Sunday, April 29, 2007

Los Roques to the Aves

There is a beautiful walk from our anchorage down to the sand bar connecting Cayo de Agua to West Cay and then across that cay to the lighthouse at the west end. We did it twice, once with Val and Dave, swimming every half an hour or so off the pristine white beaches on either side. The snorkeling and kayacking were all wonderful. Just sitting in our cockpit and watching the view beats most anything.
Sunsets are a ceremonial occasion for cruisers. The traditional "sundowners" are prepared and the crew lounges in the cockpit watching the show. Sometimes the sound of a blown conch shell heralds the last rays of the sun. Val is a talented conch musician and Scott is still practicing. The elusive "greenflash" is supposed to occur when the horizon is perfectly clear, with no land, clouds or haze. Perfection has still not occurred for us as we've never seen it!
As beautiful as our anchorage was, we still wanted to get going to the Aves so after a few days we got the boat ready for a rolly trip and set off at 8 AM, following our track out on the computer navigation. We had 15 to 20 knots of wind and it was directly from behind, so we tacked downwind, jibbing the sail with a preventor when necessary. It was a fast trip and soon we were circling the lighthouse at the Aves de Barlovento and followed "Angel" through the long passage into our anchorage behind Isla Sur. We were anchored by 2 PM and had a late lunch, seranaded by hundreds of birds roosting in the surrounding mangroves.

The noise level was deafening up close but we were forewarned and anchored far enough off. Two birds claimed our dinghy as theirs despite Scott's earnest efforts to dislodge them. They look here like they're having a heated discussion about it.

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