Venezuela to Bonaire

Moon Song
Laura & Alan Grayson
Mon 15 Dec 2008 20:03

Well we are now in Bonaire and are really glad we have left venezuela. We will not be going back, Violence is on the increase and we just had a bad shooting and killing at the nearest anchorage from the marina. Three locals approached 2 cruising boats, American, who were rafted up together just after sunset and asked for water. As one of the ladies went down for the water the local pulled a gun and shot one of the males twice in the chest from 18 inches. He was killed instantly. Luckily the other bloke was on the ball and yelled for his wife to hand up his gun from down below and he came out shooting. He got shot in the thigh for his troubles but at least the other locals jumped off the boat. He them jumped in the dinghy and shot at any head he saw, unfortunatly not hitting anyone else but did manage to chew one up local with his prop. Thats basically the jist of it. There have been more and more incidents there, therefore we are glad to be out of there. It was very lucky for us as we left the day before and were going to go to the same anchorage but changed our minds on the way out and went to a different one, How lucky was that desicion. We pulled up the anchor at 3.00am on the sat morning and while we were leaving heard some very agitated voices from the dark, so maybe we were very lucky, we just up anchored and got out of there as fast as our motor would go. These other guys got shot on sat night at about 6.00pm. Needless to say all the cruisers are leaving venezuela for good and hopefully none will return.

We did enjoy our time there and are thankful nothing happened to us or in fact ever happened to us but our time there is definitely over.

It took us about 2 weeks to get to Bonaire stopping in the out islands of Venezuela. They were OK but we were glad to be moving on so didn't really spend much time there. The best Island was Aves De Sotavento. When we checked in with the Coast guard we were offered a cup of coffee and they were really friendly and were a bit disappointed when we said we were only staying a couple of days. The diving was good there and we planned on staying a few more days but you will never guess what happened,  nothing drastic this time, but after carring around the dive compressor all these years and not really having a chance to use it, on the first fill i managed to get the hoses all tangled up with the belt and chafed a hole in the hose. No more diving, and we can't get it fixed in Bonaire. God i felt like such a plonker.

OK on to Bonaire, we love this place, you don't realise how tense you are in Venezuela until you leave the place. This place is so good for the soul. The pace of life is as fast or as slow as we want it to be. Every one else we have met from Ven has said the same thing. we have been diving our butts off. It is one of the premier dive spots in the world after all. We bought a 50 tank fill deal for $100 thats $2 a fill compared to $7.50 if you do it one at a time. We have been here 2 weeks now and have managed to clock up 12 dives each. Of course i feel like a prune for much of the time but i think i'll get over it. Today we have just started on the boat jobs as we are getting a bit behind and the boat looks a bit of a mess. We also have Laura's Neice and daughter turning up for a visit in a couple of days, so its time for a clean up.

We also had some drama here as well. A boat caught fire while the owners were out on a dive. It burnt to the waterline and sunk. It was only about 5 moorings from us and when Laura saw all the smoke she yelled to me and i hopped in the kayak and shot over there. As i was heading over there people on the shore were yelling out that there was a dog onboard so i dug in the old paddles and shot over there. I was the first one to get there and got the dog off. Luckily it was an old friendly one and i had no problem. The boat was already well under way with no chance of putting out the fire. The flames were already at the mast and while i was pulling the dog off i saw flames thru the forward hatch. About three minutes after getting the dog off the mast fell forward right where i was getting the dog off so luckily i didn't try and get onto the boat. The poor owners didn't have insurance either so the cruisers all chipped in, it was good to see.

So all in all a pretty hectic time has been had by us laid back people. We are looking forward to a great xmas. We have Laura's neice, Heidi and her daughter Hanna staying with us over xmas plus we have a lot of people from the marina in Venezuela here as well so it should be a great time.

I think i'll leave it at that for now.