And no....it’s not us with the Hangover (stupid movie!), but the fishermen
on beautiful Blanquilla who, thanks to Mark and Amanda on Balvenie, were the
lucky recipients of a bottle of rum and one of brandy. We suspect they drank it
in one sitting. The rum was to thank the fishermen for giving Balvenie a tow
into the anchorage when their engine wouldn’t start and the brandy was for a
fish. We got off lightly – a huge fish only cost two cold cokes, some batteries
and half a container of engine oil! Mark and David spent the best part of the
afternoon working on the engine and there was relief all round when it started.
It would be no fun to not have an engine in these reef strewn islands.
Tiny Blanquilla was gorgeous.....white sandy beaches, clear water and the
best snorkelling we’ve had in ages. The fishlife was abundant and the coral
beautiful. We snorkelled on about four different reefs and every time saw masses
of fish and beautiful coloured coral. The island is basically uninhabited apart
from a tiny fishing hamlet in the south and a national guard base. Noone
bothered us and we always felt safe. The fishermen were friendly enough and more
than happy to hand over fish. Ours was huge and we got two meals from it with
another two in the freezer. We have no idea what it was – bit like a kingfish
and absolutely delicious.
We left yesterday afternoon with a good breeze and the overnight sail to
Los Rocques was uneventful. We’re now about 10 miles from El Gran Rocque and
should be there with the sun directly overhead which we need to navigate through
We’re not quite sure what awaits us ashore as we are not officially checked
into Venezuela (you have to go to the mainland or Isla Margarite to do so and
they are unsafe), but we hope they’ll give us a permit for the national park.
(Los Rocques is a national park). Our Kiwi friends on Cutty Hunk and Awaroa had
one night in the south of Los Rocques without getting a permit but as it’s a
group of islands and reefs we’ve looked forward to visiting for some years we
plan to go the official route. Ryan was here when he was deckhand on Cheetah
Moon and loved it. We’re hoping we get a reasonable park official....but this is