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El Shaddai
Tayana Vancouver 42 Sailboat
Museo de AnzoŠtegui
09/25/2008, Barcelona, Venezuela

The highlight of the museum is a surreal collection of puppet-like religious statues equipped with moveable limbs. They were originally dressed in robes so only their arms and legs had to be adjusted properly.

Venezuela
Museo de AnzoŠtegui
09/25/2008, Barcelona, Venezuela

Many of the sights were right next to the Catedral, including this museum in the oldest surviving building in town, built in 1671. There were many collections of statues, like this, dating back to the 17th century and very well preserved. We were amazed they were not locked behind glass as they seemed so vulnerable to an accidental nudge that could send them flying and shattering.

Venezuela
Plaza Boyaca
09/25/2008, Barcelona, Venezuela

In front of the Catedral is a plaza under renovation. On this day a crowd had gathered to watch some "magic". The blindfolded man was identifying clothing and even detailed information from pieces of identification of members of the crowd. We tried to figure out the "magic" and thought it was in the eyes of a small statue they placed in front of the man squatting but when he started giving detailed information on small pieces of ID from people in the crowd our theory lost substance.

We spent some time searching for a resident sloth that lives in the trees in the park. Shellee had taken photos of it the last time she visited but it was determined to stay out of our sight that day.

Venezuela
Street Signs
09/25/2008, Barcelona, Venezuela

Barcelona has colored posters on the street corners giving some history of the area and specific sites. If only my lacking Spanish was even a little helpful.

Venezuela
Cathedral Dome
09/25/2008, Barelona, Venezuela

More beautiful gilded decorations in the chapel.

Venezuela
Cathedral
09/25/2008, Barcelona, Venezuela

The beautiful painted dome adorns the Cathedral.

Venezuela
Dead Guy
09/25/2008, Barcelona, Venezuela

This Catedral contains the embalmed remains of Italian martyr San Celestino seen here.

Venezuela
Historic Barcelona
09/24/2008, Barcelona, Venezuela

Many of the streets in this area are of historic significance and popular among locals and tourists.

We favored Barcelona to any other city we've visited so far.

Venezuela
All Simon Bolivar Statues are Not Equal
09/24/2008, Barcelona, Venezuela

We learned if a town has a statue of Simon Bolivar sitting on a horse and carrying a sword it is an important center. Barcelona is the capital of the AnzoŠtegui state which must give it prominent status.

Venezuela
Weapon Wielding Nun
09/24/2008, Casa Fuerte, Barcelona, Venezuela

This statue depicts a woman, probably a nun, yielding a gun in a futile effort to defend the hospice during the massacre.

Venezuela
Casa Fuerta
09/24/2008, Barcelona, Venezuela

Time to renew our visas which we were unable to do in CumanŠ, so yet another trip to Puerto La Cruz. However, this time our purpose was not to run around madly looking for boat parts but rather to spend a couple of days with Shellee & Richard and explore the sights. What a wonderful time we had despite the fact that they were on the hard in Aqua Vi so more ladder climbing. Oh well, we got it figured out in Navimca so it was second nature.

We took a taxi to Barcelona, a short distance from Puerta La Cruz. The city was founded in 1671. Across from Plaza Bolivar is Casa Fuerta, which was once a Franciscan hospice, but was destroyed by the royalists in a heavy attack in 1817. Over 1500 people who took refuge here, defenders and civilians alike, lost their lives in the massacre that followed. The surviving parts of the walls have been left in ruins as a memorial.

Venezuela
Serendipity On Her Way
09/24/2008, Marina Cumanagoto, Venezuela

We've been friends with Harke since Trinidad so it is sad to say goodbye. We really enjoyed his company, as well as Joyce, who recently joined him as crew from Chicago.

As cruisers we meet tons of people, spend time travelling, shopping and sharing meals together and get quite close before our paths go in different directions. In reality we keep in touch with just a few of those many friends. We hope to stay connected with Harke and Joyce.

