Brian



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