Dahlfin II Status

Last updated: March 31, 1998

38) Fax from Trinidad, 11-15-97

11-5-97, 10 43.33 N / 63 09.93 W, Puerto Santos, Venezuela

Pulled anchor at 5:30 am, close reach 42 miles to Puerto Santos on the Paria peninsula, wind E 15 kt. Lots of fishing activity in the harbor.

11-6-97, 10 42.91 N / 63 00.83 W, Ensenada Medina, Venezuela

Set full main and staysail and tight close reached on E/NE winds 9 miles further east along the Paria peninsula. We really like the new staysail setup, with inboard sheeting we can cut very close to the wind. The Paria peninsula is exceptionally beautiful, the best we have seen yet in Venezuelan waters. Lush green mountains plunging right into the sea. Ensenada Medina is also very beautiful - sand beach with scores of lovely palm trees bending in the breeze, green mountains in the background. There is a small resort here with thatched roofs. Ron is sick. I go snorkeling in the worst visibility ever, the water is so murky that I can barely see 6 feet. They say it is the water coming out of the Orinoco and carried by the current.

11-7-97, 10 42.73 N / 62 00.16 W, Cabo San Frisico, Venezuela

Pulled anchor at 1:30 am and motored east along the coast within 2 miles of shore to avoid the westward setting current. Wind is 5 knots, the sea is like glass. The shoreline is dramatic and inhospitable with no place to duck in for the next 60 miles. With the dawn the wind increases, we set the full main and staysail and motor-sailed the rest of the way. Set anchor at 2:30 pm, 61.3 nm. Cabo San Fransico is without a doubt the most beautiful and dramatic anchorage we have been in since the Dominican Republic. High, steep mountains with dense green jungle plunging right into the water. The clouds brush the mountain tops and sometimes a mist comes drifting down the sides. We are so close to their bases that we have to look almost straight up to see the tops. Waves break lightly along the rocky shoreline. We are anchored so close to shore we can see the lovely bright colored flowers and a number of different kinds of birds. There are supposed to be a few trails put in by fishermen, but the jungle is very thick. This is the place where a woman cruiser died from snake bites a few years ago (written up in Cruising World), so we have no desire to go ashore. Ron is very sick with a cold, his temperature is 101.3 F.

11-10-97, 10 40.76 N / 61 38.15 W, Chaguaramus Harbor, Trinidad

Laid over Saturday and Sunday in Cabo San Fransico because Ron was too sick to travel and we wanted to avoid customs overtime charges on the weekend. Coming through the islands between Venezuela and Trinidad into the Gulf of Paria was very beautiful. We arrived at Chaguaramus at 1300. Although they are very friendly, Trinidad Customs and Immigration rival Venezuela for the amount of paperwork: 5 copies of this, 4 of that - all done by hand. Our Crew Lists were not good enough, the total fee was $10 U.S.

So far we really like Trinidad. The people are very friendly with a lovely disposition. It's very lush here and somewhat humid. The organized boater's social life here exceeds any other places we have been to. There are many boat yards here with lots of work being done, some of it very extensive. We hauled the boat on Friday to join the crowd. Our planned work is not as massive as the others, we plan on doing the bottom, possibly touching up the boot stripe, and making new curtains.

You will never guess who we talked to this morning, Don Street! He's just like his pictures (complete with old crumpled hat) and quite a crusty old fellow.

ed. I had sent her some questions about the necessity of a big freezer:

I have some comments about the freezer/refrigerator you may want to consider. Because of the heat and our diet we are no longer eating as much meat as we used to, in fact we have had very little meat in the freezer the last couple of months. This is partly because of our Venezuelan land trips and partly because of a couple breakdowns. Yet, we find a freezer of good size is most important and it is often quite full. Because of the heat, if I bake something (muffins, banana bread, quiche, etc) I bake a double or triple batch and then freeze the rest. We really like lasagna, but it doesn't make much sense to put in all that work just for a small one. So I make a regular pan, eat one meal, and then package the rest into small packages and freeze them. We get about four meals from one pan. Bread does not keep in the tropics - we can't eat a whole loaf without it getting moldy. I put bread, hamburger buns (great for sandwiches), English muffins, bagels, etc in the freezer. I've even started freezing little containers of yogurt for breakfast which works out fine. If you plan to do any fishing from what we hear it is either feast or famine - you get a tuna or mahi mahi for a couple meals and then cut up the rest and freeze it. Then there is ice. Ice is essential in the tropics. We use ice not just for mixed drinks but in our grapefruit juice in the morning, ice tea during the day, and we drinks lots of ice water. There is no way we can make enough ice to keep up so we've been buying bags of it and putting it in the freezer. The bags are 1 foot in diameter and at least 2 feet long, I break them up into smaller, more usable units. In short our freezer is always at least 3/4 full. I would like to have a little more room in the refrigerator, but I would very reluctant to give up any freezer space.

-- Bonnie

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