JEAN ET BARBARA AUX ANTILLES A LA VOILE

JEAN  ET BARBARA AUX ANTILLES A LA VOILE
JEAN ET BARBARA AUX ANTILLES A LA VOILE

in the middle of nowhere

..The 'Nowhere' Magic of Las Aves


Hello everybody

After a couple of weeks in Los Roques, we were ready to head into the "more remote" island category "Los Aves"! The first lagon is much more sheltered from the waves, and though the wind continued to howl at 35-plus knots, we felt more snug and secure because the tropical storm HARVEY was on.
Las Aves are two separate little archipelagos comprising about 16 islands and islets and several barrier reefs. The more easterly group is called Aves de Barlovento (windward) and the westerly group is called Aves de Sotovento (leeward). The name "Aves" comes from the large number and variety of birds that call these islands home. Because of its out-of-the-way location, there are no theme parks here, no day tours or fishing excursions. (In fact, there are no settlements here at all, except a Guardacosta station in Sotovento and some transient fishing camps).

The beach on Isla Oeste is long and sweeping. We could walk the entire perimeter of the island in less than an hour.
Otherwise, a lone palm, some lizards and crabs and the fishermen's pet pelican seemed to be the only full-time inhabitants!
What better welcome could you expect?

There are several neighboring islands, all within dinghy range, and whenever the wind died down sufficiently, we set out to explore them. , about a mile away to the northwest, has a lighthouse and a drifting sand dune beach. One scenic palm stands alone midst the cry of gulls, pelicans and boobies. The lighthouse is functional, but not particularly attractive. The beach is white sugar marked with crab and bird prints. It is uninhabited by man, but his mark is there: a convenient stake in the ground for dinghy tie up and, of course, the endless jetsam on the windward shore.
Conch shell mountains 20 feet high dot the shore and a rotting whale carcass that had washed ashore caught our attention long before we discovered its location.
Evenings are the best in the Aves. There is no ambient light save the moon and the stars. We watched in anticipation each evening as the sun was swallowed by the horizon, gratified time and again by a dazzle of reds, pinks, oranges and purples and that evasive flash of green. Our location provided another bonus in that we were able to see both the North Star and the Southern Cross. Without the moon, the night skies were so velvety black and the stars so vividly brilliant in contrast, we sat mesmerized for hours at the sheer beauty and vastness of it all. I'd read that there are more than 10 billion trillion visible stars and I'm certain they were all present and accounted for in the boundless Aves sky...
We have diversions. Our friends, Alain and Nicole on Passim, Michel and Nini on Seayousoon plus Yves and Dominique are anchored nearby .

Four weeks in the middle of nowhere...
The magic here is found in the simplicity of its beauty : big skies, quiet solitude, green flashes and a celebration of the cruising life far from the madding crowd.

Cheers

Barbara on AFRODITE

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