Sunday, December 13, 2009

Los Roques

We have been back in California for a month. It is time to celebrate the holidays. It is cold and rainy here in Carlsbad. A nice change from the tropics. But, we are starting to miss the boat and our friends and the islands and the water and our stress free lifestyle. It seems, however, that we will be on land for a few more weeks. Time enough to get caught up on the blog.

Here are pictures of our trip from Blanquilla to Los Roques. We leave Blanquilla mid afternoon. The weather is beautiful but there is not alot of wind so we figure it will take us the rest of the day and all night to cover the 100 miles or so to our next destination.

We don't catch alot of fish but the squid seem to like our nice clean white decks.

We arrive at the eastern side of the islands in the early morning. The distinct lighthouse is a welcome sight. Next we have to find the small opening in the reef.

The islands here are low and dry. Once through the reef it is easy to eyeball where the deep water is. Our first priority is to have some breakfast and then catch a few zzzzzz's. We find the first acceptable spot behind the reef and drop our anchor.

Grand Roque is the main island here. There is a small airport, a few sailors like us and a large number of Venezuelan yachts. This is a tourist destination for the well-to-do citizens of Venezuela.

It is easy to see why. Surrounding Grand Roque is a series of small uninhabited islands with beaches that look just like this.

Tour operators bring groups of people to the beach...chair, shade, lunch, beer, nice.

We are desperate for some Internet. We have been away from WiFi for two weeks. No phone, no email, no texting, no blogging, no pizza. Yes we are desperate. On Grand Roque we find La Chuchera. Only problem is we have no $$$ Bolivars. Lucky for us the owner speaks English and is happy to exchange some dollars for us. He even offers us the going black market rate of 6 to 1 as opposed to the government exchange of 2 to 1. It is our lucky day. Do you have pizza? YES!

The small town on Grand Roque is charming. It is clean and the people are friendly. There is no shortage of sand here so the streets are make of sand. Makes sense. No shoes required.

A short way from Gran Roque is the small island of Crasqui. We anchor right by this beach for 3 days. We have to drag ourselves away. There are hardly any other boaters here and the beach is ours exclusively.

Nearby we can explore the mangroves.

Our landing craft when we don't feel like swimming to the beach.

There is good snorkeling here.

Pretty coral

Next island we visit is Sanqui. People often ask us what we do all day? We do this

And this

And some fishing

Steve pretends to be Lloyd Bridges in Sea Hunt

And who are you now captain?

Next stop is the island of Isla Carenero.

The locals have placed fish traps in this little lagoon. Looks like it will be Midnight Parrot fish for dinner tonight for this lady.

We are again anchored by a great beach
The weather has been great and after two weeks of fun

We spend our last night in Los Roques and tomorrow we head to the Aves. Unfortunately we are not stopping long. We are on a fast track to Bonaire but we think we might come back here someday.
A map of the islands of Los Roques. The red line is the Fine Line travel that line?

Anne and Steve
S/V Fine Line

Friday, November 20, 2009

Family Time

Fast forward to November. We are back on land for a little while.

Steve's Dad, Joe, passed away on November 9th. He had battled cancer for 3 years and his passing was a sad blessing. On Sunday, November 22, we will spread his ashes in the Pacific Ocean. He loved the ocean and his love of the sea was passed to Steve.

We'll miss you Joe!

We will be playing catch up on the blog soon.

Anne and Steve

Friday, October 09, 2009


We arrive in Blanquilla after a 12 hour sail. The weather was great and the seas mellow enough so Anne did not get seasick. Our guidebook tells us the best anchorage is on the lee side of the island right in front of the two palms. If this was a movie there would definitely be a treasure buried here

A couple of boats are anchored off the beach. They are flying French flags. We'll warm up our pantomime technique and go visit later. We head a bit further down the beach where we are all alone. Nice!!
This island is known for it's beautiful beaches. So far so good
The island is flat and probably not much higher than 20 feet above sea level. It is dry with lots of cactus and other low growing plants

We anchor right off the beach. Easy to swim ashore. Easy to snorkel the rocks and reef. But a few days later a storm moves in and we have a 180 degree wind shift. Our boat is now almost dry docked on the beach. Fortunately it is daytime and we pick up our anchor and move

Cactus Hill

There are a few trails for hiking on the island but mostly we climb up and down to beautiful beaches
There are not many trees here but at least they have some personality
At night we hear the donkeys braying. Inland we find their almost dry watering hole. Maybe it will rain soon?

A short dingy ride away we find Americano Bay. Named after Mr. Blankenship, an American, who found the prettiest spot on the island. Not sure what happened to him but

There is only a relic of his island house left and no sign of Mr. Blankenship... or anyone else.

Enjoying the scenery
What does that hand sign mean Captain?

There are all kinds of small places to explore
And big lagoons (the guidebook calls them fjords)
Inside the fjord there are mangroves
Big Caves
No treasures just one pirate
The scenery is amazing
French Angel Fish

Fish or rock?
Man or tree?
It is time to move on. A last walk on the beach and we'll take off for Los Roques. A 2pm departure should get us there by morning. Bon Voyage.

See you in Los Roques.

Anne and Steve
S/V Fine Line