Monday, April 23, 2007

Sunday 15th April

Los Roques

11 57.403 N
66 39.025 W

As the sun rose we had about 8 miles left to go before we would arrive at the entrance to Los Roques. We had planned on arriving in daylight as there was a serious reef to negotiate. The approach to the entrance was marked by a lighthouse and as we got close to it Gerry noticed that our C-map navigation chart on the chart plotter seemed to have us in a different spot than our eyeballing told us we were. We very slowly and carefully made our way towards the entrance, realizing that the chart plotter was about .2 of a mile off. We made it through the entrance by eyeballing the reef and moving slowly, we radioed back to Dale & Lorie, who were busy catching a fish, to warn them that our chart was out by .2 of a mile and to take care incase theirs was (they uses navionics on their chart plotter), Dale later came back with the information that his chart was also out by about the same amount. We were all glad that we were doing the reef part in daylight as it would have been a disaster in the dark when we would have had to rely on the chart plotters. We followed the reef line from the entrance for 10 miles, awe struck by the fabulous colours of the water over the reef and the landscape on the other side of the reef. We passed a couple of wrecks on the outer reef – big ships that hadn’t made it; we wondered what chart they were using! One of the wrecks is even mentioned in the cruising guide as a prominent landmark to navigate by. We navigated the reef without incident and made our way to one of the small islands, Francisquis, to the north of the chain of islands that make up the Roques. Again we had to carefully make our way into the bay where we planned on anchoring for the night. As it was the weekend the bay was full of party boats and visitors, the beaches were crowded with Venezuelans who had come there for a weekend away from home. We dropped our anchor just off a white sand beach and sat watching the locals windsurf, water ski, and generally enjoy what was left of their weekend, by 17.00hrs most of them were packed up and gone, leaving just us cruisers in the bay for the night. Gerry did a quick tour of the area in our dink, there was a lagoon inside the bay which was accessible if the boat draft was less than 6 feet, at 5’10” we decided that we didn’t need to go into the lagoon that badly so we stayed where we were. As I have already mentioned Lorie had caught a Tuna just after sun rise so we went over to their boat for dinner – the first fresh fish we have had this trip between the 2 boats! It was delicious. After a long night at sea and a 10 mile trip dodging the reef we were all ready for an early night.



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