Bonaire to Puerto la Cruz

This was going to be another beat against the wind. Left with a reefed main, considering that the expected wind to be 20 knots or more. Traveling south along the island was a nice and fast experience, about half wind and initially nearly any waves. Coming closer to the south point of the island the waves were increasing and started to sail close the wind. In the afternoon a thunderstorm developed east of me and it seemed to be coming my way. About an hour before I had taken the reef out of the main, since the winds were decreasing and in with the currents and cross seas around the point of the island I need a big enough main to give the boat better steering. When the storm still looked quite a few mikes away I started reefing, but the first wind gusts reached me just while I was working on putting the reef in. The thunderstorm didn’t give too much trouble, a few threatning spickles and lightning in the distance. Once it had cleared I was left with a wind a little further to the north: which was more favorable than before. From there on I stayed on a port tack all the way till La Guiara (the port near Caracas), covering about 150 nm in less then two days. Way better than expected, but with recurring reef-in reef-out work, even sailing with a double reef for most of a night.

At La Guiara I had to tack, which was running not so very comfortable into the waves. After two more tacks back and forth I was about 40 miles from La Cruz on Friday morning when the wind completely disappeared. Motored for about two hours when suddenle a nice south wind popped up. This made a for a great 2 hours of half wind sailing, doing about 6 knots. Then that wind ran out and back to motoring. For the final 10 miles the wind came back, this time from the north, and I lazily unfurled the jib for a little motor sailing. Now that I was getting close, I wanted to make sure I arrived before the marina’s would close.

I had intended to dock at Bahia Redonda marina, a common cruisers spot. Managed to put the boat alongside the dock, with help from some friendly cruiser who took the lines. The harbor master was not as friendly, the marina was full and he sent me away in an angry manner. I was really tired and just wanted to stay long enough to gather my thoughts about plan B, but no such thing. Turned the boat into the canal where there multiple other marinas. Then I noticed a Dutch boat med moored along the canal, next to it was an empty dock. I intended to moored alongside the dock, but the harbor master already was present and with his help (using a dinghy) and numerous attempts (the initial stern line I had proved to be too short) I finally got moored with a stern line to a mooring buoy and the bow towards the dock. Checked in at the marina office and the rates are friendly to the budget.

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