Isla Monje del Sur, Venezuela
Wednesday 14th November 2012
Distance run: 59 nmiles
The excitement of catching our first big fish over, we sailed in fairly light airs for most of the way, then needed to put the engine on in order to make it to the islands before dark. We had been told there is a mooring line stretched across the bay that you have to tie to, and we didn’t want to try to find that in the dark! A few miles off the islands we kept hearing this loud, gruff voice coming over Ch16 VHF and speaking in Spanish. Eventually we realised they were trying to contact the two sailing boats, so I answered telling them we didn’t speak a lot of Spanish. That was good, because they didn’t speak ANY English! They were somebody’s navy, but we couldn’t make out whose, and they wanted us to identify ourselves. So then we spent probably twenty minutes trying to answer their questions and eventually they seemed satisfied. They didn’t make too much effort to get Rod & Mary’s details – I suspect they’d had enough of Gringos by then! Anyway, no naval craft put in an appearance so we assume we’d passed muster.
We arrived at Isla Monje del Sur shortly before sundown and without locating the two yellow buoys shown on the charts a couple of miles off. Not unusual, they often aren’t there, but we found out why when we entered the harbour – we parked right next to them! We had to search a bit but eventually found the thick rope to which we tied our lines. It was the most unusual mooring we have been in yet. The bay is artificial – a wall of rubble has been built between the two parts of the island – making a sheltered harbour. But it is very narrow and the water very deep, so anchoring wouldn’t be viable. So the rope across from one side to the other allows boats to tie up fairly securely, but with minimal swinging room. We put out plenty of fenders and hoped both boats would swing the same way. We also kept our fingers crossed it continued to blow from the East, otherwise goodness knows what would happen!
Thumbs up from skipper – we’re safely tied on. S-F settled on the moorings.
The depth sounder shows the bottom rising to the wall ahead. The wall of rubble protecting the bay.
The islands are literally just rocks sticking out of the sea, with a ‘naval base’ there to patrol them. And the two yellow buoys!
Once settled, Rod & Mary joined us for a wahoo supper to celebrate our first big catch. And very tasty it was too!