Shiplogs: RV5 I. From Venezuela to Colombia magyarul

     10/10/2006 - 05/12/2006                                   ««   page 1/7   »»

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I have decided to write our ship log in English. This is not completely the translation of the Hungarian journal due to the fact it is prepared for different purposes. I recommend this journal to my friends live in New Zealand.


My husband decided to buy a boat and prepare it for an Atlantic Ocean crossing. He bought an Amel Euros ketch yacht (41 feet) in 2002 and the preparation had taken around 2 years. The yacht is called ROTOR and its dinghy is ROTORKA.

From September 2005 he started his journey from Croatia (Krk Island), crossed the Atlantic Ocean with it and sailed across the Caribbean See. For the hurricane season he left the yacht in Venezuela. This is the place my journey has been started.

1. day - 10/10/2006 - Tuesday, Caracas

Arriving to Caracas (capital of Venezuela).

Houses next to the roadThe collapsed bridge

2. day - 11/10/2006 - Wednesday, Arriving to the boatyard

The journey took very long, approx. 50 hours from Budapest to the shipyard (by train Bp-Vienna, by plane Vienna-Madrid, Madrid-Caracas and by bus Caracas-Cumaná).

Stopping in Caracas gave me the first impression about the country. There were glass, concrete or brick houses in the city with the contrasts between wealth and poverty. I had not got enough spare time to get to know the city however I could see this differences of the society. My hands were full with luggage therefore I tried to concentrate to get to Cumaná in safe as we know that Caracas increasingly unsafe nowadays.
It was interesting that on the way to Caracas from the airport there was a collapsed bridge so the traffic has stopped for a while. The local people came here to sell their merchandise to the tourists and other people on their way to Caracas. The road looked like a small market. The taxi driver told that the bridge was collapsed around one year before. I think the market gives a good reason not to hurry with the new bridge. On the way we have seen lots of old cars that had been broken down due to their boiled water. We are in the rainy season however it is still very hot and stuffy..

Rotor is coming out from the fenced areaThe boat will stay here for the following few weeksUV damage

3. day - 12/10/2006 - Thursday, Preparations

The boat is in a good condition, however new anti-fouling paint is needed against algae which is the first thing we surely knew. Last time it was made in September 2005. It is recommended every year. The shipyard is very dusty therefore the boat has to be packed out and cleaned before leaving the harbour. I have to find the place of the staffs (clothes, pans etc) and try to reorganise everything to make it handy for the longer Pacific Ocean crossing. We do not want to spend time searching for things during the journey, as there are too many things to care about such as planning the journey, navigation, checking the safety things, maps and weather, driving, doing the sails, sometimes repairing things, cooking and learning as many things as we can about cultures, people and other things. Good preparation makes the journey easier and the pans not so loud.

When I left Budapest the weather was still like in late summer however we were deeply in autumn. The change was still very big, the temperature here is around 38 degrees centigrade with lots of humid. Therefore I understand that the bus between Caracas and Cumana was over-cooled. At least one pullover and a coat were needed on the way which took around 7 hours. The safety was also interesting. The safeguards scanned us with a metal detector before we got on the bus and there was the bus driver and a safeguard on the way to Cumaná with us. We were also locked on the bus and all the curtains were down. So I felt completely safe.

Plans for the following months
October: Venezuela - boat preparation and one-week trip to Orinoco River, Angel falls and Gran Sabana
End of October: Venezuela- Cumaná - Margarita Island – ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao)
November: Colombia
December: Mexico
January: Panama
February, March: Ecuador, Peru
April: Pacific Ocean crossing
From May: Pacific Islands

We might change the plan due to weather changes or other circumstances
If you want to join the part of the journey please write us and we will send you the details.
Next to the harbour...

4. day - 13/10/2006 - Friday, Mosquitoes

The harbour area is full with mosquitoes, sand-flies, noo-see-ums. We are armed with anti-mosquito sprays, electronic vaporizers, we even have an anti-mosquito buzzer!
We started to take anti-malaria pills, we plan to do some jungle-trip to the Angel Falls..

5. day - 14/10/2006 - Saturday, Cumana

We used the local buses to get in to the center of Cumana. The streets are full with vendors selling all the fancy stuff, like Versace, Quicksilver etc.
The difference between the area around the shipyard and the centre is huge. We thought Venezuela is a grey, poor country. But now we saw the other face of it.
We were searching for antifouling paint for the boat, we found the shop, but unluckily it was closed.

6. day - 15/10/2006 - Sunday, Projects

We are preparing the boat. I skip the technical details. Summary: loosing weight and water in the very hot weahter..

7. day - 16/10/2006 - Monday, Still working...

We are still preparing the boat for the new antifouling.
In the afternoon, we went back to the centre of Cumana for the antifouling paint. The shop was open! We wondered around when a military truck arrived in front of the shop. A couple of gunmen entered the shipchandlery, asked everybody to leave, closed the entrance, sealed the locks. Apperantely the shop made something wrong, so the government closed it for 2 days.
Still no antifouling...
Later on we saw more shops closed similary..

ScratchingThis is what we se from the deck

9. day - 18/10/2006 - Wednesday, Travelling to Ciunad Bolivar

Early morning we left Cumana with a por puesto. This is a taxi, which travells on a fixed route and we can buy 2 seats in it. These 30 year old american cars departure when they become full.
From Puerto La Cruz we take a long-distance bus to Ciunad Bolivar. Huge fotels - freezing air condition - 6 hours.
We arrived late night to the town, which lies on the River Orinoco..

On the bus terminalOur bus from outside
From inside

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