Venezuela
Bon Voyage Harke & Joyce
09/24/2008, Marina Cumanagoto

We spent quite a bit of time with Harke and Joyce before they left but it's time to bid them farewell. We really enjoyed their company and hope we will meet again in the future. This is Joyce's first real sailing adventure and she's pretty excited. They have filled the cupboards to overflowing with healthy, hearty food so they will certainly not go hungry. They are leaving around 4:30 p.m. to Tortuga and should arrive early the following morning. From there it's on to Los Roques and eventually Curacao.

Venezuela
Reprieve from the Sun
09/24/2008, Centro Mercado, Cumana

Shade is a welcome relief from the searing rays of the sun in the fresh food market. We were cautioned that this tree may be poisonous. Hmm.

It is not uncommon for us to read 90 degrees in our boat so every room has hatches open and fans running all day long. If there was some place to store it we'd probably buy an air conditioner.

Venezuela
Chicken Stew
09/24/2008, Centro Mercado, Cumana

We bought this from the fresh market but deliberately didn't pick out a live one and send it off to the slaughter. However, in hindsight we might have done a better job picking our own because this one, complete with feet sticking out of the breast cavity, was a tough old hen suitable for stew.

Venezuela
Chicken Defeathering
09/24/2008, Centro Mercado, Cumana

This was one step I'd missed in my earlier set of photos following the purchase of a live chicken to taking away the package ready for the stew pot. Wow, look at those feathers fly.

Venezuela
Fresh, Crisp Apples
09/24/2008, Centro Mercado, Cumana

We were surprised at the number of apples for sale in the market. With the diversified climate in Venezuela they can grow everything. Even the vendors were happy to pose for a photo. Joyce is in the background wisely wearing a sun cover hat. September and October are turning out to be the hottest months of the year here and we are constantly fighting for reprieve from the sun.

Venezuela
Centro Mercado
09/24/2008, Cumana, Venezuela

Our friend Harke had a new crew member join him, Joyce from Chicago. We went to the fresh market one day and as soon as my camera came out I was approached to take photos.

Just before Joyce left Chicago, we had taken a trip to Puerto La Cruz to get our injectors diagnosed. We had black smoke adorning our stern ever since we left the Bahamas, and with the new propeller the problem seemed to be worse. Bill managed to remove 2 of the 4 but the other two wouldn't budge. He ended up hiring some marina workers to bring a torch and heat the injectors to scarlet which eventually did the trick. The diagnosis indicated one injector was toast and the other three not far behind. The recommendation was to replace them. We contacted Joyce, whom we'd never met, and asked if she would be willing to bring 4 new injectors with her, as there is no Yanmar dealer in Venezuela. She agreed so we immediately ordered the injectors from a dealer in Chicago. Within 48 hours Joyce had four new injectors tucked into her bags to bring to us. We couldn't believe our blessings as this was a major problem that had a very simple solution, thanks to our new friend, Joyce.

Venezuela
Tugging Sunken Boat Ashore
09/24/2008, Marina Cumanagoto, Venezuela

It took a lot of tugging to finally get the boat on shore. Presumably it hadn't been sunk that long and the outboard was still salvageable. Always something new and entertaining in the marina because the boats are mostly commercial.

Venezuela
Sunken Boat in Marina
09/24/2008, Marina Cumanagoto, Venezuela

This is a rescue operation of a small fishing boat with an outboard motor. There was a notice posted near our boat that we interpreted using the internet Spanish translation that said if you sink your boat you must put a luminous marker on the leeward side of it to mark its location. Interesting that they needed to post a sign about this indicating it is a somewhat common occurrence.

Venezuela
Sunset
09/24/2008, Marina Cumanagoto, Venezuela

OK, so I love sunsets. You must admit there are no two the same and they are all beautiful. This is one of the wonderful advantages of living on the water.

Venezuela
Patron Saint of Fishermen
09/24/2008, Cumana, Venezuela

We also understand the Virgin del Valle is the Patron Saint of Fishermen which is probably why these two fishing boats have a picture of the virgin adorning them. There were three fishing boats in Navimca with the same picture.

