4 December 2013 - Puerto La Cruz Venezuela
We went to the local market again in Puerto La Cruz Venezuela this morning. I bought two 1L bottles of coconut rum for less than $ 1.50 each (and it wasn’t duty-free either).
We bought a bag of about 30 tomatoes for less than a dollar, a pineapple for about 50 cents and also lettuce, cucumbers, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, oranges, bananas and passion fruit for similar, low prices. I bought a 3 pound slab of beef that I chopped up to make 4 good sized steaks - less than $ 1.50. No doubt about it, the markets in Venezuela have a wide variety of fresh produce, fruit and meat that would put any Caribbean market to shame, for a fraction of the price. I’ve been making fresh-fruit smoothies every day.
Here’s an interesting observation. We’ve been in several shops that are obviously owned/operated by Chinese people. These Chinese people are not speaking Chinese, or English, but rather Spanish…..
We’ve had a bit of boat work done while here. In the area of improvements, I had the marina welder TIG weld 6 pad-eyes (that I bought in Trinidad) to the toe-rail. This is to make rigging our Parasail spinnaker easier. The cost was about $ 58.
In the area of repairs, I had a local rigger (Jesus Calderon) remove and repair our Garhauer rigid boom-vang, cost of about $ 55. We paid Elias Garcia about $ 40 to polish the stainless steel - thoroughly over a 4 day period. While still in Trinidad, I added “negative isolation” to the bow-thruster / windlass circuit in the bow, and this past week while in Venezuela, I added “negative isolation” to the engine starting battery and house-bank. The rationale behind the negative isolation is to make sure that the “ground” for the AC and DC circuits is not connected in any physical way to the steel hull (which would be through the physical mounting of the bow-thruster, windlass, engine starter and alternator since their metal housings are form the negative) - which can be problematic when we’re connected to shore power and the ground circuit is “non-ideal”. The result can be that a bit of current flows through the hull into the water, which then starts the process of electrolysis.
As you can see, we’re doing our bit to contribute to the local economy.
Another change that we’ve noticed from the Eastern Caribbean is the change in music. For the past 3 years, the local music has been “BOOM-BOOM-BOOM-CHICKA-BOOM-BOOM-BOOM”. It was driving us nuts - in the taxis, in the stores, in the marinas, on the beach and consequently in the anchorage. Here in Venezuela, the music is decidedly different, with a pleasing latin-American flavour, much more pleasing to the ears. This is a nice shot of the pool at our marina.
Our marina sits at the canal entrance of the “posh” development area of Puerto La Cruz. Beyond this entrance lies a vast network of canals, bridges, condo and private home communities - and Plaza Mayor.
We’ve not yet taken our dinghy to the huge mall at Plaza Mayor, but we have taken private taxis (about a dollar) there and back.
I’m trying to get some minor plastic surgery done on my ear, as another basil cell carcinoma has been brewing there for the past year. I saw a Dermatologist / Plastic Surgeon last week, and prior to getting the actual surgery (which should only require a local anesthetic), I’ve had to run through a complete battery of tests, that took up the majority of 3 days (complete blood work including an HIV test, EKG and Cardiologist consult, chest X-ray and lung function test with a Respirologist). The work-up is all done, the next thing will be to schedule the surgery.
Our encounters with the local people have been very good. The people seem friendly, honest, and hard working. There is also a family of iguanas that live on the marina grounds, in the small mangrove area. We drop off vegetable and fruit cuttings and they seem grateful for that contribution to their diet. They don’t bother anybody, and seem to be not too fearful of humans, but I don’t think you can get close enough to pet them.
While in Puerto La Cruz, we have had the pleasure of being berthed alongside Guy and Laura on SV DAGDA, a very interesting couple (French and Russian) with extensive cruising experience. They have a very interesting, unique and very fast boat. We were treated to home made ice-cream, both banana and chocolate flavour!
To see previous log entries, just use the tab at the top.
SV Joana is listed for sale at this site (in case you're wondering why, we're not planning to give up the cruising lifestyle or our home, but most things are for sale and since we've met many cruisers who have listed their boat, we figured we'd do it too).
Departed Canada: May 2009
Bermuda: June - August 2009
USA: August - November 2009, June - November 2010
Bahamas: December 2009 - March 2010, December 2010 - February 2011
Cuba: March - May 2010
Dominican Republic: March - April 2011
Puerto Rico: April 2011
US Virgin Islands: May 2011
British Virgin Islands: May 2011
St Martin /Netherlands Antilles: May 2011
Antigua: May 2011
Dominica: May 2011
St Lucia: May-June 2011, December 2011 - February 2012, December 2012 - February 2013
St Vincent and the Grenadines: June 2011, February 2012, December 2012, April-May 2013
Grenada: June-November 2011
Martinique: March 2012, March 2013
Barbados: March 2012
Guadeloupe: March 2013
Tobago: March-May 2012
Trinidad: May - December 2012, June - November 2013
Venezuela: November 2013 -