Gran Roques, Los Roques, Venezzuela.

Steve & Carol
Tue 5 Jun 2018 23:35
11:56.85N 66:44.96W
At First light we were approaching Gran Roques and anchored off the town at 06.30 this morning, we couldn't have asked for a better passage from St Martin, the cloud cover predicted, didn't materialise, the moon provided good light most of the night passages and the winds were never as strong as we had been expecting. There are 5 other boats already here, one of which we had heard about from the OCC net is Moondancer who lost their rudder on passage to Bonaire and were towed in by the Venezuelan coast guard.
First impression of Gran Roques from the boat were that it didn't look too appealing – there is a small solar power station at the north of the bay and the town is to the south, however the water is an amazing colour, there is a narrow  shelf of turquoise water to anchor in before it drops off steeply and the water turns dark blue, there are lots of fish and sea birds feeding on them including a great number of pelicans Red heart.
After tidying the boat and having showers we were ready to go and attempt the check in procedure, we had read from other boats that there are 6 places you have to go to to check in and the cost seems to have varied widely so we were a little apprehensive, one boat had paid $350 at the end of last year and someone we met who visited here a few weeks ago paid about $75!
we went ashore with Rik and Sanne and went to
Coast guard – we were asked if we would pay $30 we declined as it’s meant to be free – would have happily paid a smaller amount but it wasn't a problem, they found a young lad who took us to the other offices and who we gave a tip to,
Port Office
Marine park Office
National Guard complex
Immigration – $15 per boat
Tourist payment office – $28 for the boat
we therefore paid $43 to check in – bargain and it only took 2 1/2 hours, we celebrated with a coffee in a bar 50 cents each the exchange rate is over a million Venuzalian to US$1 !
The town has a really nice feel to it, no vehicles and sand roads we are looking forward to exploring tomorrow when we have caught up with some sleep. We really wish we spoke some Spanish as they speak very little, if any English here and it would be nice to be able to find out more about life here.
Second impression, looks like a great decision to come here.