Venezuela
Virgin del Valle
09/24/2008, Marina Cumanagoto, Venezuela

September 8 is a day of celebration all over Venezuela. Statues of the Virgin are abundant everywhere but on this day there is a special recognition. Ceremonies are held where statues are paraded around churches or carried in fishing boats in honor of the Virgin. This very small display at the Marina Cumanagoto was spruced up for several days before the event. The day before fresh bouquets were placed in front along with balloons and streamers. The Navy ships in the Marina displayed all their flags as well that day.

When I update the blog I am constantly reminded of the wonders of travel. Every day there is something interesting to learn about this country and its people.

Venezuela
Modern Look
09/24/2008, CumanŠ, Venezuela

When completed, this modern looking building will add an element of class to downtown CumanŠ. Presently a bucket of cement is being lifted to the top.

We often think Workers' Compensation would have a hayday in this country trying to institute safety practices in construction.

Venezuela
Construction
09/24/2008, Cumana, Venezuela

The cane supports support the floor above while the cement dries.

Venezuela
Nails
09/24/2008, Cumana, Venezuela

If we thought there were a lot of desserts for sale on the street, you should see the number of nail technicians (or whatever you call them). Every day we're walking along the street these stalls are full with women waiting in line. With most Venezuelans living on a meager income it is amazing they are willing to spend so much of it on having their nails done. Although I must admit, they look fantastic. Right about now I'd be stuffing my hands in my pockets so as not to expose my shame.

Venezuela
Eenie, meenie, minee, Mo? (no Bill)
09/24/2008, CumanŠ, Venezuela

Which one would you pick? I'll take the one at the end of the row please.

Venezuelans are very fussy about their appearance, with more Miss America's hailing from Venezuela than any other country. They spend a large percentage of their income on beauty aids and clothing.

Venezuela
Postres (Desserts)
09/24/2008, CumanŠ Centro, Venezuela

Yum! It is not uncommon to see several displays of delectable cakes and pastries along the shopping area. Occasionally we see some people indulging, but not that often. One of my favorite desserts is a chocolate covered donut with a caramel filling. We did learn that next to Italy, Venezualans consume more pizza than anywhere else in the world.

Venezuela
Rio Manzanares
09/24/2008, CumanŠ, Venezuela

This lovely river meanders through town, some of it bordered by parks and trees while other parts by barrios. We would not be wandering around alone at night along the river but during the day it is a beehive of activity.

Venezuela
R & R
09/24/2008, CumanŠ, Venezuela

While we were meandering around the fort our other companion, Harke, decided to catch a few winks. Lunch time, let's get movin'.

Venezuela
Somebody is Missing
09/24/2008, Fortress, CumanŠ, Venezuela

The guide took our photo with the immense stone wall behind us. From left to right we are Bill, Bev, Shellee and Richard. Where's Harke?

Venezuela
Shellee on Fortress Cannon
09/24/2008, Historic CumanŠ, Venezuela

We had a guide give us a tour which was enlightening because everything was written in Spanish. Unfortunately they don't cater to English-speaking tourists with their signage.

Shellee poses here on one of the many cannons.

Venezuela
Fortress Above CumanŠ
09/24/2008, CumanŠ, Venezuela

We climbed a few hills to the Castillo de San Antonio de la Eminencia which overlooks the city and coastline. Constructed in 1659 on a four-pointed star plan, it has survived numerous pirate attacks and destructive earthquakes. Iglesia de Santa Inťs is in the distance.

Venezuela
Posada San Francisco
09/24/2008, CumanŠ, Venezuela

We stopped for a cold drink at the Posada San Francisco in the historic district. It is a beautifully renovated old house with mile high cane ceilings. The Lonely Planet Guide suggests it is one of the loveliest colonial mansions in town. There are 8 rooms around a tranquil, palm-filled patio of traditional-style tiles. We thought we could happily book in for a night or two and be perfectly content.

