|Overview||31 Aug 2003|
|1 Apr 2002||6 Apr 2004|
|15 July 2002||2 Dec 2004|
|5 Nov 2002||13 Jan 2005|
|5 Feb 2003||August 2005|
|5 Apr 2003||April 2006|
Last update was officially while we were still in Grenada, although we put it out in Venezuela, so forgive me if I overlap things or leave something out. It's a bit confusing.
We left Grenada (our first night passage) and headed for Los Testigos, on a clear night with an almost-full moon. I personally enjoyed the whole thing, but then it was only one night, and a bright moon. I don't think I'll like it as much when it's a month or more at sea.
The Testigos are a little group of islands north of the coast of Venezuela, on a direct line from Grenada to Margarita Island. We stopped there for several days, but didn't really explore the dry, scrubby islands. For me, it was a stopping point between two places with kids.
So a couple days later, we upped-anchor, and sailed away to the southwest, and Margarita. It was nice, but long, and we were able to put up the spinnaker on our way to Coche, a little flat island just south of Margarita, and also where all our friends were.
It was fun in Coche, although the water wasn't clear at all. There was a beautiful long white-sand beach, and a resort that let the cruisers use their swimming pool. e were in there almost every day after school, splashing and swimming and having fun in non-salty water, for a change.
We had several big fires on the beach, one with all the adults and kids, and the second with just the kids. The first one, all of us kids were running around with a soccer ball, and getting everything sandy, so the parents told us to go away. So we went a little way down the beach, and set up goals, and chose teams. It is really fun to play soccer in the sand, with a full moon overhead. I, for one, got extremely sandy, and had to have another shower when we got back to the boat.
The second fire was just the kids, and we roasted marshmallows, played around in the sand, sat and talked, basically just hung out. Not Chris's thing, which is why he didn't come.
After a while, we went up to Porlamar, Margarita, where everyone else was headed and where we could run our watermaker and swim in the ocean. We didn't do much in Porlamar besides the normal, school, and then go swimming, hang out, etc. We also started planning for a trip to Merida state, inland. After a long while, we decided to go for it, along with Pelican and Dream Catcher, two boats with kids on them.
What I'm going to say about our trip inland is very brief, to save space. If you would like to hear about the more interesting parts, I am writing about them in my LA/SS pages.
We took the boat to a marina, and flew out to Merida. The first day we were there, we took an acclimatization tour, up to about 12000 feet, and saw the Andean condors in captivity. The next day, we went up the Teleférico, and then hiked and rode mules to Los Nevados. We stayed a couple of days, and then mule-rode out to another town, where we stayed for a night and then rode in the back of a pickup truck back to Merida. We wanted to see more, so we took a tour for a couple days into Los Llanos, or the plains, of Venezuela. We went river rafting, on boat rides on the Apure River, horseback riding, and hiking. Note - If I do not have these in my LA/SS pages, they will be there in the next update.
Tony, Teresa, Tianna, Sean, and Daniel came down to visit in Margarita, and with them we went to the Golfo de Cariaco, to Laguna Grande and to see the Guacharo Cave, and up to Blanquilla. Tony's a fishing freak, so we were always trailing three lines, and once when we were going along Margarita past some fishing boats, and we caught about six fish, four of which we kept, in rapid succession.
We had Christmas in Margarita, with a big Christmas Eve dinner in at Jaks. The 'Paro' was going on by this time, with some violence in Caracas, so our next guests, Chris's friend's family and Emmy, our cousin, decided not to come down. We would have met them in Roques before Christmas, but as it was there were lots of kids in Porlamar, so we decided to stay for a while.
We left a couple days after Christmas, in company of Tween, a Dutch boat with three kids on board. We traveled with them to Tortuga, Los Roques, Las Aves, and Bonaire. We spent a lot of time snorkeling, playing on beaches, or having dinner with them here on Ocelot.
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