Monday, April 23, 2007

Sunday 8th April

Los Testigos

11 22.896 N
63 08.087 W

As we made our way in towards the anchorage we noticed a whole load of birds just ahead of us, I commented to Gerry that there must be fish there and as we approached we were suddenly surrounded by a large pod of dolphins. They were having a ball in the waves, diving, racing alongside us and riding the bow waves – they were a joy to watch but they disappeared as fast as they had appeared.
We all arrived at the anchorage spot within minutes of each other the trip had taken us 13 hours from anchor up to anchor back down. We dropped our anchor and it seemed to set quickly, Gerry decided to dive it to make sure it was OK as there was quite a lot of wind gusting through the place, lucky he did as the anchor wasn’t set properly, it caught on coral and the chain was wrapped around another piece of coral some distance away. We did a repeat anchoring and when he checked the second time we were well set in the sand and not going anywhere. We raised our Q flag as we were only going to be stopping here a short while and had no intention of checking in to Venezuela, which the Los Testigos belong to. It was then time to clean up, have a shower, eat breakfast and get some sleep. Although we had done 3 hour watches overnight neither of us had slept very well on our time off watch and we needed to catch up. After 4 hours sleep we were feeling a bit better and went on a dink around the place with Dale and Lorie to see the scenery. It struck us all as a very isolated place and I certainly wouldn’t want to live here. There were a couple of nice sandy beaches and some very barren looking land. Apparently the islands are inhabited but only sparsely. Quite a few boats were anchored in the designated anchorages, most of them flying Q flags – it’s obviously a popular “stop over whilst in transit” spot. The anchorage was a little rolly but we were too tired to care much, we could put up with it for a brief stay. Loads of frigate birds were playing the thermals over the anchorage and every so often one of them would fold its wings and dive bomb into the water, as they never seem to come up with fish we think they must do this for fun or to rid themselves of parasites. It’s spectacular to watch anyway. After our brief sight seeing dink around the place Dale and Lorie joined us on our boat for a couple of drinks and a post mortem of the night passage. Once they left we ran the generator, made some water and read for a while before fixing dinner. Eventually it was time to have a shower again and go to bed.
Photo from the camera of Gypsy Palace



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