Los Roques to Las Aves
12 February 2008 | Las Aves
We didn't leave the anchorage until 10:30 today. It was nice to have good light on the way out. As soon as we cleared the entrance to the island group we had a straight shot to Las Aves Barlovento (the eastern group). We were sad to leave the Los Roques and it is certainly on the list of places we'd like to return to and spend more time.
Winter is the windy season in this neck of the woods and it was certainly living up to its reputation. Chris Parker's forecast for this area (the ABCs) is typically "plus 3 knots and plus 1 foot" over the already brisk Venezuela forecast. We had good sized waves and winds in the twenties on the way over.
Half way across Hideko hooked a nice 12 pound Mahi Mahi. We eased the sheets but didn't stop the boat. I was worried that he would get off but we landed him and converted him into fillets shortly there after. A fish this size can feed a family of four for three nights.
We headed for the south side of the Aves reef complex and once running along the south shore the seas die off behind the reef. Much of the Las Aves are simply reef just under the surface of the sea. It is a beautiful place to marvel at. The largest islands are on the southern extent of the large arching reef complex and form the most settled anchorages.
As we cleared the western end of the southern islands we button hooked back around into the shelter of the reefs bay. This is another area where good visibility is a must on you first visit. We entered at 15:00 and were glad to have the good light not only to navigate by but to enjoy the amazing scenery.
There were two yachts in the deepest anchorage back toward the reef and a couple fishing boats at the entrance to the island anchorages but we were all alone when we dropped the hook in the largest of the three bays nestled into the mangroves.
Ave is bird in Spanish and the islands live up to their names. In particular the red footed boobie is here in force. My Aunt Hanna is a big birder and I wished she was with us to see the spectacle. Sea birds of all kinds fill the trees and the air. You can hear them squawking and cooing all day but surprisingly it is a very peaceful anchorage by night.
We barbequed Mahi Mahi for dinner and enjoyed the crystal clear water as the sun set. Someone set a fire on one of the western islands just before sunset and it seemed to be raging out of control by night fall. Perhaps they were clear brush around the little airstrip. Perhaps not. It burned for several hours providing us fireworks to go with the incredibly starry sky.