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Caribbean Cruising Logs and Web Sites 2005

What are sailors saying about Venezuela?

We are pleased to present cruising logs and other writings about Venezuela by people who have cruised our waters and traveled our country. If you have a story you would like to share, please email the: Webmaster.
From Cabo Codera to Trinidad
Cabo Codera to Trinidad - Click to enlarge
Cruising the offshore islands of Venezuela - June, 2005
by Duncan Gould on board Moose
Sail Magazine
In the September, 2004 issue, Duncan Gould reports on his explorations of Venezuela's offshore islands: "Just an overnight hop from Grenada, but part of another world." Here's the additional, on line information we promised you from aboard Gould's 39-foot steel cutter, Moose:

The offshore islands of Venezuela are south of 12 degrees north and therefore south of the hurricane belt. They can in principle be cruised year-round. In general, they enjoy garden-variety trade winds, meaning easterlies of 15-20 knots. Weather can be unsettled in September and October as westward-moving tropical disturbances pass to the north. In February and March the spring winds pick up into the 20-25 knot range, and exposed anchorages can be exciting. Daytime temperatures are between 80 and 90 degrees all year. Water temperature is just on the fresh side of perfect. More...

Splendid isolation - April 10, 2005
by Stephanie J. Martin
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Looking for Caribbean beauty without the crowds? Islands off Venezuela fill the bill

Fishing for tarpon
LYNNE SLADKY / Associated Press
Fishing for tarpon off the island of Gran Roque in the Venezuelan archipelago of Los Roques.
LOS TESTIGOS, Venezuela — Off the coast of Venezuela are some of the most beautiful and remote islands in all the Caribbean. Beginning with Los Testigos' tiny fishing village and sand dunes in the east and stretching 300 miles to Los Aves' reef-strewn mangroves in the west, the offshore islands of Venezuela offer a Caribbean paradise far away from cruise ships, crowds and casinos.

Puerto La Cruz on the mainland and Porlamar on Isla Margarita, about 60 miles north, are the jumping-off places for both tourists and cruising sailboats. Both have large airports and offer a wide variety of hotel and tour packages. Cruising boats will find excellent anchorages on all sides of Margarita with duty-free shopping and other services in Porlamar.

A selection of marinas and boatyards awaits the cruiser in Puerto La Cruz. More...

Cruising Below the Belt - April 2005
by Roger Marshall,
Caribbean Compass
Cruising during hurricane season can be like adultery: fascinating, exciting, fun, and challenging, but woe to him who is caught! This is a first-hand review of the joys and the pitfalls of cruising below the so-called "hurricane belt" in the hurricane season. The southern boundary of the hurricane belt, we'll say, is 12°40'N.

MOCHIMA NATIONAL PARK AND GOLFO DE CARIACO. Many have spent entire summers cruising these attractive bays, islands and creeks. This area is protected from severe weather conditions and is probably the safest cruising area one could choose - weather-wise, that is. We saw fit to cruise this area with our grandchildren and were unhindered, notwithstanding the odd report of a boarding. Suffice to remind everyone of the Safety & Security Net's advice "Lock It or Lose It". A permit is needed to visit the Mochima Park area and this can be obtained through your check-in agent in Venezuela. More...

Adventures on Jade Moonbeams - March 2005
by Ken Kabb
on board s/v Jade Moon
Regina demonstrated arepa making, and she is amazingly talented. We knew she was a talented musician, but her culinary skills are artistry as well. The recipe is to mix the corn meal with a little salt, add roughly an equal amount of water (slowly) and mix as if it were cement or mortar. When it becomes the consistency of dough, you knead and form it into a round ball by rolling it between your palms and then flatten it into what looks like a rather thin English muffin. It is then fried in a pan without oil until it no longer sticks, flipped over to cook the other side, and then it’s done. After cooking while still hot, you can slit it open and fill with a white, soft cheese and ham, or just eat it plain or with butter. Regina’s arepas were absolutely perfect, and tasted delicious. Ours tasted delicious also but would not win any beauty contests. We adjourned to the terrace for dinner and good conversation until the zancudos arrived. More...
Dugout Canoe Cruise on Venezuelan Rivers - December 2004
by Roger Marshall,
Caribbean Compass
Few adventures can be so awe inspiring as those that have a natural backdrop to set the stage, and our trip by river to Angel Falls was no exception.

Early one morning we left Bahia Redonda Marina by taxi for the Puerto la Cruz bus terminal, where we caught a luxury bus to the town of Ciudad Bolivar. The bus trip was a four-hour drive over interesting terrain. The approach to Ciudad Bolivar was impressive, as we crossed the Orinoco River via the Angostura bridge - at 1.7 kilometers, the longest single-span bridge we have ever been on. The Orinoco is the largest river in Venezuela, and the second largest in South America after the Amazon, and at the time of our visit was flowing strongly. More...

Returning to Venezuela - June, July 2004
by Alan and Jan Pulfrey
on board s/y Coral Moon
Scarlet Ibis - Coro coro
Scarlet Ibis - Coro coro
Our next stop was Medregal Village, a low-key and yacht-friendly resort owned by Belgian Jean-Marc. Situated as it is some way from any shops, Jean-Marc takes visitors in his Land Cruiser into Cariaco town to provision at the Saturday market. What an exciting experience - tourists are rare here yet the locals were friendly and helpful as we stumbled through the stalls with our basic Spanish. The local produce looked fresh and appetising - all basic food-types were there plus delights such as pineapples for the equivalent of 25p. We approached the local butchers' stalls with trepidation as nothing was neatly labelled and packed, and hygiene standards would have made a UK-health inspector's eyes roll to the inside of his skull. Nevertheless, we found a friendly-looking stallholder who cut us a tender piece of Lomito (fillet steak) - not bad value at 1Kg for £2. Later, snacking on a couple of Arepas (local pasties), we felt as though we'd slotted into the rhythm of rural Venezuela quite well!

No trip to the Golfo de Cariaco would be complete without a stay at its head to view the wonderful array of bird life. Just as last year, we were dazzled by the glorious spectacle of flocks of Scarlet Ibis flying home to roost and, shortly afterwards, the vividly-coloured sunset reflecting in the limpid waters of the Laguna de Cariaco. More


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