Monjes del Sur to Cabo de la Vela

David & Valerie Allen
Wed 25 Nov 2009 14:51
12:21.68 N  70:54.17 W

Wednesday, November 18, 2009.

After a GREAT night's sleep (even the noisy generator beside the anchorage helped by provided constant "white noise"), Dave rowed us ashore for our tour.Ely Alvarez, who speaks some English, offered to guide us.  Karen's Spanish from their time in Puerto La Cruz saw us through the day nicely.  On the climb to the lighthouse, we remarked on the few tiny yellow flowers we found between two steps.  Ely told us that these were the gift of some former cruisers who had brought them to add a bit of colour to the rocks.  What a wonderful view (and waht a lovely breeze!) we found at the top of the lighthouse!  We heard SERENDIPITY calling in her arrival and watched as she sailed around the island.

We did learn that life on the island was not as difficult as we had imagined.  The young officers have a small gym and basketball court for working out.  (They also have to quick march up to the lighthouse each morning.)  They also have DirectTV, internet and wifi service, not to mention telephones and air conditioning as well.  They have solar panels and a water treatment generator as well as the main electrical generator.  They are better off than we are!

Karen and I also explored the smaller island on our own and discovered an older helipad and a magnificent view of both parts of the island, the anchorage and our two spouses sitting on the dock of the bay.  Unfortunately, Dave and Ralph had the cameras!

We spent the remainder of the day resting and swimming.  I am so proud of Dave who braved the barracuda and swam over to the cave in the next bay.  It is not easy to enter an enclosed space with thirty or more sharp-toothed fish beside you!

View from the lighthouse at Monjes del Sur, Venezuela.

At 1800 hours we cast off, with some regret, and set sail for CABO DE LA VELA  (Cape Sail) in Colombia.

The passage was a good one, except for a bit of a fright at 0130 hours (Thursday morning).  Another huge ship suddenly loomed over our stern.  The AIS unit, which detects ships nearby, kept sending alarm signals whenever anything was within a two mile radius- fantastic except when crossing shipping lanes with many ships about.  We had turned off the sound and just wanted it to flash during the night.  Unfortunately, at that moment, the screen was covered up to prevent night vision loss.  LESSON LEARNED:  From now on the unit stays on with the alarm sounding!