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Cruising Notes on Los Testigos

By doina — last modified Mar 09, 2005 01:42 PM

Published: 2005-03-09 13:42:26
Countries: Venezuela

Approach Strong currents (around 2,5 kn) and an abundance of lobster pots and fish traps make everybody want to arrive in daylight. Easiest from the East, but be beware of the NW setting current when closing in. Some overfalls between the islands in stronger trades possible.

Anchorage You can anchor off Isla Iguana, just west of Isla Cabra in some 4 Meters of water over sand. Good holding, but choppy at times. Very handy to take even unmotorised dinghies ashore on the beach of Isla Iguana where one is supposed to report to the Guarda Costa.

Calmest place to anchor in NE is the very SE corner of Balandra Bay in the SE of Testigos Grande. 5 Meters over hard sand. Possible to rig stern line ashore. This spot gets claimed by the fishing boats over the weekend. Calmest place in SE conditions is the anchorage right off the village Tamarindo on Testigos Grande in 8-2 Meters over perfect sand. Very pretty amongst friendly fishing boats. Close to shore life and the path up the hill.

Anchorage between Testigos Grande and Testigos Pequeno is enormously pretty, but quite far away from Guarda Costa if you still have to check in by dinghy. All anchorages easily become rolly when the trades start blowing, also due to the strong currents running through the channel

Regulations On reporting to the Guarda Costa you will be given maximum 3 days to stay. Have your passports and last clearance out at hand. The officers speak mainly Spanish and are very friendly. If you wish to stay longer you will have to clear into Venezuela first. No diving allowed or spear fishing allowed, but snorkelling is granted. You can move freely on the islands.

Ashore 160 people live scattered over the island group in modest huts. They live mostly off fishing and sell their langustos to Martinique. A restaurant by the slightly misleading name of "Erotica Te" in Tamarindo-village serves seafood and cold beers. Check the prices before you order as they may vary with the visitors.

Superb walk over the sand dunes and up the well marked path to the lighthouse on Grande Roque. Even though it looks so close, this can become a hot trip, better have proper shoes and a bottle of water with you. There are surprisingly many mosquitos in the dry looking bush. We enjoyed our mossi repellent.

Watersports No diving or spear fishing allowed, but snorkelling is granted. Fantastic underwater world, sometime going greenish when the Orinocco-water comes through. Beware of the currents and fast going motor boats !

Special Notes A fantastic place to visit. Good atmosphere between the local people and the yachties. Easy 3 day clearance. Superb walks, great snorkelling. Well worth the possibly uncomfortable anchorage.

Lilly Vedana, Thomas Müller

Yacht MIZ MAE February 2005

www.mizmaesailing.de

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