Trinidad & Venezuela - November 2006
01 December 2006 | Trinidad & Venezuela
Nov 2-15 ??" Trinidad
We took an overnight BWIA flight to Trinidad to begin our second season of crusising in the Caribbean accompanied by 4 large hockey bags of stuff! I had also had a solar panel shipped air freight from Florida, which we picked up at the air freight terminal after 3 hours of processing through Customs etc!. We finally arrived at the Coral Cove Hotel in Chaguaramas somewhat exhausted.
For the next week, we worked hard getting Moustache ready for launch. The bottom paint had already been done by Peakes, but there was a lot of cleaning to do, plus we had new bota stripes put on etc. The Battery Charger and Dehumidifier had both blown from overvoltage so I had to replace the Charger and the Dehumifier was a write-off.
We also met up with Andy & Marilyn from Amida (friends from IBM) who we are planning to cruise with to the ABC islands. We also met Brad & Sylvie from Eclipse (who are heading up island) as well as several others we met along the way last year.
Anyway we finally splashed at Peakes on November 6 and moved to Coral Cove Marina for a week or so to get everything in shape for our trip.
Nov 16-24 ??" Orinoco Delta, Venezuela and Trinidad
Since Andy & Marilyn were still a few days away from being ready, we decide to head over to the Orinico River Delta in Venezuela for a few days. We hooked up with two other boats planning the same trip ??" Lughnasa (Peter and Mary Ann) and Aquila (Gerhard and Wilma). Having checked out of Trinidad Customs & Immigration we headed out at 5am across the Gulf of Paria (about a 50 mile motor) and after passing by many oil platforms etc arrived at the River town of Pedernales around 3pm where we anchored and checked in with the local Guardia (River Police).
After which we walked through town looking for a place for a cold drink.Unfortunately the place was pretty basic and we finally found a store that sold us some cold beer ??" 1000 Bolivars per can.
We then headed back to the boat for a peaceful night in the river.
Next morning after a coffee ??~planning session?? aboard Lughnasa, we all upped anchor and proceeded to motor up the Manamo river to the end of Pedernales Island where we dropped the hook in a bit of a squall around 2:30pm. The river was quite deep and wide with a fairly strong tidal current. That evening we had Aquila and Lughnasa on Moustache for Sundowners.
After a short exploration of the river banks by dinghy the following morning, we proceeded further up the river. We passed a number of Wareo Indian houses and villages on stilts by the riverside.
We were surrounded by a number of dugout canoes with mostly children and some adults wanting to trade there handicrafts.
We purchased a small wicker basket for a pair of Sonia?? s pants. We anchored on a side channel off the Boca Tigre Lodge around 1:30pm.
We then went in to visit the lodge which was quite rustic and were given a warm reception by the staff, including a welcome passionfruit punch.
We had a few Vodka punches after that and later went round to the local Wareo village for a music/dance performance by the children. Then went back to the lodge for dinner.
The following morning we took a tour in a dugout canoe to see the howler monkeys, green parrots and walk through a Wareo village.
We left the lodge around 10am and prceeded further up the riverto find the Orinoco Delta Lodge. By this time we were off all our electronic and paper charts and navigating via a paper handout produced by other cruisers who had made the trip. After a bit of backtracking, we finally found the lodge up another fairly shallow side channel.
We anchored and went in to check it out. This one was still rustic, but a little more sophisticated than Boca Tigre and full of Norwegians on an excursion from Margarita Island. Again we stayed for drinks and dinner.
We decided to stay 2 nights here, which was to be the limit of our trip up the river and spent the next morning exploring by dinghy. And after a lazy afternoon, went into the lodge for drinks and back to the boat for dinner.
We decided to head back to Trinidad as soon as possible, so got up early the next morning and motored all the way back to Pedernales, where we checked out with the Guardia and met up with Aquila who had left the previous day. Lughnasa was staying longer and had remained at the Orinoco Delta Lodge.
Early next morning we and Aquila upped anchor at 4:30 am to make the crossing back to Trinidad before 4pm so we could clear back in before overtime charges were applied.
We got a slip back at Coral Cove Marina for three days to prepare for our leg to Los Testigos and to wait for Amida who were still working on a couple of items.
As of November 24 we were now both ready to go, so cleared out with Customs and immigration in preparation for a departure on the 25th.