Saturday, December 30, 2006

Los Roques

Hello all, we are still here in Bonaire and finally getting a chance to update the website. Our first stop after leaving Venezuela was the Tortugas. We only stayed a few nights, once in the first anchorage and two nights in the last anchorage Los Tortuguillas. We had to stay an extra night there as our windlass solenoid had a malfunction and we had to connect it directly. We now have to operate the windlass from down below until we can get the problem solved.

Los Roques is made of about 14 by 25 miles of protected, reef-studded water with lots of little islands. The area is very poorly charted so our navigation was mainly by eyeball. The holding was good, the water was beautiful and the anchorages were very secluded for the most part. Los Roques is supposed to have the best bone fishing in the world! There were many fisherman and we managed to trade for some lobster.

We entered Los Roques through the southeast entrance, Boca De Sebastopol. It was pretty nerve wracking trying to enter through a small clearing, as I said before the charts are very bad and we had to do eyeball navigation. The depth at the entrance is 20 feet, then it shoals to about 16 feet (eeeeek) then you are in deep blue water 30-60 feet deep. There is a path of this deep water with reefs on either side. Our first stop when we got into Los Roques was Buchiyaco. It is a very small islands just inside the reef. We stayed here overnight and then headed out. We went for the deep water channel, put the genoa up and had a beautiful, slow sail up through the channel with beautiful reefs and tiny islands surrounding us.

Our next stop was Crasqui. This little island had the best beach, it was very long, powdery white and hot! There had been a resort on the island, but the Inparques (National Park Personnel) closed it in an effort to preserve the natural state of the island. The island is also very popular with Venezuelans who come over in power boats on the weekend. There were some Venezuelan children here the weekend we arrived and they made this great sandcastle. By Monday we nearly had the anchorage to ourselves. We stayed here about a week and most of the time we were the only boat in the anchorage. There was not much snorkeling here, but we explored the whole island and actually went around the entire island in our dinghy. We really enjoyed this solitude after being in Venezuela for so many months. We finally felt like we were cruising again. The waters were crystal clear and just a little chill to cool you down. There were lots of pelicans in this anchorage, and everywhere in Los Roques, but in Crasqui we got daily shows of the pelicans flying and catching there food. It was a great sight and we sat for hours on the shoreline watching. This beach was also a great beach for Bocci Ball, you could go on forever. We stayed here about a week, then headed over to Sarqui.

Sarqui is a small anchorage that can fit a few boats. When we arrived there were 6 boats!! We came to this anchorage because we had heard that there was some great snorkeling here and our friends who had traveled here before us said that they had caught some Lobster. The anchorage was surrounded by reefs and the holding was very poor and it was crowded so we only stayed the night. We ran in to our old friends Tom and Colleen on Unplugged and had a game of Bocci Ball and a Happy Hour that night - then headed out the next morning.

We headed for a little archipelago that consists of four islands, Elbert Cay, Bequeve, West Cay and Cayo de Agua (and a LOT of reefs). Our first anchorage was at Bequeve which is joined to Elbert Cay by a sand dune. We anchored right were this two islands join. It was picture perfect. We did have to wind our way through the coral reefs and our hearts were thumping as we watched to water and the depth guage. Kim stood guard on the pulpit and Captain Mike did a EXCELLENT job of navigating us in safely. Ashore there were miles of sand beach to explore and the snorkeling was not soo bad. There were also lots of birds there.

We stayed there a few days then headed across the bay, through another maze of coral reefs to the anchorage called Cayo De Agua. It had sand dunes, palm groves, mangrove trees, lagoons and water holes. They say you can get dig to get fresh water here. Cayo De Agua got its name because there is lots of fresh water a few fet down and it was an invaluable supply to the Amerindians, fisherman and the occasional desperate cruiser. The snorkeling and exploring here was great. There is a sand bar that connects Cayo De Agua with West Cay and you can cross it a low tide. We did that to visit the lighthouse. There were lots of fish here and beautiful beaches.

Bye for now Mike and Kim on Ka'imi


  1. Anonymous11:13 AM


  2. Anonymous9:02 PM

    Agarin.. GREAT photos! Used lots of sunscreen, eh...
    Cold Spell has frozen several tander plants... you remember COLD. 27 degrees at night,,, bbrrr
    Otherwise all good. Paul & Bev



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