Monday, June 30, 2008

Picasa Web Albums - Allayne - Bonaire and C...

Picasa Web Albums - Allayne - Bonaire and C...

Click on the link above to enjoy some of our photos from Bonaire and Curacao, since we're in the marina for awhile and there's not too much new and exciting! And then enjoy our video below. ~~~_/)~~~

Monday, June 23, 2008

Picasa Web Albums - Allayne - Venezuela, 2008

Picasa Web Albums - Allayne - Venezuela, 2008

Click on the link above to enjoy our photos of Venezuela from December of 2007 until we arrived back at the marina in June of 2008. ~~~_/)~~~

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Back to PLC and then on to the Golfo

Well, after a wonderful, calm night in Cienaguita, we left a half hour after Nereia to head back to PLC. Needed them to get in and tie up first so that we had help with lines. What a difference. No wind, no waves, dead calm. Put the boat on auto pilot and just headed back to the waypoint before heading into the marina.
Spent the two weeks in the marina cleaning, washing clothes, and putting everything back where it belongs. Oh, and back to walking -- at 4:30 a.m.??!!!
Headed out to El Oculto on Friday, May 23rd, by ourselves. Nereia still had a few things to take care of, so were going to meet up with us the next day. What a beautiful trip. There's so many
things to love about Venezuela.
Audrey Paige and Nereia anchored in Mochima
(We're going to ignore the fact that Audrey Paige is upside down in this photo)

Found a shallow spot in 18 feet of water in El Oculto, explored with the dinghy and went for a swim. COLD water!! Nereia pulled in the next day. We hung out for another day, then headed to Mochima National Park, on Sunday. Found a nice secluded anchorage and relaxed for another few days, doing a dinghy tour with Dan and Jaime.

After that, on to Laguna Grande, hoping to meet up with Mark and Deb on Sea Cycle. We had to stop in Cumana first to get fuel. As we circled out in the bay, watching all the fishing boats come and go, we decided to finally head in and see what was going on. Ended up tying up to a Venezuelan fishing boat, since they were going to take 2 hours to fuel up. Luckily, the Captain spoke English. They helped us tie up to them and I handed out homemade brownies to the crew for helping us out. When we were finished fueling up, the Captain wouldn't take either beer or money for beer for their help. He said they did it 'from the heart'. We love this country and the people! Oh, and the 35 gallons of diesel and 5 gallons of gas cost us a whopping $9 US.
Love those dolphins

Motored over to the first anchorage in Laguna Grande, with pods of dolphins swimming around the boat from everywhere, and it turned out we had just missed Sea Cycle. They had left that morning to head down to Medregal Village to check out the haulout facilities. As you can see from the photos, it is absolutely gorgeous here in Laguna Grande. We spent our time there swimming, dinghy exploring and hiking, and then had some great happy hours when Sea Cycle returned.
Laguna GrandeAllayne, Jaime and Dan
Allayne waits while Dennis hikes againWhat a view
With Mark, Deb and Dan
The flies were really bad the last couple of days (only on the water, none to be seen on land). Sea Cycle left to head back to Medregal on Sunday, and we departed on Monday. Nereia has had to motor because of a rigging issue, but we hoisted the sails and headed over to Sera Larga, hoping to spend a couple of days there before joining Nereia and Sea Cycle at Medregal Village. Well, the anchorage didn't appeal to us at all. Fishing boats, the road was right there, and not what I considered a beach. So, we turned around, hoisted the sails again and had another good sail down to Medregal Village. Anchoring was challenging since the wind switched and blew out of the west, giving us waves in the anchorage. We all stayed on the boat that night to make sure we didn't drag, then headed in to visit the marina for the next few days. Pretty nice - hanging out in the self-serve bar, with good prices, not a bad book exchange and Jean Marc and everyone there are helpful and friendly. There was one calm morning and, fortunately, it was the morning Sea Cycle was hauling out. Dan and Jaime in one dinghy, and us in ours, just in case they needed some help.
Jaime, Dan, Paul and Sandra from Quarterdeck, Mark and Dennis
A storm rolling in
Sea Cycle hauls out

They were pros and everything went smooth. On Thursday we all hired what we thought was a van to take us to the market. Turned out to be an open truck. It was quite the 45 minute trip - bumpy and dusty. But, the market was wonderful, we picked up lots of great fresh produce and stopped to replenish liquor. Well, that means wine for us!!
Mark and Deb had a flight back to Toronto, but it was going to be a hassle to get to Caracas. Nereia offered first, and we seconded, that they were welcome to travel with either one of us back to PLC and fly out of Barcelona. They took Dan and Jaime up on their offer (they travelled together for almost a year and then didn't see each other for the same amount of time) and everyone had a wonderful time.

Audrey Page with spinnaker flying!

We checked the weather and it looked like spinnaker time! Hauled everything out and headed out first thing Saturday morning. We appreciate the great photos that Jaime took of us flying the spinnaker! Cruised for 3 hours until the wind completely died, then turned on the motor and headed over to Caracas Este. A bit of a challenge since Dennis likes to anchor in less than 15 feet, and that sometimes means we almost beach the boat. Then, back to Chimana Grande, anchoring at Cienaguita again, before heading back to the marina. It was motoring all the way. A power boat came in and anchored, dragged down on Nereia, then managed to stick themselves into the mud at the far end of the anchorage. We lowered the dinghy, put the motor on, and Dennis went over to help. He actually managed, with his little Spanish and their little English, to pull the boat off and anchor them well away from all of us until they could get their motors running properly.
A calm, peaceful night at anchor, our last one for awhile. Back to the marina where it's nice to know we already have the slip next to Nereia.

Marina life to follow. ~~~_/)~~~