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Virgin
09/24/2008, CumanŠ, Venezuela

The statues on the rocks next to Iglesia de Santa Inťs could represent Christ's burial in a tomb.

Venezuela
Iglesia de Santa Ines
09/24/2008, Cumana, Venezuela

This church, while impressive, dates from 1929, so not particularly historic. Unfortunately it was closed.

Venezuela
Historic CumanŠ
09/24/2008, CumanŠ, Venezuela

With so many projects on the go we hadn't taken much time to explore CumanŠ. Our friends, Shellee and Richard, on Preferred Stock who were in Puerto La Cruz, came for a couple of nights to explore the historic city. Its claim to fame is it was founded by the Spaniards in 1521 and is the oldest existing town on South America's mainland. This is one of several streets that has retained its colonial charm.

CumanŠ is the capital of Sucre state and an important port for sardine fishing and canning. I have a feeling the pelicans figured this out too.

Venezuela
Pelican Watching
09/24/2008, Marina Cumanagoto, Venezuela

Got pretty close to this pelican before it took flight. They sit by the dozens at the entrance to Marina Cumanagoto.

Venezuela
Meggie
09/24/2008, Marina Cumanagoto, Venezuela

We met Kylie and Mike, Canadians, on Meggie when we were in Isla Margarita. This is a beautiful Choy Lee completely restored by Mike, who is a finishing carpenter by trade. They sail everywhere, only using their motor for entering and leaving harbours. They are a delightful young couple and after getting stuck in Medregal on the hard for a month longer than they had planned because the travel lift was broken, they spent about 3 days in Marina Cumanagoto next to us provisioning for the next leg of their journey. They are heading for Tortuga this day enroute to Los Roques.

Venezuela
Map of Northern Venezuela
08/24/2008, Northern Venezuela

My first try at posting a map. See if you can find Cumana on the left side of the map in the Sucre territory. That's where we're hanging out right now. The Golfo de Cariaco is east of Cumana where we've enjoyed great adventures. It is loaded with dolphins that love to frolich with your boat.

Venezuela
El Morro
08/23/2008, Puerto La Cruz

There is an area called El Morro that certainly caters to the upper echelon. The residences are on a series of canals that remind you of Venice. Very luxurious.

Venezuela
Beaches
08/23/2008, Puerto La Cruz

We decided to check out another marina we had missed on our previous visit in anticipation of heading here eventually. Americo Vespucio is noted for not being bordered by a barrio but on our inspection it lacked a lot. We talked to a couple who were staying there who told us the electricity didn't work, the cleats on the dock were rusted and the service was nil. However, we did walk for about 1 1/2 hours from the marina to some lovely beaches and to a couple of very modern malls and got a good feel for the place. After our exploring we still favor Cumana and may continue to stay here.

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Grafitti or Art?
08/23/2008, Puerto La Cruz

Some of the creative impressions by local artists...

Venezuela
Grafitti or Art?
08/23/2008, Puerto La Cruz

This abandoned unfinished building was a great place for artists to be creative and show their stuff. Every corner has some form of grafitti (art?) on it.

Venezuela
Mochima Park
08/23/2008, Venezuela

This is so idyllic and we'd love to visit but Venezuela has some serious security problems. The corruption from the top down doesn't help and cruisers are a vulnerable target.

One of our German neighbours in the boatyard told us about owning a dairy farm near Puerto La Cruz that was a dream of theirs. One day a group of men dressed in military uniforms robbed them, shooting her husband and their dog and beating her up. They had police pistols so the shot her husband sustained was a blank but the dog wasn't so fortunate. He did survive but had major surgery to repair his leg. They got rid of the farm at a huge loss but still love the country and have continued to live here.

Venezuela
Mochima Park
08/23/2008, Venezuela

This is Mochina Park on the way to Puerto La Cruz. It is very beautiful. There are some security issues here so we are a little reluctant to go without another boat.

