Grand Roques

Yesterday we moved Alegria to the anchorage outside the town of Grand Roques to do our official check in.   The check in was fairly easy, but consisted of four different stopsspread throughout the island. We were hesitant about checking in as we were worried the coast guard would not give us very much time to stay, and the weather was supposed to be bad for another week. When Fruko checked in, the Coastguard gave them 3 days. Jim and Roxanne on Dawn Dancer checked in the next day and they only got one day, but so did everyone else checking in that day. Roxanne pleaded with Yesterday we moved Alegria to the anchorage outside the town of Grand Roques to do our official check in. The check in was fairly easy, but consisted of four different stops, the guy (through pantomime as the coast guard speaks only Spanish) that a storm was coming and they needed more time, so they received 5 days. So we didn’t know what to expect. The weather looks bad until next Tuesday, so we can’t leave before then. But no problem. Without us even asking, the Coast Guard gave us 15 days. Perfect!!! Of course the check in was not flawless. The last stop was at the airport, and it was here we paid our fees. The official exchange rate is about 2.5 to 1 US, so we wanted to pay in Bolivars. Unfortunately, we were very low on Bolivars, and the check in fee was $343.00 Bolivars. Salt and Light were short too, so while the guys waited with the official, Rennie and I set out to exchange money. Pedro, our first stop could only exchange $50.00 US and at the exchange rate of 4 to 1 that was $200.00 “B”s. We went across the street to the pharmacy and exchanged $50.00 US for me. Our last stop, at the hotel, exchanging another $50.00 US each and we were set. By the time we got back to the airport, the guys had just talked the official into letting them come back tomorrow with the money. After we paid, we headed back to Pedro’s for an amazing pizza experience. Pedro told us about the election coming up, and warned that until the election was over on Sunday, it was wise for Americans to stay in the Grand Roques and to avoid the mainland. Apparently, in this election, most of Chavez’s support base would be voted out, and it was not going to be a good time. The Venezuelan’s were tired of how things were going and were making a big change. I told Pedro that all throughout the Caribbean we had seen schools being built, streets being built all complimentary of the Venezuelan government, and I was curious of how Venezuelans felt about all this money going overseas. He said they were very upset. That money needed to be spent on Venezuelan schools, roads, and people. These were not popular decisions with the people. It seems as if the Venezuelan election will be as momentous as our own!!!

Grand Roques



Ok, the constant rain was one thing, but last night was too much.  The rain had stopped and when the wind stopped it left us facing a new direction, closer to the mangroves.  About 2:30 am I am awakened by shouting and banging.  The hatches were open and we have been invaded by hundreds (I do not exaggerate here!!!) of mosquitoes.  It hasn’t been this bad since Rum Cay in the Bahamas!!!  Everyone is up yelling and whacking away.  There is a period of “whack, whack, whack” followed by an “Oh Gross!!!!” when one that is full of blood is smashed.  Tessa’s room is the worse.  The only sure way to kill them is to use the electronic zapper which actually burns them up.  This is preferable to having the walls, ceilings and bedsheets covered with blood and dead carcasses.  It takes us more than an hour to kill the intruders, and we know that we still don’t have them all.  Clean up tomorrow will be bad!!!!

Los Roques

We really hoped to be out of here by now.  We would have loved to have been in Aruba where we had some friends from North Carolina that came in for vacation.  The weather is just too bad.  We are getting squalls with 30 plus knot winds and no let up in sight!!  Chris Parker weather says to stay put till it passes.  On a good note we did meet some new friends on the 90 foot motor yacht Ki Ki Kai.  It’s two families living on the boat together.  John and Sara, the owners of the boat have two boys Josh and Nate and their friends, Sara and Graham have a daughter Mia.  They were nice and invited the kids over to play and also invited all of us over for cocktails.  The boat is gorgeous and they have been living on it for the last 18 months, travelling the Caribbean in style.  What a great way to travel, with a cleaning staff, a captain, and my personal favorite, the cook!  I can only dream on not having to make another meal.  But for how good it all sounds, they are a bit limited when it comes to spontaneity.  And with a staff, you don’t have complete privacy or control of what you want to do.  At least that was what I was telling myself as I went home to my boat that was in utter chaos.  It worked too, until I went into our bathroom and found someone had left it in less than “satisfactory” conditions (and believe me, I have come to set a very low bar when it comes to the word “satisfactory”). Instantly I became a very disgruntled crew member!!! 


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