Los Testigos

The 105 mile run from Trinidad to Los Testigos Islands in Venezuela was a romp. With small yankee, storm staysail and one reef in the main we averaged over 8 knots. Mind you, there is an excellent bit of westbound current along the course.

We turned right into the sound at 7 am and anchored at the north end of the main island an hour later. The water is iridescent, the offshore breeze consistent and the seas calm. The hilly shores are dry, with tall cactus groves. There is a small votive shrine on a rock above the high tide line. Apart from 4 elegant fishing boats we are alone.

 

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The coastguard station is on an adjacent island and you are supposed to call them on arrival. They did not answer on VHF ch16 however, so we did not pursue them.

Shortly after we anchored a pirogue came by. Since we left Trinidad Maxine has been terrified of pirogue-borne pirates, but these blokes only wanted to give us some fish. They would not accept payment but I was at least able to force a couple of cold beers onto them.

We sashimied one of their fish and it was a rare and delicious treat. Bonito, I think. The rest have gone into a garlic and lemon juice marinade for tomorrow.

Beside the boobies, noddy terns and pelicans there are hundreds of frigate birds circling overhead. I hadn’t realised how complicated the taxonomy of these wonderful aerial acrobats – F magnificens, F major and F minor sound more like Chopin nocturnes than frigate birds. These here in Los Tortugas are white-breasted, unlike the Trinidad bullies with those huge red throat bags. Still, they’re waiting to attack boobies, bellies full of fish.

This is a lovely spot and we’re delighted to be here – broad sandy beaches, turquoise waters and nothing but an occasional fishing boat. No yachts, no pirates, no hotels, no condominiums. Having had little sleep last night, after swims, sashimi and the odd wine we crash. I think we may stay here and leave for La Blanquilla tomorrow night. That’s another 90 miler.
I hope the wind and current stay with us.

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