Monday, April 23, 2007

Monday 16th April

Los Roques

11 53.051 N
66 50.686 W

After a good nigh sleep we were ready to continue on our trip. We had to check in with the authorities before going any further as Los Roques is a national park and there are rules and regulations to follow including checking in with Guardacosta, Guardia Nacional, Inparques and Autoridad Unica (PHEW!) To check in with these bodies we had to make our way to El Gran Roque which was just over 4 miles away. We upped anchor at 10.00hrs and motored the short distance, dropped our anchor just out side the “township” and Dale and Gerry dinked over to the dock with documents and cash in hand to do the right thing. Lorie and I remained on our boats to guard the crown jewels. The men returned a little under an hour later with the news that they had caused problems by saying we were only in transit and not staying in Los Roques for any length of time (apparently this is unheard of!) anyway they were told that they could stay in El Gran Roques for 2 days without paying any fees –bonus, more of that in a moment. Then they asked if they could stay at a different island in Los Roques for the 2 days instead – well you knew they were difficult didn’t you? The answer to that was a little unclear so they offered to pay but were waved away; we assumed that it was then OK to stay at one of the eastern islands for the 2 days instead. According to our cruising guide the fee structure to stay in Los Roques was US$2 per boat foot plus US$12 per person and who knows what else, and these fees were based on 2002 information so they were probably even more by now. It would have meant that we could have parted with US$100 just to pass through the place so we were delighted to motor sail our boats over to the eastern island of Carenero which was just over 11 miles further on. We approached Carenero and entered into a beautiful anchorage through a narrow channel with reef on both sides, easy to navigate in the light of day. Inside the anchorage there were supposed to be 6 mooring buoys but it turned out to only be 4, of these 3 were taken and one was set in the mangroves and not useable for a sail boat. We dropped our anchor in the clearest water we have seen to date. The anchorage had a small beach on one side and reef and mangroves on the other; it was totally protected and flat calm, a perfect spot for a 2 night stop over. Once settled in we put the dink in the water and went on a tour around the surrounding area, not too much to see from the dink but there was meant to be excellent snorkeling on the reef – that would have to wait until tomorrow. Dinner was on our boat; unfortunately the mangroves obscured our view of the sunset so we planned to eat on Gypsy Palace, who were anchored a bit further away from us, the next night purposely to see the sun set (and possibly the green flash that we still don’t believe exists!). Over dinner we tried to guess where the boat anchored next to us was from, they were flying a flag with red, white and red horizontal stripes (any guesses?) we ended up looking it up – they were from Latvia! Amazing how far some people have traveled to arrive at the same place we were at. Other boats in the anchorage were from Canada and Venezuela.



Post a Comment

<< Home