Kalos Anemos: Los Roques, it’s still just as magical!

Venezuela, which doesn’t get hit by hurricanes has long been a favorite among sailors from July to October. However, for the last year or so, the country has been going through an unprecedented political crisis… We wondered how things were at Los Roques?  

Who:                          Anne, Pierre, Emma and Morgane

Multihull:                   Hélia 44

Where:                        Venezuela

Blog:                          www.kalosanemos.wordpress.com

Venezuela is in the news a lot these days. It still attracts crews from the West Indies, but there are some major security issues. After getting some feedback from other sailing friends and from a contact in situ, we decided to give it a go. We decided to set off from Martinique for several reasons: to avoid the route from Grenada which seemed less safe, to be able to properly stock up on supplies and to have a better angle as regards the wind for the crossing. In the end there were no problems apart from a lack of wind and three dolphinfish which needed hauling aboard! When we arrived at Los Roques, the formalities required visits from no less than four different agencies. The officials were very friendly and even though we didn’t speak a word of Spanish, we got by without any problem. The only issue was that of negotiating the cost of accessing the park – your stay cannot last more than 2 weeks. We soon realized that the ambiance was fairly relaxed because Los Roques lives on tourism and the dollars that arrive from the outside. It’s also the playground for the wealthiest Venezuelans who come here in airplanes, yachts and even helicopters! The only visible impact of the Venezuelan crisis is that you mustn’t count on being able to stock up with provisions, even though we were able to buy some fruit and vegetables from a vendor who came from the mainland every two weeks. In Gran Roque we only saw fishermen. If you’re lucky you’ll have a neighbor in your anchorage, but that’s fairly exceptional. The islands are all different. The reefs are full of fish and the wind conditions are ideal for kitesurfing and windsurfing.

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