Our 90 mile run west to La Blanquilla took less toll on us. A square run in dwindling breeze meant Mr Ford was called into service. 2 noteworthy events. First, in pitch black we passed an unlit fishing boat at about 25 yards. I was on watch, reading in the cockpit, and suddenly heard an engine frighteningly close. By the time I saw the boat we had passed him. There were rain squalls about at the time and he was not distinguishable as a radar target. I shudder to think…
Second, we were visited by a large tern (? Caspian) which took refuge on our foredeck. Whether he had flown into a sail or our rigging we’re not sure, but he just sat there. No expression on his face, so we were not sure whether he was terrified, in pain, sleepy or simply confused. In any case, he was gone before dawn.
La Blanquilla is a low, scrubby island with splendid beaches and iridescent turquoise water. Having paid our VHF radio respects to the tiny military base on the southern coast we anchored on the western side of the island under a rocky headland. We were greeted cheerfully by the crew of a Venezuelan fishing boat anchored in the bay, swam and then just sat.
Boobies and pelicans are fishing, with fewer frigate birds that at Testigos. Apart from an old ruin on the shore there is no sign of human habitation.