10:57.142N 63:49.897W Isla Margarita
Love left early for Margarita as their water pump was a problem. I think
mine might be going the same way, but the water leak is manageable for now and
it will have to wait. The other two boats in the anchorage also departed
and I was alone. Nothing much seems to happen on the island and I did not
see people, although I could hear a radio.
I could have had two nights, but I did not want to travel by day and arrive
late in Margarita, so I had said that I would leave at 6pm. I was too
tired to go today anyway, the past 36 hours had been very tiring; I need time
to adjust, recently I have been used to 12 hours sleep most nights.
I spent the morning taking everything moveable off the deck
and putting it in the back cabin - Fenders, generator, 4th anchor,
oars, long boathook and put a cable through the jerry cans and padlocked
that. I am told that Venezuela is a ‘lock it or lose it’
area. Then I emptied the cockpit locker and treated the 4 batteries to ½
cup of water each, they had earned it. I put the things I would need back
in the locker and put the extraneous items in the back cabin -mooring ropes,
rain catcher, awning, dinghy bag; as this cabin was now uninhabitable it might
as well be used to make everywhere else easier.
I tightened up a few screws on the engine pipes and the
impeller housing to see if this would stop the water leak and checked the
oil. The oil was a bit down, probably should have been topped up after I
serviced it. There is a section of bilge under a board behind the shaft
where I had stored all the engine spares, this was difficult to access, but I
only need to get to it when servicing the engine and that is not often and I
would have to take everything out of the cabin for that. Guess where I
had put the spare oil, in what seemed like a moment of sheer brilliance at the
time. I will buy some oil when I get to Margarita and keep it at the
front of the engine, where it had previously lived quite happily for
years. Strange that on a boat one moments flash of inspiration later
becomes the most stupid idea you ever had.
I spent over an hour trying to send e-mail and
failing. I shall wait until I get wifi and then try again, so the blog
will posted late. My phone does not work in Venezuela, but KL did send an
e-mail to Jim to let him know that I had arrived safely in Los Testigos.
I managed an hours nap in the afternoon, but kept getting up
to do one more thing that I remembered had to be done. Just before 6 I
set off. There was still no wind, hurricane Gustav still had it all and I
had to motor.
motoring, but I did put the genoa out to the spreaders to pick up what little
wind there was. I tootled along slowly as I did not want to arrive too
close before daylight. I anchored in Porlamar just before 8am, which is
now 7.30am here. I did not have to worry about checking in, if you do not
arrive until after 9am then you do not do it until the next day. I could
check in tomorrow, which was Saturday, so it would wait until Monday.
Very Spanish and horizontal, not like Trinidad. I went to check in
anyway, gave my papers to Juan at 9.30 and had to come back at 3.30. We
went into town to try to find spares for Graeme’s water pump, had to take
taxis, which are more expensive than Trinidad. I was rather underwhelmed,
but perhaps I am too tired to appreciate anything yet.
The water in
the bay is clear and there are lots of fish (sardines) and pelicans. The pelicans
perch on the front of a lot of the boats, I do not have a solid front rail, so
hopefully they will not get that close to mine. It would be rather a
nuisance with the rain catcher there. They stand on the rail until they
dive in for a fish, then they sit on the water for a while, presumably until
they are hungry and ready for another go.
3.30 we went
back in and were taken by car round the corner to the harbour master’s
office. There are about 4 different officials that are involved in check
in, but it has all been taken care of. Basically we were ignored, but had
to sign two documents (were we supposed to read them?) and give a fingerprint
on each one. Then it was back to our dock and all the cruisers come in
for happy hour and get through 3 crates of beer and chat. At 5.30 we
received our completed paperwork, 290B, that was all very easy. I have
not got any Bolivars yet and will pay Juan on Monday, I could not have done
that if I had tried to check in myself. They not only take 30 minutes off
the time, but they have just taken 3x000 off the Bolivar, so now it is a
manageable 3 to 1$ rather than 3000. The old currency is still in
circulation, but any coin will be worth so little it should not matter if I get
Gillian, Kathleen Love and Shirley and Taffy, The Road, from Trinidad are here
and Bruce, R Phurst, last seen in St Marteen. A group of us went to the
restaurant and I had fish and chips, another 40B I owe. I was running on
fumes and very pleased to get to bed. Venezuela seems ok so far.
August 30, 2008
I am still
working on getting some Bolivars.
It is hot
here, but not as humid as Trinidad and it does not rain. There are
lightning shows all around, but the rain seems to miss this bay.
I did very
little today and it was wonderful. Yesterday seemed to be wall to wall
people and I need to be alone today. I put up the breeze booster, the
rain catcher (ever-hopeful) and the awning and went back to bed for a nap at
noon. In the afternoon I cooked a loaf and some bacon and also some
batteries keep getting to 100% and I think I have adjusted the regulator to the
correct level. I have tied up the wind generator as the solar panel is
managing on its own and it is pointless to wear out my new bearings only to
dump the electricity. With all this power I can use the inverter more,
which is now in the cockpit locker attached direct to the batteries. I
got the extension lead fed through to the saloon and can now plug in just about
anything except the kettle. I can turn on the radio, which eats
batteries, and all the stations are cheerful and melodious, rather than the
Caribbean rapping and preaching.
I read the
first part of a book, mended the hole in the netting that I had made yesterday
launching the dinghy and got the e-mail to work – if this gets updated to
changed the computer time zone to Caracas GMT-4.30.
evening I watched the last 3 hours of the first series of Dexter, I have waited
a year, but now I know the ending!
It is hot
and dry as usual here, not conditions to get energetic so I shall take it
slowly. Wherever you are - Have a nice day!