We made two trips to Puerto La Cruz this past week by bus to deliver and pick up our propeller. It is normally a 1 1/2 hour trip. The second trip went much smoother than the first. We caught the first bus at 7:30 a.m. leaving almost immediately after we arrived at the terminal. It was not the fancy, air-conditioned luxury bus but an older bus with windows that opened (or more accurately were stuck open). Other than the fact that a couple of people smoked cigarettes on the bus during the trip, the driver was excellent, the music relaxing and we had a great view. On the luxury buses they ask you to keep the curtains closed, which I refuse to do, but you still don't get much of a view with everybody else with their curtains closed. The cost of the trip on the basic bus was about $3.50 per person. Amazingly economical.

Venezuela
Venezuelan Hotdog
08/19/2008, Marina Plaza

We had heard about Venezuelan hotdogs being a full-course meal so we decided to have a hotdog dinner. That would normally not be on my idea of dinner out (or in for that matter) but these were an exception. They were pretty tasty and filling. Venezuelan cuisine hasn't been all that appealing to us. We prefer Mexican cuisine and had hoped it would be similar. We were wrong. However, the market is full of fresh fruits, veggies, meats and fish so we have no excuse for not eating well. It is also open every day of the week.

Venezuela
Stormy Sky
08/19/2008, Marina Cumanagoto, Venezuela

The sunsets around here are always gorgeous. I ran back to the boat to get my camera for this one. We were going to the mall for ice cream but I can't pass on a sunset photo.


Venezuela
Marina Plaza
08/19/2008, Marina Cumanagoto, Venezuela

This 4-storey mall attracts the higher end shoppers and is always busy. Our favorite spots are 3 ice cream parlours and a great food court. There are also 5 cinemas but on checking the movies are in Spanish, so we decided to pass.

It is a nice place to stop for a gourmet coffee. What's curious is their coffee sizes. Pequeno is like a thimble size and grande is like a dixie cup size. We initially thought they misunderstood grande when we got the dixie cup size but no, that is their idea of grande. Regardless, it was delicious.

Venezuela
Marina Cumanagoto
08/19/2008, Cumana

The activity at Cumanagoto is lively with fishing boats, power boats, coast guard and some sailboats. Fuel is conveniently available here at the dock but not every day. The coast guard gets first dibs and they seem to be in almost every day fueling up.

The downside to this marina is it isn't maintained too well and some slips have sharp stakes or boards sticking out. I had to degrease the fenders using gasoline several times as the underside of the dock is full of grease. This is one of the reasons many sailboats pass on this place but if you overlook the few negatives there are many more positives to attract you.

We can hop on a bus and go to town easily without a barrio to worry about. The barrios are a sad fact of life in Venezuela and they are everywhere. The crime rate in the barrio is high so they are considered dangerous, particularly to vulnerable tourists.

Venezuela
Laguna Grande
08/14/2008, Golfo de Cariaco, Venezuela

Thanks to our friend Devi on Arctic Tern who took this photo and shared it with us. Bill and I are in the foreground taking in the beautiful, unique vista. El Shaddai is in the foreground and Arctic Tern in the back.

Devi & Hunter really came to our rescue on our way to Isla Coche as our Trinidad rebuilt alternator failed (burned up actually) so there was no recovery. We had no hope of purchasing one until we got to the mainland and we wanted to explore the Golfo de Cariaco first. We couldn't believe how blessed we were when Hunter came by in his dinghy and told us he had two spare alternators and offered to sell us one. Not only was it brand new but it fit our boat perfectly. Amazing.

Venezuela
View from Marina
08/12/2008, Cumanagoto, Cumana

This is the evening view from our boat in the marina. We are spoiled having such amazing vistas almost every night.

Venezuela
Boat Refurbishing
08/12/2008, Cumanagoto Marina, Cumana

We are parked 2 boats down from this boat where a major refurbishing is happening. Every imaginable boat part (mostly badly rusted) is stacked on the dock. We are getting to be known by the locals and it's interesting to see how they progress each day. For the most part it is painstakingly slow compared to Canadian standards.

