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Los Roques & Las Aves

By webmaster last modified Aug 19, 2002 12:50 AM

Published: 2002-08-19 00:50:47
Countries: Venezuela

LOS ROQUES DIVING

DIVE PERMIT

The check-in procedure is long since you have to visit five different offices, by luck, close to each other. You pay all the fees at the Autoridad Uniqua at the airport on Gran Roques. Pay the $4 extra per diver for the scuba permit (show dive card & logbook) as many very nice dives can be made. Ask special permission to the Park manager to dive in the south areas.

BEST DIVE SITES

1) la guassa, seamount about 300 ft NW off NW point of El Gran Roque. Visibility varies with currents!, plenty of schools of fish, big groupers, worth filming in video, short dinghy trip from anchorage off town, sometimes a little plastic jug is on top of it as a marker, scuba shop at anchorage can fill your tanks and tell you how to find the site.

2) reef & wall South side of Dos Mosquises. Visibility varies a lot with tides, lots of small fish & great variety of corals, very close from anchorage. Visit the turtle farm and ask the location of good dives from Raphael.

3) long wall at Vespen de la Salina (anchorage 11°45'-66°51'). Follow the outside edge of the barrier reef till you approach 11°44'80-66°52' then with good light weave your way through (plenty of water and space). From the anchorage you go by dinghy to dive anywhere along the South wall: plenty of fish & corals, good visibility, minimum currents, drop-off, some caverns (see m/v AntaresIII, live-aboard dive boat, for exact location).

4) Boca de Cote. If you go East along Cayo Sal (on the inside!) with good light above you, you can find your way (7ft min.) to the passage between Cayo Sal & Cayo Nube Verde to anchorage 11°46'-66°42'. Similar diving to #3 with more coral life but less fish life. If you have more than 7ft draft or don't like the attention needed to navigate between shallows and coral heads, you don't need to make it here as it's as nice in #3.

You should enjoy the Roques as the islands and watercolors are so beautiful and you should be able to spend here around 3 weeks by checking in after taking a few days to Gran Roque and by waiting for a good wx window when in the west Roques. The line fishing is permitted and you can spearfish all you want later in the Aves!

LAS AVES

Even if the spearfishing isn't as easy as it used to be 20 years ago (according to other cruisers), with enough time in the water and a little skill, you should have no problems keeping your fridge full of fresh fish! Groupers, snappers, lobsters, ... keep looking, check other places less frequented by other hunters. Plenty of nice anchorages: amazing how you can be so comfortable just behind breaking reefs! If you like history, you may be interested to snorkel over anchors & ballast stones from the fleet of French pirates who met disaster on those reefs in the 17th cent.

You can dive the wall of the South shore of Isla Larga, just off the Coast Guard station (after getting by VHF a temporary authorization to anchor off their beach).

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