Yes, we are still here. We can't quite seem to force ourselves to leave Los Roques.
We could probably stay out for 3 months with the amount of food we have on board, but it wouldn't necessarily be very exciting menus. I only provisioned in Grenada for a 3 day passage to Bonaire, and with the hurricane run to Trinidad and now a stop along the way at Los Roques, we are now on day 15. We did stop in Gran Roque for lunch on the beach, but other than a few avocados, the small store was almost empty. Nothing looked good; mystery melon that was starting to collapse on itself, limp carrots and a handful of tomatoes that were molding. Even long lasting produce was scary looking; black cabbages and potatoes with more eyes than potato. The shop was not very appealing with the poor quality produce the odor of rotting meat and only a handful of tins on the shelf. We knew the mainland was having food shortages, and it stands to reason that would be the case on the islands as well. Fortunately for us, we still have some frozen meat in the freezer (5 filet mignon's, yeah we are really suffering out here, as well as a few chicken breasts), but we are completely out of fresh produce, eggs, butter, yogurt, milk and essentials like sugar and chocolate chips. Unless we catch a fish, it will be meat, mystery canned vegetables and rice, again for dinner tomorrow! We do have one brownie mix left, but when that is gone we will have to head in our risk mutiny!
So, while the menus aren't the highlight out here, the scenery and cruising is unparalleled. Our stop here in Los Roques has ranked among the highlights of not only this trip, but in all our collective travels. I selfishly don't want to recommend it to other cruisers because I don't want to spoil it. Part of the charm of Los Roques is the tranquility and the solitude. Swinging lazily at anchor, alone except for the delicate terns that fly by, or the occasional flamingo that is silhouetted in the sky. The boat appears to float in space in the crystal clear water. Porter and Mike also explored a Booby rockery and walked among hundreds of nesting birds and recently hatched, fuzzy chicks. They also explored several sailboat wrecks that had washed up on the rocky reefs, reminders that we can never let our guard totally down. One of our limitations in exploring by dinghy is the size of our family and the size of our outboard. We've simply outgrown our 10hp engine and can no longer plane (plain?) with all of us aboard. So for long trips, we occasionally split up and explore in pairs. I think the kids actually appreciate the alone time away from their siblings and we can venture much further with fewer people in the dinghy. It works for the time being. If we were going to be out here a lot longer we would invest in a larger outboard.
Underwater the snorkeling has been great, with walls to explore and a large diversity of fish. Sharks are still absent from out sightings, but other big fish are numerous; parrot fish, barracuda and schools we can see looking out from the drop off. Yesterday we swam with schools of non stinging jellyfish and followed Hawksbill turtles dive in the deeper water. The water is so warm, you never tire of it and Mike and Zander are still refining their lobster catching skills. They've caught a few, but they have all been either too small or females. Instead, we've cheated and bought a few from the local fisherman that seem to catch them effortlessly. Between makeshift fly-boarding, snorkeling and diving, diving off the boat and lobstering we now spend almost as much time below the surface as above.
We have also run into an Israeli boat that Porter was friendly with in Grenada, so he has had fun catching up. They are avid kite surfers and Los Roques is a perfect place for it. Otherwise we seem to have the islands to ourselves. I never want to leave!
Photos don't do it justice, but I'll post some from Bonaire.
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