Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Wonderland

We left Aruba for Colombia and had to at least see this place people talk about. The Monjes are a small archipelago of islands north of the the entrance to the lake Maracaibo are and they are also very close to if not in Colombian waters which is why the Venezuelans have built an outpost here.  These islands are basically 5 rocks within a 10 mile area.  Two of the rocks to the south are known as Monjes Del Sur.  (Southern Monjes) The Venezuelans have built an outpost here manned by a small group of Coast Guardsmen.  There is a lighthouse and some living areas.  The island originally were divided by a small cut about 40 feet deep. They bulldozed a rock wall between the two islands and made a very safe little bay. A cable has been stretched from one island to the other for boats to hang off of.  Due to the fact the wind never stops blowing here you don't have to worry too much about hitting the wall.  The Venezuelans are as usual very accommodating and polite.  They don't charge you for staying but do require you to complete a safety inspection which is actually a good thing.  I have to say that every time we have dealt with the Guardia National in Venezuela we have been treated very politely and the guys are very professional and nice. We blew the head of our sail out and were very thankful such a place existed in order for us to make repairs out here in the middle of nowhere.  After Sunny finished here excellent sewing job we decided to take a dive and found masses of Barracuda and huge corals, which perhaps due to such warm ocean temps this year had bleached themselves.  The landscape looked like huge piles of snow with tropical fish swimming around and through them. It reminded us both of winter and made for an enjoyable dive.  Hopefully the coral will recover and life will go on here. 

This is the gps position if you want to get there by google earth, because United doesn't fly here.  12°21'42.96"N,   70°54'15.04"W