10:57.142N 63:49.897W Isla Margarita

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Sun 31 Aug 2008 12:50

10:57.142N 63:49.897W Isla Margarita

Thursday 28 August 2008

Kathleen 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. 

Friday 29 August

Still 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 it wrong. 

Graeme and 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.


Saturday, 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 cakes. 

The 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 my blog.

I even changed the computer time zone to Caracas GMT-4.30.

In the evening I watched the last 3 hours of the first series of Dexter, I have waited a year, but now I know the ending!


Sunday, August 31, 2008

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!