|Going west...... sailing into the sunset|
Sadly the stories of piracy, forced boardings, official corruption…. some true, some exaggerated, led to our decision to cut
out of our plans. So many exciting anchorages and
destinations, lost… thanks mainly to Mr Chavez. Venezuela
Many cruisers braver than ourselves report trouble free sailing in their waters, but there have also been enough first hand tales to justify our “wussiness”!
We actually did visit
Venezuela, and spend a night anchored behind a rocky outcrop belonging to them,
Monjes del Sur. Certainly this was the strangest place in which we have ever
spent a night! It is a real back of the moon, rocky little island(?), devoid of
vegetation, and inhabited by a handful of Lighthouse attendants and officials.
An artificial bay has been created by building a seawall between the big rock
and the adjacent little rock. Across this bay, a polyprop rope has been rigged
, on which there is room for 2-3 yachts to attach themselves.
|Monjes del Sur|
|Strange anchoring technique!|
We tied up in the fading light, and were troubled no further. Once again the inaccuracies of the Navionics charts were evident. Safely moored between the two bits of island, our plotter showed us well outside them!
Steve on Scott-Free had caught his first big fish while cruising , a big wahoo, and had invited us for supper…. He’s a great cook too, and it was delicious! They are still eating Mr Wahoo morning, and night, 4 days later! We too finally got into the fish, catching 2 dorado…….yay!!!!
We slipped our lines at and set out for Cabo de Vela, some 80 miles away. Now this stretch of water is where Petr Muzik had his personal best day of 220 miles in his Shearwater, “Shoestring”. Sheer Tenacity also set a record for herself….. the lowest number of miles logged in a day, in her life… 74! BUT, we landed (or shipped) another lovely dorado!! There was little or no wind, and we saw no point in pushing Lord Perkins, only to get there in the dark! We elected to sail on, plodding along at 2.5 to 3 knots, until we reached the point where we needed to maintain 4 knots to arrive in
planned time of . So Lord
Perkins was called upon to supplement the sails with 1400rpm for the last 48
miles, lifting our speed to about 4.2kt. Santa
|No wind and flat seas.........can't have everything|
It did however come up with a really unusual “Dangerous Target “ message on my last watch.
We were at risk from a ship coming backwards towards us, at 13.9 knots, apparently while at anchor! I was waiting for his name to come up (but it never did!) so that I could advise him that he was apparently dragging anchor rapidly in the direction of
.. Santa Marta
He passed us about a mile off, going forwards, but with no green (or red) lights showing, with the AIS still showing him at anchor and going astern!
A while later, I spotted a pair of ships coming towards us just off the starboard bow. I waited for them to show up on the AIS, just to confirm passing distance. It showed 0.8nm, which was fine, but that there was only one ship. By now the angle of the approaching vessels made it look as long as the Blue Train, if it really was only one vessel! My curiosity made me turn on the radar, which confirmed that there were 2 ships, one behind the other. Clearly ship no.2 had forgotten to turn on his AIS, much like my previous fellow had forgotten to change his status from “At anchor” to “under way”!
Perhaps it was just a little reminder that there is no substitute for continuous watch keeping?
|Approaching Santa Marta, Colombia, at dawn|