Venezuela
Aqua Vi Marina
08/12/2008, Puerto La Cruz

We spent the day exploring Bahia Redonda, TMO and Aqua Vi Marina. We favored Aqua Vi where our friends from Preferred Stock were staying. They didn't know we were coming but fortunately we connected and had lunch together. What a pleasant surprise.

We will eventually move to Puerto La Cruz but for now we're enjoying Cumanagoto in Cumana and intend to haul out near there at Navimca. Cumanagoto isn't really a cruiser's marina, more for locals, but it's entertaining to see all the boat projects happening and try and converse with the locals. Cumanagoto also has a 4-storey modern mall next door with three helado (ice cream) parlours. Bill is in his glory.

Venezuela
Trip to Puerto La Cruz
08/12/2008, Mochima, Venezuela

We took a bus to Puerto La Cruz to check out the haulout facilities and marinas. The bus was modern, air-conditioned and very comfortable. It took 1 1/2 hours and we enjoyed the beautiful scenery along the way.

We're hoping to cruise in this area in the near future.

Venezuela
Baby Chicks
08/11/2008, Cumana Market, Venezuela

I guess it was food coloring that turned this plain cardboard box into a lively, fluffy bundle of color. This young girl was enjoying them and agreed to let me take her photo.

Notice how nicely dressed she is. That's the way people dress when they go shopping in Venezuela. You rarely ever see any locals in shorts around town...only tourists. A local told us when we wear shorts and flip flops to town we are labeling ourselves as outsiders rather than trying to fit in with the locals.

Venezuela
Sitting Around Enjoying the View
08/11/2008, Cumana, Venezuela

The fresh market in Cumana turned out to be a wonderful experience. For some strange reason I decided to follow the process of a customer picking two chickens off the counter to take home for dinner. My curiosity brought lots of chuckles from the vendors who probably thought I was a little wacko taking photos, but nonetheless this is what happened. Now here's a nice plump one!

Venezuela
Dos Pollo Por Favor
08/11/2008, Cumana, Venezuela

These two chickens have just been chosen from a selection on the counter, weighted and are about to meet their doom (or invited for dinner is a better way to put it).

Obviously my experience on a farm is next to nil. I'm a city girl who expects to go to a supermarket and pick my dinner from a meat counter. This is not the way in many countries.

Venezuela
Off to the Slaughter
08/11/2008, Cumana, Venezuela

After I watched these chickens purchased I saw this young man carry them away by their feet so I decided to follow him and investigate. He thought that was rather funny. I had a feeling what was about to happen but managed to keep my emotions from showing.

Venezuela
Twist and Slice
08/11/2008, Cumana Market, Vz.

The chickens are hung by their feet, their necks wrung and their throats cut. Pretty gruesome but a fact of life. We usually just see them packaged in the meat department and don't think much about it. I lost my appetite for chicken for a few days but eventually it returned.

I guess these guys don't get photographed very often because they were getting a big kick out of this crazy woman taking photos. They actually started to pose.

Venezuela
Chickens
08/11/2008, Cumana Market, Vz.

Washed, rinsed and almost ready. The process also includes defeathering in a machine. Think Bill could use a haircut...

Venezuela
Last step
08/11/2008, Cumana Market, Venezuela

This is just before the chickens were packaged.

I also noticed that most Venezuelans wear garments made in America with English writing on them. Regardless of the political climate between the U.S. and Venezuela, there are many U.S. products on the shelves.

Venezuela
Chickens, Ready for the Oven
08/11/2008, Cumana Market

The chickens have been invited for dinner and they couldn't get more fresh.


Venezuela
Camera Cool
08/11/2008, Market, Cumana, Vz.

This young man encouraged me to take his photo as he took a break from his duties at the Cumana market. It's a lively place to visit and is open nearly every day of the week (but probably not Sunday).

