Tropical Storm Matthew left good winds but lumpy seas in its wake. We managed, but after 48 hours the small National Park on Los Roques in Venezuela was looking better and better. We had a fantastically fast sail with a 2 knot assisted current. We sailed just over 350 miles in under 48 hours, so we were loving the speed, but the lumpy ocean took its toll.
Los Roques is an island group off the coast of Venezuela almost entirely protected by national park. The photos we saw online were phenomenal and after doing some research and talking to some other cruisers, we decided it would be a good stop if need be. So far off the coast, the islands are supposedly somewhat insulated from the civil unrest that the rest of the country suffers from, but Venezuela is Venezuela and our third rule of sailing is to give countries in crisis a large buffer zone. Mike being the research enthusiast he is, has kept up on the situation in Venezuela and while there is a tremendous amount of civil unrest, we felt safe enough making a stop so far from the mainland. It certainly cemented our decision when we saw a number of other masts in the harbor. It was only later that we realized we were the only foreign yacht in the harbor, the others all belonging to nationals.
We routinely check Noon site, a sailing website that communicates potentially dangerous situations to cruisers in various places around the world. There was one entry we read, prior to leaving Trinidad, that worried us about Los Roques. We contacted the writer en-route and asked a few more questions. The writer promptly responded, answered our questions, and we felt better about stopping. Basically he was warning cruisers about "potential" problems with the increasing instability and warning them to be vigilant with monitoring what was happening in the country. We can live with that, we keep tabs on Venezuela anyway.
We dropped the hook after 48 hours at sea, not a long time in passage terms, but a long time to be uncomfortable. What a relief to be in flat seas and get a good night sleep, securely attached the planet again!
The following pages chronicle the journey of the sailing vessel Pelagic and her crew. We are a family of 5; Michael, Amy, Zander, Porter and Anakena, taking our 42' Hallberg Rassy as far as we can comfortably go in three years. We left Oregon in September 2014, participated in the 2014 Baja Haha, continued on through the Panama Canal, into the Caribbean, up the coast of the US to Maritime Canada and from there crossed the Atlantic. After an arrival in Ireland we toured Scotland, then sailed down to France, Portugal and on to Morocco. In January of 2016 we slowed down considerably and enrolled the kids in a local Spanish school in Sanlucar de Guadiana for a few months. In the spring of 2016 we crossed the Atlantic towards the Caribbean. We are now in the Pacific, officially on our way home, albeit via a very circuitous path. We are currently in French Polynesia and looking at weather windows to Hawaii before finally making landfall back in the Pacific Northwest.
Currently our exact location is not available. Our spot coverage will pick us back up in Hawaii towards the end of May, 2017.
Our favorite sailing quote:
"If anythings gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there boss!" Captain Ron