Los Testigos







It was nearly midnight when we weighed anchor and slipped quietly out of Prickley Bay.  With Salt and Light in the lead, we put Grenada behind us and motor sailed into the moonless night.  The seas were calm, the winds light, but we did see several fishing boats.  Early the next morning, Salt and Light started fishing.  Dan put a pink cedar plug on our hand line.  As he was putting the lure in the water, he noticed a $5.00 EC bill on our back transom steps.  It wasn’t ours as it wasn’t there earlier, and we had given all our EC to Salida.  This money had been floating in the water, and with the following seas it washed onto our transom.  Nice!!!!! 


Soon Salt and Light caught a tuna.  Nothing for us.  Dan went below to sleep while Salt and Light caught another tuna.  Unbelievable!!  Even though we were very happy for them, we were disappointed in our lack of fishing (catching) abilities.  They graciously offered to share, but we hoped our luck would change.  Maybe we needed a new lure.   I rummaged through the tackle box and found our “Tuna Tamer”; a green and yellow squid like bottom, with big fish eyes on it.  I tried to put it on our line, but after realizing I was doing it with my back to the watch I was supposed to be keeping, I had Tristan wake up Dan.  Dan was not happy.  He got over it.  The “Tuna Tamer” was attached to our new fishing pole and set off our stern.  Not much later, a pod of dolphins came over to say hello and ride our bow wake.  We were doing over 7 knots, and they had fun racing us.  About 30 minutes after they left, we had a bite on our line.  TUNA!!!!  Dan reeled it in, onto the transom steps, and I ran for the bottle of rum to pour in the fish’s gills to calm it down.


 Hmm!! What alcohol to use?  I looked into our liquor storage cabinet.  Decisions, decisions. First I grabbed a brand new bottle of the new Mount Gay rum.    That would not go over well.  I put it back.  How about that flavored vodka I bought when Karon and Alan were down?   My mind wandered.  What was the name of the store I bought that it in the Bahamas?  A yell from Dan to hurry it up brought me out of my reverie. I couldn’t find it anyway.  What else?  Finally I grab the cheapest, quickest thing I can find; a bottle of mango rum. I race back to the transom steps aiming for the tuna’s mouth.   Not very accurate, but with nearly half the bottle gone, I think the tuna got most of it.  The tuna was absolutely beautiful and it was sad at first to think we killed it.  This was the hard part of fishing.


I quickly called Salt and Light for instructions on what to do next.  Dennie relayed instructions on bleeding it (yuck!) and cutting it up (double yuck).  The kids and I turned away while Dan did the cutting.  All was good until I threw a pitcher of hot soapy water on the fish guts left on the transom.  I threw the water a little too hard and washed some fish innards up Dan’s shorts!!  My Bad!!!!  I guess that was the fish’s revenge!


Around 1:30, we pulled into the bay at Los Tostigos.  After our anchor was secured off a beautiful white sandy beach, Dan and Dennie dinghied to the Coast Guard on Isla Guana to let them know of our arrival.  You can’t check in here, you are simply informing them of your arrival and asking permission to spend a few days.  They were very nice and gave us a 3 day pass.  When that was done, we snorkeled on the reef close to our boat.  The snorkeling was pretty good.  The coral was very unique, with large fans, sponges, and huge brain coral.  The fish were impressive too, with two very colorful eels.  Soon we were all exhausted, and after a sundowner and filet lessons on Salt and Light, we headed back for an early bedtime.  What a great day in Venezuela!!


Venezuela Bound

Early Wednesday evening (Oct 22)  we thought we had it all figured out.  We told our friends and family that on Friday (October 25) we would be heading to St Martin and would fly back to the States from there for Christmas.  That was our third plan as our first plan had us flying out of Trinidad, and our second plan had us flying out of Grenada.  Well…………

Another boating family, Salt and Light, said “Hey. We’re going to Venezuela, then to the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), why don’t you guys come too?”

Hmm.  Cheap airfare from Aruba, be there well in time for Thanksgiving.  Why not?  Let’s go,  So tonight at 11pm we leave for Los Testigos.

This is actually stranger than it sounds.  Sailing plans are notoriously carved in jello.  They have to be.  We have always been very good at not planning too far ahead and just going with what feels right.  It felt right to come to Grenada, but as for after that, nothing felt right.  It was getting very frustrating, what to do next.  We talked about going to Trinidad, but the dirty water, the unfriendliness of the islanders put us off, even though the airfare was cheap.  Then we were going to stay and fly from Grenada.  We talked about Venezuela.  It really intrigued us, even with all the talks of “pirate attacks”.  What didn’t intrigue me, was where do you go when you leave Venezuela?  ABC islands are the choice then onto Columbia, an area that scares most cruisers off due to security concerns.  I would love to go to Cartagena Columbia,  but security didn’t concern me as much as the rough passage from Aruba to Cartagena  We decided against Venezuela.  But it still intrigued us.  Instead we planned on staying in Grenada, and watched other boating families head to Venezuela.   Then we heard about cheap airfares from St Martin.  Ok, let’s fly from St Martin.  Not the best choice but CHEAP airfare.  So reluctantly that was our new path.  We told everyone.  Again.

Salt and Light, a family of 5, recently returned from Washington, and was looking for boats to head to Venezuela with them.  We talked to them briefly but we were going to St Martin.  Then, I guess that timing was right because on Burger Night,  Wednesday night, they mentioned it again and Dan and I were in total agreement.  It sounded perfect.  Why it made so much sense now, I have no idea.  But it did, and it does, and in a few hours we will be on our way.  We have redefined the word flexible.

Nathalie’s Birthday

Nathalie celebrated her 12th birthday today, with the help of us, FINE LINE, MARIKA, and Salt and Light.

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