Venezuela
Going Bananas
08/11/2008, Cumana, Venezuela

We finally arrived in Venezuela and visited the fresh market in Cumana. We took a local bus and were amazed at the selection. I believe there are distributors of certain products and sell to the merchants who in turn mark up the price and sell to the customers. How else would this stack of bananas get distributed?

Venezuela
Fresh Fish
08/11/2008, Cumana Market, Venezuela

A wheelbarrow full of fresh fish... Not sure what kind of fish these are but we often see people lined up buying them. Check out the dilapidated car in the background.

Our fishing successes have been less than great. Bill decided to give it a try on our way to Los Testigos and put our prize lure on a fishing rod of all things. Well a fish hit it and the line on the reel spun out like crazy. In Bill's enthusiasm he put the lock on and snapped the line, sending our best lure to the depths of the ocean. Our usual way to fish is to put our line on a bungy cord which actually drowns the fish. We live and learn (but lost our lure in the process).

Venezuela
Chicken Feet
08/11/2008, Cumana Market, Venezuela

This lady also posed for a photo holding up chicken feet. It was a fun day at the market with lots of variety of fresh fruit and veggies. Some stalls have prices marked so you aren't easily gouged as a tourist if you pay attention. It's also a little unnerving because the currency has changed recently by dropping 3 zeros, so what used to cost 20,000 bolivar now costs 20. However, many of the local merchants haven't made the leap to the new currrency and because they are speaking high speed Spanish it is sometimes challenging to figure out the cost of something.

The other day we topped up our fuel tanks with diesel, requiring about 45 gallons. When I asked "cuanta cuesta?" the attendant held up his calculator and it said 10,848. So we initially thought it was 108 bolivar (or about $36 US). That did seem a little high but a lot cheaper than some places. So I handed the attendant 110 bolivar and he just sat there shaking his head. Turned out the 45 gallons of diesel cost $3.62 US and 10 bolivar covered it, not 110. Then I left shaking my head with amazement. It was the cheapest fuel we have ever bought.

Venezuela
Photo Hams
08/11/2008, Cumana Market, Venezuela

Interesting that we were told not to come to Cumana because it is dangerous. We don't take these remarks lightly, especially when they come from Venezuelans, and we have chosen to avoid some areas completely. However, Cumana has been delightful and so have the people.

Venezuela
Photo Hams
08/11/2008, Cumana Market, Venezuela

Once my camera came out it seemed like everybody wanted to pose for a photo. So I happily obliged. They weren't even interested in seeing how they turned out, they just wanted to be in a photo.

Interesting how in some countries it is customary to ask if you can take a photo. Some people shy away and outright refuse, or ask to be paid. Kinda takes the fun out of it... but not in Venezuela, they love it.

Venezuela
Sunset in Golfo de Cariaco
08/10/2008, Venezuela

Another beautiful sunset, this time in the Golfo de Cariaco, Venezuela.

What a life!

Look what's waiting for you Henryk, Mariola, Lala and Misui...

Venezuela
Sunset on Mariquitar
08/10/2008, Golfo de Cariaco, Venezuela

Mariguitar seemed like a very quiet, peaceful place with everyone working in harmony. Whether that's true or not, that's the impression it left.

We hope to go back and spend more time there.


Venezuela
Palm Treed Beach
08/10/2008, Marguitar, Golfo de Cariaco

We are so pleased we decided to stop here. The kids were fun and the scenery gorgeous.

We try to weigh the reports from others regarding safety but often find that incidents happened several years ago. Regardless, everyone has to weigh their risk level and have a plan should you need it.

Venezuela
El Shaddai
08/10/2008, Marguitar, Golfo de Cariaco

El Shaddai looks pretty peaceful in this gorgeous setting. We had a wonderful time in the Golfo de Cariaco and I felt sad to leave.

