Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Leaving Venezuela


Hola! We're are finally ready to leave Venezuela. We're heading out Monday night, or rather early Tuesday morning. We'll cruise for awhile in the out islands of Venezuela stopping at Los Tortugas first to rest, then on to Los Roques and Los Aves.

We did get alot of work done on Ka'imi while we were here. We got our stanchions fixed. The ones we replaced are now solid stainless steel, so they won't break or rust out again. We also got our pulpit repaired - we had a pretty big crack where the navigation light sits. We've also sealed windows, new bearings in the windlass, rebuilt toilets, repaired bilge pumps, painted the decks, split the chain locker, replaced the fresh water pump, repaired the fridge, new halyard lines, repaired our whisker (spinnaker) pole...the list goes on and on. A major repair was a surprise to us as we were preparing to leave earlier. We found water in our oil and determined we had a blown head gasket and had to have it repaired. Luckily we had a spare gasket, cause you can't get them in Venezuela. We had more problems after that was fixed, the motor seemed to be heating up so we changed the saltwater pumps impellor, cleaned out the aftercooler, and made sure the fresh water pump was working. We finally found that the exhaust manifold had a clog and that solved the problem :)))))))). It was a bit scary for awhile.

We didn't get to do any South American inland traveling here, we will try to do that when we reach Cartegna, Columbia. We are hearing reports of people being robbed outside the gates of Bahia Redonda, so we are more anxious to leave. They say as the Christmas holiday approaches that type of crime increases. We have gone outside often while we have been here. There are little beach restaurants real close that serve chicken and fish and a local fresh fruit and vegetable market every Saturday. There are always kids playing in the ocean!! With the increase in incidents we haven't ventured outside for the past week, making us feel somewhat like prisoners. You would think it was safe, the Police Officer has his house right outside the gate. Here he is bringing his propane home.

Bahia Redonda marina has sixteen stray cats that live around the marina. The marina lets them stay and buys there food in order to control the rat problem (eeeek)! The cruisers volunteer to feed the cats, once in the morning and once at night. Kim got to do the night shift and she LOVED it!!!! This picture is Mustachio, we called him Stacio - he was the one closest to our boat and he was our favorite, he would visit often looking to be fed!! Of course we always obliged, even going so far as to buy some wet cat food to share with him or even some tuna. Kim has pictures of all the cats and we'll share them some other time. We will be out of touch for awhile, until we get to Bonaire, so we will update when we can. Until then, enjoy life and take some time off work!!!!! Ciao Mike and Kim on Ka'imi

Monday, October 02, 2006

Linda and Tom in Venezuela


Hola, Kim's sister Linda and her husband Tom made it safe and sound to Venezuela. They stopped overnight in Caracas then headed to Barcelona. When they got off the plane, they were looking a little pale....but we fixed that!! They both left tan and/or red :)

We didn't stay in the Marina long, just long enough to get provisions, then headed out to Isla Tortuga. We didn't have much wind but were able to sail part of the way. We ended up motor sailing the rest of the way. Linda and Tom were great crew and we arrived in one piece. We stopped at the first anchorage to overnight and then we planned to head out to Los Tortuguillas. The first night there, however, we had some unexpected flying guests. They covered the boat right about dinner time. Captain Mike had a hard time trying to keep them off the steaks that were barbequeing. Kim was glad to be a vegetarian that night :)

It was very hot out there this time of year and it was hard to keep Linda and Tom inside the boat. Unlike the Marina where there is air conditioning, when we are on the hook we spend most of our time in our outside living room - the cockpit.

Linda and Tom quickly adapted to boat life. Linda spent most of the time in the water, it was very HOT!! Tom on the other hand found it very relaxing and took the time to nap a bit. After breakfast we usually relaxed a bit, explored, played Bocci Ball on the beach, then finished the evening with Dominoes. Mexican Train Dominoes was our game of choice. Tom did catch a huge tuna of some sort on the way to Los Tortuguillas. It was enough for a couple of steaks and Kim had a good dinner :). He had a very rough time hauling this one in.....it took quite a bit of effort.

Los Tortuguillas was very nice and we had the anchorage to ourselves most of the time. The fisherman would come in the day then head out at night. The anchorage had many mosquitos so we ended up anchoring as far from shore as possible. We did a lot of snorkeling and Bocci Ball playing here. Tom had quite a technic and quickly dominated the game. Linda enjoyed steering the boat at anchor and Tom and Mike had far too many tequilas. We did buy a lobster tail here from one of the fishing boats and it was enough for the four of us.

We spent the majority of the time at Los Tortuguillas then headed back to the first anchorage to overnight before coming back to Bahia Redonda. As we were exploring the island we found a little posada and restaurant on the other side of the island. (Their website is www.ranchoyemaya.com). We were sooo excited to get a very cold cervaza and a fish lunch. They are located right next to the airport but we did not find this place when we were here with Kristopher. It seems that they tried to advertise once on the other side of the island where the boats are, but someone came and cut there sign down. I guess there is another place at the end of the island that has a restuarant too, and didn't like the competition. We never found that place. Anyway they don't advertise anymore, just hope for word of mouth. There are other bungaloes located in the area where people stay. We waited in the lounge while the chef Joaney, prepared a Pescado lunch. Whole red snapper, breaded and deep fried with papa fritas (french fries) and ensalada (salad). For desert we had peaches and cream and then some coffee for Tom. It was a great lunch with a great atmosphere and fantastic service and company.

It was expensive because they have to fly everything in, but it was delicious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The cervazas were cold and the service was excellant. The manager Nelson shared much about the business and the island with us.

Captain Mike was very happy after the meal. Here is a picture of Nelson, Kim, Joaney and Linda. They had quite a few dogs and a really cute cat on the island. The dog that looks like he is growling is actually smiling. Nelson tells him to smile and he does. The dogs eat lizards and fish, and snack on dog food. The cat also eats fish and whatever else she can find on the island. They seem very happy and well cared for. Ciao, Mike and Kim on Ka'imi

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