May 03, 2009

and Artemo sits alone

We made it to Los Roques after quite an adventurous overnight sail. We left Blanquilla with two other boats. It was comforting to have other boats to talk to on the way. It was also neat to see if we could keep up to them. I found that we questioned ourselves a bit more though. If the other boats didn't put up their main, then we wondered if we should take ours down or if they reefed, etc.. It was good learning. Turns out Artemo goes FAST!!!! We even managed to take the lead for awhile. Then I told Graham to slow the heck down. We were surfing down waves at up to 11.2 knots. This is crazy. We usually do 6 to 7 knots on a good day. Wait til you see the pictures the buddy boat took of us surfing! The waves were the biggest I've seen yet and the roll was probably the worst but remarkably we were all rather calm. I think we are becoming acclimatized (knock on wood). The kids love the overnight sailing because they go to bed and wake up and we are there. We had a really exciting moment as the sun was rising on this journey. Alex caught his first fish, a TUNA! The video is hilarious. We had a line out both sides but unfortunately the first fish he caught must of been huge because it snapped the line. Graham and Alex brought the tuna on board and let me tell you, we had the best meal EVER. I am now a tuna lover. Who would of thought we would see the day?

Los Roques is really neat. There are a ton of little islands surrounded by reef and separated by about 5 to 10 miles between them. Sailing is amazing because the water is so calm. The town is on a island called EL Gran Roque. It is all sand streets and the buildings are all painted nicely. It felt like we were on a movie set. We rounded one corner and there was 1 Valdez pulling a cart behind him.

It is fun to be in country were they don't speak English. Good to struggle a bit. We needed to exchange some money and we found a fellow who spoke some English. He got on his cell and within moments down the street comes the money exchanger. If you exchange at the bank you get 2.2 to the dollar, from a guy on the sand street, you get anywhere from 4.8 to 5.5!!! We were rich! We bought some veggies and fruit and picked up some dusty groceries from the "Supermarket". I use the term "Supermarket" loosely. There was nothing super about it but we did find some basics. We also splurged and had dinner out at a pizzeria. We had enough leftovers that we played "pizza deliver" and delivered pizza to our 2 buddy boats.

Right now we are anchored at a tiny island and Artemo sits alone! It is very cool to be the only boat. Graham said that this is what he pictured when he dreamed this dream. Artemo at anchor alone in crystal clear water, surrounded by reef, plenty of fish, beautiful beach, many birds and even flying pink flamingo!

In amongst all this adventuring we are still home schooling. I never thought I would be sitting on my boat in the Caribbean paper mache'ing! We need to take a picture to send in for grading. I will need to explain why both Alex's dragon and Amelia's puffer fish are blue and red. The only paint we have on board.

This afternoon we leave for another overnight sail to Bonaire. We are making chic pea pot pies for the journey tonight. Funny how little things like dinner menu gets us all excited. :-)


  1. Julie, you do realize that everything you are doing is homeschooling right? Sailing, learning to communicate when you don't speak the language, exchanging money, budgeting, meal planning, fishing, cooking, learning about new places, other cultures, how to survive! Compared to all that doesn't sending in a paper mâché project to be graded seem a little silly? The Ontario curriculum doesn't hold a candle to what Alex and Millie are learning!

    Sorry, I just had to say it. The islands sound amazing. Mandy and I were looking at them on google. They're so small. Did you get pictures of the flamingoes?

  2. Hi,
    Ann Marie is right, what the kids are learning just by being there can not be learned in books. They are having the experiences of a life time. Please let us see the video of you surfing the big waves. so exciting for us that are traveling with you from our homes. Love you lots

  3. Ok you have my curiousity up..what is in a chick pea pot pie?? What does a huge tuna taste like? Is it the same as in the can? Congradulations to Alex on his big catch. You have to take a picture of Artemo standing alone by that island. It sounds beautiful. I cant wait to see that video.

  4. Thought you all might like this link!

  5. lmao! to funny. Hey Paper mache is a life skill! :-)