Venezuela
Kids, kids and more kids
08/10/2008, Mariguitar, Golfo de Cariaco

We anchored close to shore where it wasn't quite so deep and the beach was full of kids jumping off the dock and swimming. Well most of them, probably close to 25, decided to swim out to our boat. We cheered them on and had a great time. When I pulled out my camera they all wanted to pose, saying "cheese" and "whiskey" when they smiled. Well they know at least 2 English words. They swam out to our boat several times that afternoon, enjoying the attention. Just to be on the safe side we moved away from shore for the night and left the next day.

A couple of men stopped us on shore to inquire about El Shaddai. They are Christians and recognized the name. That always gets a lively conversation ignited with smiles and handshakes. We truly are a worldwide family of believers and we have an instant connection with people we meet who share our faith.

Venezuela
Bill & Harke
08/10/2008, Mariguitar, Golfo de Cariaco

We decided to head to Cumana and stop along the way on the south coast at a place called Mariguitar. Again, the word in the cruising community is do not anchor on the south coast of the Golfo de Cariaco because it is not safe. I had read a report from a cruiser who raved about this little village and so we decided to check it out.

There was a lovely restaurant and we enjoyed a delicious lunch before exploring the small community.

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Shearwaters
08/10/2008, Puerto Nuevo

We had never seen shearwaters in huge flocks before, skimming the water and fishing as they go. They have a very unique way of catching fish and the fish must have been abundant to attract so many shearwaters.

Before we came sailing we didn't know about shearwaters until we started to travel with our friends on Shearwater of Dee. They are apparently abundant in the UK as well.

Venezuela
Paradise Transformed
08/10/2008, Puerto Nuevo

As we sat watching the flamingos and other birds in the peaceful bay we heard the bushes rustling next to our dinghy. Out from the bushes appeared a young man with a rifle. He quickly motioned a friendly wave our way putting our minds at ease that we were not his target...but to our absolute dismay the flamingos were. He moved closer and took a shot which reverberated throughout the area. All the birds took flight except the flamingos. In the next minute he shot and either killed or wounded three flamingoes. waded through the water, grabbed them by their necks and packed them out to a waiting boat. Why the flamingos didn't escape is a mystery but there soon won't be any flamingos to enjoy.

Venezuela
Flamingos, et al
08/10/2008, Puerto Nuevo

Arctic Tern headed back to Medregal Village while Harke on Serendipity joined us as we traveled to a place known for wildlife, including flamingos. We went exploring in the dinghy and found a cut off the main Golfo where we turned off the dinghy motor and paddled in. We approached a large bay with a variety of flamingos, great white heron, ibis and shearwaters. We sat in awe watching the unique and beautiful sight as they weren't frightened by our presence.

Venezuela
Devi, Bill & Harke
08/10/2008, Muelle de Cariaco

We wandered around town with Devi & Harke. Hunter chose to stay back as he felt uncomfortable leaving the boats unattended. We exchanged the favor later when Devi & Hunter went exploring. There are always warnings about thieves and the Golfo de Cariaco is no exception. However, it turned out to be a safe place with friendly people.

Venezuela
Muelle de Cariaco
08/10/2008, Golfo de Cariaco

We headed to the end of the Golfo de Cariaco with Serendipity and Arctic Tern. There was a river we explored on two occasions seeing a variety of birds. On our second day these teenagers paddled to our boat and, getting a warm reception, proceeded to tie up and spend the next 3 hours, catching small fish as they tried to chat with me. The eldest male, Raphael, was most communicative and very patient as I tried out some of my limited vocabulary. I asked him if they learned English in school and he said yes. He then proceeded with what appeared to be the few words he knew "Good morning teacher". The kids were very polite and respectful and at one point we left the boat to get a better view of the ibis coming to roost for the night. We warned them not to go on the boat in our absence and they respected our wishes. It was a fun day for me.

The phosphorescence in the water was amazing. Bill took Harke back to his boat in the dark after he had dinner with us and it looked like the dinghy had lights underneath like a 1960's hotrod. The water glowed from the movement of the dinghy. Incredible.

Venezuela

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El Shaddai
Who: Bill & Bev Bate
Port: Vancouver, Canada
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